Ballet in Boston

Valentina Kozlova has covered a lot of ground in the ballet world: She’s a former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet, and she has coached some of the industry’s top names, including Boston Ballet second soloist Whitney Jensen. In 2003, she opened the Vaganova-based Valentina Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory of New York. Now, she has embarked on a new venture as the founder of the Boston International Ballet Competition.

 

The inaugural event, which will be held in May at the John Hancock Hall in Boston, MA, isn’t your average competition. Participants from more than 20 countries will be required to choose variations from a list designed to break them out of their comfort zones. The competition also welcomes dancers as young as 13 in its student division. With an impressive judging panel (including Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen and Washington Ballet artistic director Septime Webre) and a hefty cash prize ($9,000 for the senior gold medalist!), the competition is sure to be exciting.

 

The Boston International Ballet Competition takes place May 12-16.

 


Photo of Valentina Kozlova courtesy Valentina Kozlova.

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

Keep Reading Show less
Cover Story
Photo by Erin Baiano

Click here to vote for Emma.

There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "

Keep Reading Show less
Cover Model Search

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways