Michigan Ballet Academy is deeply grateful to the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and to the National Endowment for the Arts for their gift of $19,500 for MBA's 2018-2019 operating budget. It is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
The Michigan Ballet Academy announces Ms. Irina Vassileni as its new Artistic Director to succeed Nikoloz Makhateli in overseeing the school, producing full-length ballets, and continuing the rigorous Vaganova training for which it is known. Mr. Makhateli has led the Michigan Ballet Academy as its Artistic Director for four years. After leading the Michigan Ballet Academy as Artistic Director for four years, Mr. Makhateli will be retiring at the end of August and moving back to his home country of Georgia where his family resides. On July 27, 2018, at 6 p.m., following the Summer Intensive student performance, the staff and Board of Directors of the academy will be holding a farewell reception in honor of Mr. Makhateli. The student performance and the reception will take place at the studios of the Michigan Ballet Academy, 1595 Galbraith Ave, SE, Grand Rapids.
Ms. Vassileni is a well-known instructor and re-stager of classical ballet. She is a graduate of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, a former Bolshoi Ballet dancer, and holds a BFA degree in Methodology of Classical ballet and Choreography. Ms. Vassileni began her training by entering the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow at the age of 10. After graduating with honors, she was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet Company, touring worldwide and performing with the company in ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, the Nutcracker, Spartacus, Paquita, and the entire classical and contemporary repertoire.
Ms. Vassileni is passionate about handing down the knowledge she received from her training and professional career at the Bolshoi to a new generation of dancers and students. She believes that every student, regardless of aspirations, can benefit from the discipline of classical ballet and the skills and life-knowledge that is gained from the study of ballet. “My goal,” she says, is to impart the very best training to all of my students in a systematic way.”
Joining Ms. Vassileni as Ballet Master will be Mr. Chien-Ming Lin. Mr. Lin has an M.A. in Teaching Dance with a concentration in ABT Pedagogy from NYU Steinhardt. He is also certified in all levels of the ABT National Training Curriculum. From August 2010 through August 2017, Mr. Lin was Ballet Master and Program Director at a studio in Iowa. For the past year, Mr. Lin has been teaching at several schools in the New York area. Mr. Lin, who began his dance training in both ballet and traditional dance in Taipei, Taiwan, is also an accomplished traditional Chinese dancer and was selected for best technique award at the 2000 National Chinese Dance Competition in Taiwan.
Mr. Lin shares Ms. Vassileni’s belief that every student can benefit from the discipline of classical ballet and the skills and life-knowledge that is gained from the study of ballet. Mr. Lin’s teaching vision “is to cultivate dancers who are well-rounded artists, appreciating the work ethic, beauty, and rich history behind various dance forms and cultures.”
MBA invites you to a free performance featuring classical ballet excerpts from Cinderella, contemporary variations, and more! Join the students of the academy as they give a brief demonstration of what they study in class, learn some of the fascinating history about ballet, and be transported by the magic and stories of dance!
Members of the Studio Company of the Michigan Ballet Academy will perform original choreography by Artistic Director, Nikoloz Makhateli in a co-production with the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra of The Chronicles of Narnia. The performance will be Friday, October 27 at 7:30PM at the St. Cecilia Music Center.
Michigan Ballet Academy is pleased to announce the election of Suzanne Stockinger Minard as MBA's second Board President. Ms. Minard brings a wealth of management and organizational skills to the position from her experience as the Business Systems Project Manager for Rapidparts, Inc and previous positions. She has been a member of the MBA board for over 4 years during which time Ms. Minard headed our marketing and outreach efforts and developed effective working relationships with MBA artistic staff, volunteers, and families.
MBA would also like to express deep gratitude to our founding Board President, David Bellamy. Mr. Bellamy was critical in the formation of MBA and served as its president for the past 6 years. His steady leadership and experience on boards of similar organizations (Grand Rapids Ballet and Opera Grand Rapids) was indispensable for the development of policies and governance structures necessary for the creation of a strong and durable organization. Mr. Bellamy will continue as a member of the board and take on the title of President Emeritus.
