Cleveland Ballet Youth Company Makes Debut Performance With WHERE IT ALL BEGAN, 4/25

Cleveland Ballet Youth Company Makes Debut Performance With WHERE IT ALL BEGAN, 4/25

The newly established Cleveland Ballet Youth Company will make its debut performance with the program Where it All Began, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. in PlayhouseSquare's Hanna Theatre. It is no coincidence that this production will take place on the very stage where the former Cleveland Ballet hosted its first professional performances during the late 1970's. Founded by former Cleveland San Jose Ballet principal dancer, Gladisa Guadalupe, who also serves as the company's artistic director, Cleveland Ballet Youth Company is laying the ground work to re-introduce professional ballet to Cleveland audiences. Where it All Began will feature the entire company of Cleveland Ballet Youth Company along with several guest artists from the company's professional division. Musical accompaniment will come courtesy of the newly-founded Cleveland Ballet Orchestra.

Established in 2013, the Cleveland Ballet Youth Company is a distinguished pre-professional youth company that provides dancers with the opportunity to perform classical ballet works, as well as exiting cutting edge contemporary work. Artistic Director, Gladisa Guadalupe states: "I firmly believe that our organization has developed a strong foundation on which a new professional ballet company can be re-established in Cleveland. Our desire is to fill the void left by the departure of Cleveland San Jose Ballet, and to re-introduce Cleveland audiences to the beautiful and powerful art of ballet. This performance is the key to re-establish Cleveland Ballet as the resident professional ballet company in the city."

The production of Where it All Began will feature staging of the ballet 'Concerto" by International Guest Artists and co-directors of the New York-based ballet company BalletNY, Medhi Bahiri and former principal ballerina of New York City Ballet, Judith Fugate. Musical accompaniment will be provided by the Cleveland Ballet Orchestra, headed by Artistic Music Advisor, Alexandra Preucil (Assistant Concert Master of The Cleveland Orchestra) and featuring members of the world-renown Cleveland Orchestra.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Gladisa Guadalupe (Artistic Director) started her training with Ballet de San Juan, becoming one the company's youngest members. At Ballet de San Juan Ms. Guadalupe studied under Lois and Carlos Serrano, Ana Garcia, Maria Carrera, Vanessa Ortiz, Ana Maria Castañon, Ramon Molina, Victor Huertas, Jose Pares, Miguel Campaneria. A Scholarship Alumna of the School of American Ballet, the official training academy of the New York City Ballet, Ms. Guadalupe studied under the celebrated George Balanchine, father of American ballet and of the modern ballet movement. She also studied under the School of American Ballet's famed faculty members Stanley Williams, Andrei Kramarevsky, Alexandra Danilova, Irena Kosmovska, Antonia Tumkovsky, Kay Mazzo, Muriel Stuart, Elise Reiman, Suki Shorer, Robert Denvers, Richard Rapp, Madame Dubrovska, Madame Darvash, Robert Denvers and William Bergman. After her studies Ms. Guadalupe forwarded to a career in professional ballet. She has performed under legendary choreographers George Balanchine, Dennis Nahat, Ian Horvath, Margot Sappington, Ana Garcia, John Butler, Choo San Goh and Louis Falco. Ms. Guadalupe's career as a Principal Dancer has included work with Ballet De San Juan (Puerto Rico), Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas (Caracas, Venezuela), The Cleveland - San Jose Ballet (San Jose, California and Cleveland, Ohio USA) and The Cleveland Ballet (Cleveland, Ohio USA). She has toured North and South America, Asia and Europe. The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Carmina Burana, Giselle, Don Quixote, Rodeo, Celebrations and Ode, Le Corsaire, Theme and Variations, Slavonic and Hungarian, Four Temperaments, Quicksilver, Cannonade, Escargot, Gaite Parisianne, Momentum, The Gift, US, Birds of Paradise, Serenade are all included in her Performance Repertoire. After retiring from the stage, Ms. Guadalupe served as Director and Principle Teacher at The Cleveland Ballet School, the School of Cleveland Ballet. There she was credited for maintaining the school's high quality of training and artistic standards. Concurrently, she acted as an Artistic and Company Teacher for Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company. She has also been an Adjunct Instructor for the Cecchetti Council of America, American Ballet Theater, Ballet De San Juan, Ballet San Jose, Ohio Ballet, Rochester School of Ballet and The University of Akron. Ms. Guadalupe has been recognized as a Distinguished Teacher in the Arts and for Promotion of Excellence in the Arts by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Ms. Guadalupe has also served as a consultant for The Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square Center, American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet San Jose, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The University of Akron, Jack and Jill of America, Danskin, The Cleveland Metropolitan School District and many other community organizations. Ms. Guadalupe has demonstrated success operating dance rehearsals and obtaining choreography objectives, excellent classical dance movement coaching skills and student relationship experience. With a dynamic and practical approach to instruction she has assisted students in effective training and application of their objectives. Her success is attributed to her extensive arts experience and supplemented by her studies at Cleveland State University where she graduated in Psychology.

