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YAGP to Present THE MAKING OF AN ARTIST, 1/27

Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) will present "The Making of an Artist" moderated by Barbara Brandt on Monday January 27 at 6:30pm at New York City Center Studios, Studio 5 (130 West 56th Street, NYC). American Ballet Theatre's Marcelo Gomes will create new choreography on renowned ABT dancers Misty Copeland and James Whiteside live. Through discussion and demonstration, their creative evolution will unfold. YAGP founding Board Chair, Barbara Brandt says, "I want to give the audience an opportunity to join the dancers and choreographer, in the studio, as we explore the question, "What is an artist?" The evening will conclude with an informal reception.

Tickets are $150.00. To purchase tickets contact Ms. Courtney Favini, at 646.465.5933 or Yagp.development@gmail.com. All proceeds from the event will go to YAGP's Scholarship Fund, which provides young talented dancers with scholarship auditions and performance opportunities. YAGP is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization.

Barbara Brandt is the founding Board Chair of Youth America Grand Prix. She has been instrumental in its journey from infancy to a world-renowned organization. In addition to her continuing involvement with YAGP, Barbara devotes her time to other non-profits by producing interesting fundraising events that highlight various aspects of the artistic process, including New York City Center, Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum and Juilliard. Barbara has also taught dance for the I Have a Dream Foundation and H.E.L.P. USA, (Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged.) She enjoyed a 20-year career as a fitness trainer, during which she was a regular contributing fitness expert to ABC's Good Morning America.

Misty Copeland was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California. She began her ballet studies at the age of 13 at the San Pedro Dance Center. At the age of fifteen, she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. She then began her studies at the Lauridsen Ballet Center. Copeland studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT's National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. She joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001 is currently a Soloist. Copeland created the Spanish Dance in Ratmansky's The Nutcracker and leading roles in C.to C. (Close to Chuck), Dumbarton, Glow-Stop and One of Three. Copeland was a recipient of a 2008 Leonora Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts.

Marcelo Gomes was born in Manaus and raised in Rio de Janeiro, where he began his dance studies at the Helena Lobato and Dalal Achcar Ballet Schools. He went on to study at The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida, and at the schools of the Paris Opera Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Cuballet. A prize winner at Lausanne (Hope Prize, 1996), he was also awarded second place at the National Society of Arts and Letters in 1994, and the Winter Festival in Brazil (1993). Gomes joined American Ballet Theatre in 1997 as a member of the corps de ballet and is currently a Principal Dancer. Gomes has appeared as a guest artist with the Kirov and The Royal Ballet. He has appeared with The Kings Of the Dance since 2006. He made his debut with the Bolshoi Ballet in July 2013, dancing the title role in Onegin opposite Diana Vishneva.

James Whiteside began his training at age nine at D'Valda & Sirico Dance and Music Centre. He continued his training at the Virginia School of the Arts for one year under the direction of Petrus Bosman and David Keener. In 2002, Whiteside joined Boston Ballet II, where he continued to train under the tutelage of its director Raymond Lukens, now director of ABT's National Training Curriculum. Whiteside joined the corps de ballet of Boston Ballet in 2003 and became a second soloist in 2006. He was promoted to first soloist in 2008 and to principal dancer with Boston Ballet in 2009. Whiteside joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in September 2012 and is currently a Principal Dancer.

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