Other officers were also elected or re-elected. Bruce Jarvis and Brett Kharhoff will retain their positions as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. Marcia McEvoy Madden will assume the title of Vice President for Advancement. The position of Vice President for Operations was created and Khary Bridgewater was elected to fill it.
It’s time to celebrate the start of an exciting new school year at MBA! Come join us for our second annual potluck picnic together with our fourth annual Fun Run on September 16, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Pavilion at Cascade Township Park, 3810 Thornapple River Dr, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49546. We hope you will join us to celebrate the new school year, welcome new students and their families, spend time with families you know, and participate in the Fourth Annual Fun Run. While we would love to see everyone participate in the Fun Run, please know that you do not have to run (or walk) to come enjoy the picnic and comradery.
In addition to the Fun Run, we will also have fun and games for all including last year’s popular hula hoop and jump rope contests. New this year, we will also have Tug of War, 3 legged races, and a craft or two. And, for the young (and young at heart), the Pavilion is just a few steps away from some great playground equipment. Also close by are some beautiful new basketball courts. If you have a basketball and would like to play and share, please bring it!
Please plan to bring a potluck dish to share. This is a family style event. Please RSVP to
firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you will be coming. There will be a limited number of outlets at the park for crock pot use. If you will be bringing one, let us know.
Registration for the Fun Run will start at 4:45 pm and we will run (or walk if you prefer) the one mile path around the park at 5:00 pm. The money raised during this event will go to pay for new costumes and costume repairs that are needed for our annual Nutcracker choreographed by Artistic Director, Mr. Nikoloz Makhateli. MBA students, their parents, grandparents, and friends can participate in the Fun Run.
Registration for the Fun Run is $15.00 and each participant should have their own Sponsor Sheet (click here). There is also a sample Sponsor letter (click here) which you can modify or send as is to potential sponsors. For each $20.00 a runner raises, their name will be entered into the raffle drawing for prizes which will include private lessons!
- We are excited to announce both the introduction of the MBA Studio Company as well as an Academy path. This change provides students with an option to continue professional training at the highest level or the opportunity to participate in the same high-quality instruction with a less rigorous schedule. Please see the attached schedule and description of the new MBA Studio Company.
Michigan Ballet Academy is very pleased to announce that former Bolshoi Ballet dancer and master teacher, Irina Vassileni, will join the MBA full-time faculty as of June 1, 2017.
Ms. Vassileni is a well known instructor and re-stager of classical ballet. She is a graduate of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, a former Bolshoi Ballet dancer and holds BFA degree in Methodology of Classical Ballet and Choreography . She has also studied yoga, body conditioning and related holistic practices in depth, integrating her knowledge of dance with the ideas of both ancient and modern disciplines. Irina began her training by entering the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow at the age 10. After graduating with honors in 1979, she was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet, touring worldwide and performing with the company in ballets such as SWAN LAKE, GISELLE, SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE NUTCRACKER, SPARTACUS, PAQUITA , RAYMONDA, THE GOLDEN AGE and the entire classical and contemporary repertoire.
Throughout her career as an instructor she has taught master classes, teaching seminars and participated in lectures and workshops with professional schools , universities and companies nationwide.
Irina is currently a faculty member of Classical Ballet of Colorado in Denver and will join the MBA faculty on June 1, 2017
MBA Students Corinne Jarvis, Breanna Proseus, and Gabriel Rajah were all representing Michigan Ballet Academy in international competitions on Saturday, November 12, 2016. Corinne and Breanna competed in the World Ballet Arts Competition Final in Niagara Falls, Canada. Corinne received 3rd place in classical variations for her age category (14-16 year olds). She also received a full scholarship for the summer program at the Ecole Superieure de Danse de Cannes-Mougins Rosella Hightower, one of the premier ballet schools in Europe. Breanna received a special award for classical technique (in her age category).
