Photo: Peter Zay


New Faculty for Summer Intensive 2014: Valentina Kozlova

Valentina Kozlova is known to be a major innovator in the international ballet world. Her passion for dance, and for the choreographers and dancers who create and perform, have led her to find new outlets for their talents. Born in Moscow, Ms. Kozlova was trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School. She was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet Company in 1973 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1975. She danced all of the major classical roles with the company.  In 1979, she defected to the United States while on tour with the Bolshoi. She had already performed, while still a student, in Western Europe and the U.S. and was intrigued by what she saw. Her quest for artistic freedom and growth led her to seek a career that would offer new roles by western contemporary choreographers as well as the classics. She was immediately in demand as a guest artist internationally. She made her Broadway debut in the leading role for the revival of "On Your Toes", learning the part from its original creators: George Abbott and George Balanchine. Her performance led Balanchine to invite her to become a Principal Dancer with his New York City Ballet in 1983. She accepted and performed with the company until 1995, dancing the classics along with the leading roles of works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Eliot Feld and Richard Tanner.

In 2003, Ms. Kozlova opened her own dance school, Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory of New York, a professional school that provides students who have the talent, determination and ability to receive the quality of training needed to pursue professional careers. She founded Dance Conservatory Performance Project, a venue to provide public performances for her dancers.

Summer Intensive Faculty Have Included:

Duane Cyrus
Naseeb Culpepper
Traci Gilchrest
Sarah Hayes Watson
Sarkis Kaltakchian
Kati Mayo
Yaqshaan Medan
Rene Olivier
Jeanene Perry
Emily Ramirez
Vivienne Ramsey

Summer Intensive Dancers Learn and Perform North Carolina Dance Theatre Company Repertoire, Including Choreography by Dwight Rhoden

Dwight Rhoden, a former principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and current artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, has been hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most sought out choreographers of the day." He has performed with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal, as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Rhoden has created ballets for many companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Dance Theater of Harlem, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, The Joffrey Ballet, New York City Ballet/Diamond Project, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Philadanco, Minneapolis Dance Theater, The Washington Ballet and Zenon Dance Company. Dance Magazine called Rhoden's work "post-Balanchinean choreography, a new aesthetic in movement, stage, picture, and performance concepts reflecting a post-modern, techno-savvy worldview."

Gateways, NC Dance Theatre's Innovative Works
Photo: Peter Zay