Meet the Moscow Ballet "Dance With Us" Audition Directors
Moscow Ballet’s Vaganova-trained Soloists and Audition Directors are integral to the success of the “Dance with Us” student dancers who perform beside the pros in the Great Russian Nutcracker! These accomplished soloists audition and rehearse over 5,000 local ballet students annually in cities on the tour, helping to prepare them for their debut alongside Moscow Ballet's company of 40 professional Russian dancers. Read more about each one below...
For many aspiring young dancers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Svetlana (Lana) Popova
Moscow Ballet’s Lana Popova is a very experienced ballerina, teacher and artist. She is also Moscow Ballet Audition Director working with hundreds of American ballet students for the Dance with Us program in the fall. Lana attended the Moscow Ballet School at the Institute of Contemporary Art receiving a Ballet Diploma.
Olena Pedan joins Moscow Ballet as Soloist and Audition Director for the 2017 25th Anniversary Tour of Swan Lake and the Great Russian Nutcracker across North America! Olena also tours internationally throughout Europe and China as Guest Artist.
Ballerina Anna Trofimova was born in 1994 and at just 8 years old she was invited to study at the Vadim Pisarev School of Choreographic Mastery. During her four years there, she took part in the International Ballet Festivals “Grand Pas” and “World Stars Ballet” where she was able to be on the stage with the famous ballet dancers including
Maria Morari premieres with Moscow Ballet on the 2017 25 th Anniversary Tour of North America. She started her professional career as a ballerina at the National Theatre for Ballet and Opera in Chișinău, the capitol city of Moldova. She has toured around the world performing the classic Russian ballet repertoire including Swan Lake, Giselle, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Don Quixote, Spartacus, Chippolino, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet and the Great Russian Nutcracker.
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 in 1989 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.
Yuriy took his first steps in dance when he was 6 years old and fell in love with the magic dancing. He soon auditioned and was accepted at the vocal and dance ensemble Rushnychok. Rushnychok students studied all types of performing art, including choreography, vocals, acting skills, history of theatre, and the history of traditions.
Moscow Ballet Soloist and Audition Director Alisa Bolotnikova premiered with Moscow Ballet in 2016 and was Audition Director in the “Dance with Us” program. Alisa was accepted at the Kharkov Children's Music, Ballet and Choreographic School at just 5 years old, and just six months later she was on stage as a Little Star. Delighted with her costume, Alisa decided then that ballet and the stage was her life!
Mimi Ewers of Ballet Arts Academy of Spokane in Spokane ~ “For me this experience of partnering with Moscow Ballet was both exciting and rewarding... Moscow Ballet presented a group of beautifully trained dancers with sweet, elegant and simple choreography with high attention to kids participation. What a delight!! It was a breeze of very fresh air! Please extend my gratitude to Akiva and Mary for the wonderful things they do to propagate culture around the United States. I have always believed that the arts are the heart and soul of a city.”
Julia Zhmutski of Julia’s Dance Academy in Oklahoma City ~ “Our studio was honored to be able to participate in the Great Russian Nutcracker with Moscow Ballet. It was such an amazing opportunity for our young dancers to learn and grow and see how a professional company works. We loved the fact that the original Nutcracker was used and the costumes were breathtaking. Everyone we worked with was wonderful. We can't wait to participate in the show next year, our girls are already talking about what parts they hope to get!”