A third student from Michigan Ballet Academy, Gabriel Rajah competed this week at the Youth American Grand Prix semifinal in Paris, France. Gabe advanced to the final round and received scholarship offers from American Ballet Theater, Stuttgart Ballet School, The Royal Ballet School and the Princess Grace Ballet Academy in Monaco.
Thanks to the tireless work of director Nikoloz Makhateli and the hard word and talent of the students, the reputation of Michigan Ballet Academy continues to grow in both the US and internationally.
Breanna Proseus and Corinne Jarvis were awarded first and second place respectively in the Classical category for 14 to 16 year olds at the Toronto Semi-Final of the World Ballet Arts Competition Grand Prix on October 22, 2016. Additionally, Corinne Jarvis was awarded third place in the Contemporary category for the same age group.
Breanna performed a variation from Walpurgisnacht and the Kitri variation from Don Quixote. Corinne danced the Pas D'Esclave from Le Corsaire and a variation from Raymonda in the Classical category as well as the conteporary solo 'Song for Viola', choreographed by MBA Artistic Director Nikoloz Makhateli.
Both ladies will be advancing to the Final round of competition to be held in Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada on November 12, 2016.
MBA is holding auditions for all roles in our 2016 Production of Nikoloz Makhateli's The Nutcracker. MBA students wishing to participate in the Nutcracker must attend one of the two auditions. Non-MBA students are also invited to audition for roles.
There will be a second audition on October 1 for anyone who cannot attend this audition.
Ages 5 - adult
Audition Fee for all attendees: $20
For students chosen to participate in the production will be responsible for performance fees, payable before rehearsals begin in October.
MBA Students - $50 costume cleaning fee only.
Ages 5-8: $250
Ages 9 – 12/13: $300
Ages 12/13 and up: $350
Friday July 15, 2016
Michigan Ballet Academy Studios
1595 Galbraith Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Ages 7-11 -- 4:15pm Studio 2
Ages 11-up -- 4:15pm Studio 3
Girls should wear a solid color leotard and pink tights.
Please bring ballet slippers and pointe shoes.
Boys should wear white t-shirts and black tights.
Audition Fee: $15 if pre-registered; $20 audition day
**Select students will be awarded 2 weeks tuition free study
Dmitriy Tuboltsev graduated from The State Vaganova Ballet Academy of St. Pitersburg, Russia. He was taught by Vaganova's direct lines of students. In 1997 he received a master degree diploma of teaching and choreography from the State Theatrical Arts (GITIS), Moscow, Russia. Dmitriy was a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet (under direction of Grigorovich), Leningrad Ballet Theater, Russian State Ballet, Ballet Theater of Maryland, and Ohio Ballet. He also has widespread teaching experience around the world including the USA. Many of his students have gone on to receive scholarships for the university dance programs and positions with professional companies.
Vintage Ballet: a Look Forward ... a Look Back
Saturday, February 27th, 6:00 to 10:00 pm at the Michigan Ballet Studios.
Featuring: A Stunning Student Performance, Silent & Live Auction, Hors d'Oevres & Desserts, Complimentary Beer & Wine, and Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Tickets: $40 for an Individual Ticket or $75 for a Couple
Summer training provides intense focus for young and experienced dancers to grow and improve their technique. MBA's professional training faculty and small class sizes will help you achieve your goals!
Audition and Placement for the 2016 Michigan Ballet Academy's Summer Intensive is this Saturday, February 23 from 3:30 - 4:30 pm at the MBA Studio's. Audition fee for non- MBA students is $20.00.
If you are unable to attend the audition, you may call the studio to register for an in-class audition or visit the website for video audition submissions.
Holiday Maintenance Classes with MBA Artistic Director, Nikoloz Makhateli. Classes are open to all intermediate and advanced students (not just MBA students). All classes are held at 4PM to 5:30 PM. Dates are:
- Monday, December 21, 2015
- Wednesday, December 23, 2015
- Monday, December 28, 2015
- Wednesday, December 30, 2015
- Friday, January 1, 2016
Prices are $16/class or $12/class for professional rate.
MBA is excited to announce that Dance Theatre of Harlem's Francis Lawrence will be dancing the role of the Nutcracker Prince in our upcoming performance. Previously, Mr. Lawrence has danced with several companies including The Australian Ballet and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. He is currently in his third season with New York City's Dance Theater of Harlem, one of the leading neoclassical ballet companies in the USA.
All MBA students are invited to participate in a FREE Master class, taught by Istvan Nemeth and Natalie Boeck, former principal dancers of Augsburg Ballet, together with the dancers from the Dance Center #1 from Augsburg, Germany. The class will be taught on Friday, Aug 7, at 10:30-12:00. All levels are welcome. Please arrive in time for the class to begin on time. In the afternoon, return for their FREE show at 4:30 at the PM Wege Theater.
The Dance Center #1 is in Grand Rapids as part of the Blue Lake International Exchange Program, and they will be spending 2 weeks, traveling to several cities in the Midwest, and putting on their ballet performance.
Four MBA students were selected by a distinguished panel of judges (Darci Kistler, Clinton Luckett, and Gillian Murphy) to compete in the first ever Indianapolis International Ballet Competition. Breanna Proseus, Maria Bellamy, Madison Massara, and Corinne Jarvis will be competing in Indianapolis June 10 through the 14. The international panel of judges will include:
- Patrick Armand – Associate Director, San Francisco Ballet School
- Edward Ellison – Founder & Artistic Director, Ellison Ballet
- Franco De Vita – Artistic Director, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT
- Hae Shik Kim – Founding Dean, Korean National University of Arts, School of Dance
- Alexei Kremnev – Artistic Director, The Joffrey Academy of Dance
- Edwaard Liang – Renowned Choreographer & Artistic Director, BalletMet
- Tadeusz Matacz – Director, John Cranko Schule
- Shelly Power – Academy Director, Houston Ballet Academy
- Mavis Staines – Artistic Director and CEO, Canada’s National Ballet School
- Demis Volpi – Choreographer-in-Residence, Stuttgart Ballet
In addition to performing in the competitions, the students will have classes and coaching session taught by word-famous teachers including:
- Ángel Corella – Artistic Director and Principal Dancer
- Greta Hodgkinson – Principal Ballerina, National Ballet of Canada
- Susan Jaffe – Dean of Dance, North Carolina School of the Arts
- Monique Loudière – Former Director, Rosella Hightower School, Cannes
- Yuan Yuan Tan – Principal Ballerina, San Francisco Ballet, CA
- Daniel Ulbricht – Principal, New York City Ballet
- Seán Curran – Artistic Director, Seán Curran Company
- Carlos Dos Santos, Jr. – Independent Choreographer, Dancer and Teacher
- David Hochoy – Artistic Director, Dance Kaleidoscope
Support MBA Students competing in the first ever Indianapolis International Ballet Competition. They and other MBA advanced students will be performing classical and contemporary variations at the East Grand Rapids High School Little Auditorium. Free and open to the pubic. May 27, 2015, 6:30 PM
MBA Student Dylan Callahan was featured in a segment on WZZM 13 Local news.
Check out this story on WZZM13.com: http://www.wzzm13.com/story/life/2015/05/21/cascade-dylan-calahan-ballet-school-new-york-city/27709387/
MBA is pleased to support this important community event with a 30 minute presentation on Saturday, May 16 from 2:15 - 2:45 PM. UP2U is held in observance of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and is designed to raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues while providing a fun, free and family friendly setting to learn and connect with community resources.
MBA Students will perform excerpts from the Nutcracker, our recent Spring Aires gala, and solos which students are preparing to perform in upcoming competitions.
MBA Students will perform along with the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their 'Grand Ball 2015'