When Davis Robertson of the Joffrey Ballet School traveled to Moscow in June 2010, he had no idea what to expect. As program director of the contemporary ballet division, his goal was to broach the idea of a summer student exchange with Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Much to his surprise, he received an enthusiastic response from director Marina Leonova. Bolshoi representatives outlined several other possibilities, including student exchanges during the year, teacher exchanges and an invitation for Robertson to choreograph a new work and run workshops in contemporary ballet.
This summer, Robertson will accompany 15 to 25 specially selected Joffrey Ballet School students to Moscow. They will spend several weeks taking classes and living at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy while he guest-teaches. “There will be two types of education going on,” Robertson says. “One in the studio technically, and one just permeating the air of the Joffrey students’ lives while they are there.”
Plans to continue the exchange include a visit from Bolshoi students and teachers to the Joffrey School in NYC. Info: www.joffreyballetschool.com
Photo: Joffrey Ballet School students in The Nutcracker (by James Culp, courtesy of the Joffrey Ballet School)