Nutcracker Ballet

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Moscow Ballet Audition Directors

Meet Our Audition Directors

Moscow Ballet’s Vaganova-trained master teachers and audition directors are integral to the success of the Great Russian Nutcracker performances. These accomplished soloists audition and rehearse over 5,000 ballet students in cities on the tour each year, helping to prepare them for their debut alongside Moscow Ballet's 40 professional Russian dancers. For many aspiring dancers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

"This [opportunity] would be comparable to working one-on-one with an Olympic athlete…you are working with the best of the best," says Jenny Karl, owner of In Motion Dance Studio in Tiffin, OH and a Moscow Ballet host coordinator.

altOlga Aru


Olga Aru is a rising star ballerina and ballet pedagogue as well. Summer 2014 Olga was honored to participate in the International Dance Council CID, Paris in the Athens symposium submitting her paper titled “Modern Dance for Different Generations or Dance on the Edge of the Century”. The CID, official umbrella organization for all forms of dance, was founded in 1973 within the UNESCO headquarters in Paris where it is based, and brings together the most important international, national and local organizations, as well as select individuals active in dance from 155 countries. Olga was also invited to perform a solo piece from Ballet Incommunicado, a well established group in Italy,  inspired by poem “The Ravaged Face” by Sylvia Plath. A very expressive work, it takes a stand against violence toward women and was created on Olga by Paola Scoppettuolo.

Olga received her degree in ballet and dance pedagogy from the the Kiev State Ballet College, Ukraine, in 2008. Since graduation, Olga has had a whirlwind of performance and teaching experiences; from dancing in ballet’s greatest classics to the most contemporary and to traveling around the world in those performances. She is a Laureate and award winner of the “Crystal Shoe - Dance Beyond Boards” competition and she performed at the “Mikkeli Ballet Festival” in Finland. Olga danced with Franceconsert, based in Paris, France, performing classical repertoire in major theatres Casino de Par and Théâtre Comédie as well as touring France. Prior to that Olga performed with Les Ballet Persans in Stockholm, Sweden where she had leading roles in modern ballets Turquoise Land - Dream of Peace and Les Femme. She also worked in Cairo, Egypt dancing in the premiere performances of Tut Ankh Amon at Cairo National Opera House. There she also performed the in Nutcracker and in the great classic Swan Lake. Olga performed with the Silesian State Opera in the beautiful and historic theatre in Bytom, Poland and had roles in Adagio in Night Valpurgis, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cat in the Boots. Olga’s repertoire includes leading and soloist roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Night Walpurgis, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Tut Ankh Amon, Turquoise Land, La Femme(modern choreography by Alla Rubina) and Heart of Snow Queen.Olga studied ballet with Varvara Potapova, Honored Artist of Ukraine and Alla Rubina, Honored Artist of Ukraine and Choreographer.  She is fluent in English, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and French.


Mariia Skoruk


Mariia Skoruk was awarded "Honorable Mention" at the Fifth Serge Lifar International Ballet Competition in Kiev. In 2009 she graduated with a Choreographic Teaching Degree from the National Dragomanova Pedagogical University. She was born in1989 in Kiev, Ukraine.  At just ten years old she was invited to attend the famous ballet school of the Kiev State Opera and Ballet Theater.  She graduated with a “Diploma of Distinction” and, seen as a talented ballerina, was invited to join the company of the prestigious Kiev State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater.  The Kiev company is regarded in the Russian dance world as the third best, after Moscow and St Petersburg.

The Kiev Opera and Ballet Theater began its history in 1867 and has developed one of the biggest repertories in the world including 24 ballets. Many famous dancers perform on the National Opera of Ukraine stage including Serge Lifar, Nadezhda Pavlova, Maya Plisetskaya, and more from Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater and the St. Petersburg Kirov Ballet. Mariia has also worked with Moscow Ballet for the past 5 years. She  performed in Moscow Ballet’s premiere of Romeo and Juliet in 2011, new staging by Andrei Litvinov, new costumes by Arthur Oliver and all new sets created in St Petersburg’s finest and oldest theatrical shop. Her repertoire is comprised of the entire range of classical characters, among these: Romeo and Juliet, Great Russian Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Giselle, Cinderella, La Bayadere, and Carmen. She has performed internationally in the following countries USA, Canada, Holland, England, Switzerland, Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador.

