International Ballet Workshops (IBW) are once again bringing world-class teachers to Australia this summer, with their 2016 Russian Ballet Series.
Ballet students and teachers across the country will be treated to the expertise of Vaganova-trained Stanislav Belyaevsky and Anastasia Dunets. With workshops open to dancers ages seven up to adults, this is a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best in the world.
Past IBW series have been met with very positive feedback, with one student calling it “one of the best experiences I have ever had”. (Alanna, dancer at IBW Auckland, New Zealand.) Participants will have the chance to take daily class, with extra sessions for technique, repertoire and pas de deux.
“I love teaching; I love to share my knowledge,” says Belyaevsky. “I can’t wait to visit a new place where [I am] needed.”
This will be Belyaevsky’s first visit to Australia, although his career has taken him to many corners of the globe, from USA to Iceland, Mexico to Korea.
After graduating from the Vaganova Academy, he danced with the Kirov Ballet, rising to the rank of principal and performing all of the major classical roles and partnering many of the world’s most renowned ballerinas. His incredible career has also seen him work with the Mariinsky Theatre, German State Opera, Finnish National Opera, Universal Ballet Company, Korean National Ballet and many other distinguished companies and choreographers.
But his favourite place to dance? The Mariinsky Theatre. “It’s my home,” he says. “My second home was Finnish National Opera – so much happiness and sweat and tears – it was full artistic life!”
Dunets is not only an accomplished ballerina but also an acclaimed actress, having appeared in many films, including the film-ballet Carnival. Upon graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy, Dunets joined the Mariinsky Theatre ballet company, touring internationally before accepting an invitation from the German National Berlin Opera and, later, the Finnish National Ballet.
Dunets has also honed her craft as a teacher and coach, at the Vaganova Ballet Academy and the Helsinki Dance Institute. She has coached students who have gone on to win major prizes in many international ballet competitions and join illustrious ballet companies, and she continues to perform on stage.
Having had much experience in the world of international competitions, Dunets is impressed with the standard of Australian dancers she has seen so far and is looking forward to “meeting new people, seeing new places and learning more about Australian ballet”, she says.
Both teachers admit that the demands placed on dancers in the current climate are greater than they have ever been. “Today’s dancers are very strong as athletes, much better than our generation,” says Dunets.
Belyaevsky agrees. “You have to have a good base, then you have to develop your dance technique … to be able to survive in a competition with many good professional dancers,” he explains. “And of course you have to be a good actor, to be very individual, find and open inside of yourself something unique!”
Ahead of his journey to Australia, Belyaevsky shares this piece of advice with young dancers: “Love it! Love to dance, love to perform! Love to fight every day physically all the difficulties, and enjoy results (good or bad). Don’t wait for quick results… it’s a long and difficult, never-ending process, but what great feelings when you are on stage!”
“It is a very difficult job, to be a ballet dancer,” Dunets adds. “Not only physically but mentally. And one more important thing to remember: Ballet is art.”
IBW Russian Ballet Series for this summer 2016 are now open for registration: www.InternationalBalletWorkshops.com.
By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.
Photo (top): International Ballet Workshops. Photo courtesy of IBW.