MEDHI BAHIRI (Guest Artist), Co-Artistic Director/Choreographer of BalletNY, he brings a wide and diverse background in dance to his position as Co-Artistic Director. He was a Principal Dancer with Ballet West and Boston Ballet, and a member of Maurice Bejart's Twentieth Century Ballet. As Principal Guest Artist, he has appeared with Ballet National de Mexico; Ballet de Santiago,Chile; Universal Ballet of Korea; Ballet du Louvre; Tulsa Ballet and Ballet Philippines. Touring in the United States and Europe, his partners have included: Cynthia Gregory; Ann Marie DeAngelo; Valentina Kozlova; Cheryl Yeager; Evelyn Cisneros; Marie-Christine Mouis; Christine Spizzo; Christina Fagundes; Laura Young and Susana Benavides, among others. Mr. Bahiri won the First Prize of the Prix de Lausanne dance competition, and was recognized for his outstanding artistic achievement and original style at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. As a non competitor, he was distinguished as Best Partner at the Jackson and Tokyo ballet competitions. Mr. Bahiri has been and continues to create new works for the company.

Judith Fugate (Guest Artist and Co-Artistic Director/Repetiteur of BalletNY), is a former Principal Ballerina with the New York City Ballet and danced roles in virtually every ballet in the NYCB repertoire, counting among her partners Peter Martins, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Helgi Tomasson. During her career she toured extensively with groups led by renowned artists such as Mr. Baryshnikov, Cynthia Gregory and Mr. Martins. Miss Fugate appeared on "Live from Lincoln Center" with Ray Charles in Peter Martins' A Fool for You. In the Metropolitan Opera's production of La Traviata, conducted by Placido Domingo, she was partnered by Fernando Bujones and Peter Boal. She left the company in 1997 and currently works as repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust and the Jerome Robbins Rights Trust, staging these renowned choreographers' works worldwide.

ALEXANDRA PREUCIL (Artistic Music Advisor) was appointed assistant concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra in April 2013. She joined the violin section in 2008. Ms. Preucil graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a bachelor's degree in music and a minor in dance. While in school, she held the position of assistant concertmaster with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the Svanito Quartet. She spent two years in the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, during which time she was concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.Ms. Preucil has appeared as soloist with the Georgia Philharmonic, Highland Park Strings, Canton Symphony Orchestra, and the World Cello Congress. She has performed at summer festivals including the Festival der Zukunft in Switzerland, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Music From Angel Fire, and the Mainly Mozart Festival, as well as the Young Artist programs at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival. In addition to performing as a member of the Orchestra, Ms. Preucil participates in The Cleveland Orchestra's Music Mentors, Learning Through Music, and PNC Grow Up Great programs for students and young people.

Tickets for Cleveland Ballet Youth Company's performance of Where it All Began will go on sale Wednesday, March 5 at 11 a.m. Regular priced tickets are $39 each and student tickets will be offered for $25 each. To order tickets call (216) 241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.org.

There will be a special VIP reception following the performance. Tickets for this event are $55 each and include appetizers, drinks, and a meet & greet with the dancers, musicians and choreographers.