altZhanna Golubenko


Audition Director Zhanna Golubenko premieres with Moscow Ballet in 2015 as Audition Director and Soloist in the Great Russian Nutcracker. Zhanna has a professional Ballet Teacher's education with a Bachelor's degree, and is in her second year at the Bolshoi Academy (officially known as Moscow State Academic School of Choreography) working under Master Teacher Vera Kulikova.  Most recently Zhanna danced as Soloist for Tiit Harmi Ballet Theater in the historic city of Tallinn, Estonia. She danced with Imperial Russian Ballet Company under Artistic Director G.Taranda as Demi-Soloist and Corps de Ballet and she was an Invited Soloist for Russian National Ballet in  Moscow under Artistic Director V.Kokorev

Zhanna has performed in more than 30 countries with different ballet companies and, in parallel, teaches in ballet schools, Brussels International Ballet School by Anderson Santana being one of them, as a guest teacher and as invited soloist for gala programs. Zhanna has danced many classic ballet roles including:  “Swan Lake” Trio of Swans, “Nutcracker” Arabian Variation and soloist in the Waltz of the Flowers; “Bolero” with music by Ravel as Spring;  in “Carmina Burana” by M. Murdmaa in the Fandango and as soloist in the Dream Scene; in “Don-Quixote” Esmeralda’s Grand Pas and the Odalisque Variation in “Le Corsaire;” She also danced “Les Sylphides”  Printemps - Au Fil des Saisons, to her own choreography in addition to all the Corps de Ballet roles in classical and neoclassical ballets.

Zhanna has extensive Ballet teaching experience as an invited teacher of classical ballet, repertoire, private coaching and workshops. Dance studios include Ecole de Danse Menuet, Brussels International Ballet; and at "Accordanse" she was invited teacher and choreographer of classical ballet, stretching classes, repertoire and most recently performed in "Au fil des Saisons" as soloist and worked as scenic and costume designer and choreographer as well. In addition to her teaching, Zhanna is working on a research project on classical ballet heritage.  She was nominated and approved for CID UNESCO membership by President Alkis Raftis. Zhanna speaks fluent English and intermediate French. 

altOlena Nalyvaiko


Olena Nalyvaiko is a 2011 graduate of the Kiev State Choreographic College which aims to develop a new generation of dance specialists who excel in their choreographic training as well as independent creative endeavors. The college is known for its highly qualified academic staff specializing in all dance disciplines and participating as jurists in national and international ballet competitions. Olena’s major was in Choreography and, with a degree from this historic school, she is an accredited Artist of Ballet and Teacher of Professional Ballet Disciplines.

She is an artist of ballet and an assistant of teacher in the “The Young Kyiv Ballet” theatre company.  She has toured and danced for several tours with the Kiev National Opera and Ballet Theatre, with the Kharkov Opera and Ballet Theater and with the Chisinau Opera and Ballet Theatre. She performs as a demi-soloist and corps-de-ballet in the Russian ballet classics: “Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker”, “Don Quixote”, “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Giselle” to anme a few. Olena is most experienced in classical ballet and also enjoys working in the contemporary technique. She is fluent in English.


altCarolina Siscanu


At just nine years old Carolina Siscanu auditioned and was accepted at the National School of Ballet in Chisinau, Moldova. Carolina studied at the school for nine years, graduating in 2009. Even before graduation, in 2008 she was invited to join the company of the Moldovan National Ballet Theatre. The highly regarded Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Moldova is the pride of the national performing arts. The country, famous for its vocalexpertise which has attracted world famous singers including Fyodor Shalyapinand Enrico Caruso, is also known for its world class level of ballet training and performance.

Carolina’s ballet repertory includes the iconic Russian ballets and a variety of roles. She performs the Spanish Dance in Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake’ and friends and nymphs in Adam’s ‘Giselle.” She performs as soloist in the Hungarian Dance of “Coppelia” music by L.Delibes and as Lemons and Flowers in Armenian Karen Haciaturean”s “Cipollino,” or “Little Onion,”  a children's tale about political oppression.Other roles are as Snowflake and brother Fritz in the Nutcracker as well as Carmencita in Minkus’ “Don Quixote.” Carolina speaks Romanian, Russian, English, French, and Spanish and has performed in Great Britain, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, France, and China in addition to the U.S.A.


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