International Ballet Academy's Pre-professional Program dancers perform with International Ballet, a resident company at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. Dancers are selected by audition each year at the end of the previous season.
The company will open the 2018-2019 Season on September 14 with "Behind the Curtain," a Season Preview Party and Fundraiser at Zen in downtown Greenville. Tickets start at $75 and are on sale through Eventbrite.com.
International Ballet will present L'Autome, its annual Fall Chamber Concert at the Warehouse Theatre on November 17, The Nutcracker with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra at the Peace Center Concert Hall, and Cultura, the company's spring show, at the Peace Center's Gunter Theatre in April. Other performances include the Nutcracker Tea at Greenville's Poinsett Club,; Holiday at Peace, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra's annual holiday pops concert at the Peace Center; Artisphere's Local Performing Artist's Showcase in May, and Storytime Ballet, a free program presented quarterly in cooperation with the Greenville County Library System.
Company members take weekly company class with Artistic Director Vlada Kysselova and rehearse 2-3 times per week in addition to an intense daily training schedule at IBA. They also have the opportunity to rehearse and dance alongside world-renown professional ballet dancers, including guest principals Adiarys Almeida and Taras Domitro, who are returning to Greenville for their second year to perform the roles of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince in IB's The Nutcracker. (Past guest professionals include ABT principal Veronika Part, Joffrey Ballet's Cara Marie Gary and Temur Suluashvili, Cincinatti Ballet's now principal Melissa Gelfin, and former National Ballet of Cuba principal Adrian Masvidal, now with Houston Ballet.) These experiences help prepare IBA's dancers for college dance programs and careers as professional dancers, dance teachers, choreographers, professionals in the theatrical fields, and other dance-related careers. Pre-professional students also can work through the Career & College Guidance Program to earn high school credits for their study at IBA, as well as plan for their futures following graduation. Dancers who are homeschooled can devote more hours to their ballet training in IBA's Advanced Day Program, which offers two additional weekly technique classes, as well as partnering and men's variations. Company directors may also select pre-professional students to compete at the Youth America Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet competition.
International Ballet will also have a professional dancer of its own this season. Gabriel Paluszak, who graduated from IBA's Pre-professional Program in May, will perform with the company during its 15th season.
The new company will begin the 2018-2019 year later this week with a gathering at the IBA studios, where they will socialize, be welcomed by company directors, learn fall casting, and have their company headshots taken. Executive Director Lena Forster and Artistic Director Vlada Kysselova will introduce new staff leadership including Sarah Shoemaker, who joined the company in the spring and who was recently named IB Associate Executive Director; Clarence McDorman, Ballet Master, who will lead the Advanced Day Program; and Carrie Preus, who also joined in the spring as IB's Storytime Ballet Director. Returning staff members will also be on hand to meet new company members and answer questions. These include Liz Acker, Company Coordinator & Office Manager; Doug Acker, IB Production Manager; Emily Paluszak, Career & College Guidance Director, and Michelle Brown, Costume Coordinator. The company will return to the studio just two days later for Nutcracker auditions. and then again on Monday August 27 for the start of classes.
For more information about International Ballet, visit the company web site at internationalballetsc.org.
Jerry Finley Photography