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Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Presents RUSSIAN TREASURES, 5/18-26

Recently, the esteemed Gelsey Kirkland Ballet has become the headquarters for lesser known pieces from some of the greatest Russian choreographers of all time. Continuing this tradition, Gelsey Kirkland Ballet announced today the next program of its 2016/2017 season will be Russian Treasures featuring Marius Petipa's hilarious one-act comedy Cavalry Halt, as well as pieces byLeonid Yakobson, Leonid Lavrovsky, and Kasyan Goleizovsky.

Russian Treasures will be presented Thursday, May 18 at 7:30pm, Friday, May 19 at 7:30pm,Saturday, March 25 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, March 26 at 2pm. Performances will take place atGelsey Kirkland Ballet's theater, The GK ArtsCenter, located at 29 Jay Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn (previously home to Saint Ann's Warehouse) with tickets starting at $20.

Russian Treasures begins with Petipa's famed Cavalry Halt, a hilarious comedy told in one-act about what happens when the Calvary rides into a town, turning things upside downas each member tries to outdo the next to impress the town's local beauties.The program will also feature several pieces byLeonid Yakobson, including Eternal Spring (based on the Rodin sculpture of the same name)and The Jewish Wedding, which tells the story of the poor groom whose pregnant lover is forced to marry into a wealthier family in front of everyone in the shtetl - including the Fiddler, the Piper, the Rabbi and, of course, the town gossip.

Also on tap is the glorious Melodia by Bolshoi choreographer Kasyan Goleizovsky, and rounding out the evening is Leonid Lavrovsky's Walpurgis Night - the famedBachanalian scene from Charles Gounod's Faust in which virgins, satyrs, Pan and Roman patricians celebrate the festival of Bacchus, culminating in an orgy-tastic finale.

Tickets for Russian Treasures start at just $20 and are available for purchase atwww.gelseykirklandballeteternalspring.brownpapertickets.com

For more information about Gelsey Kirkland Ballet or GK ArtsCenter please visitwww.GKartscenter.org

ABOUT GELSEY KIRKLAND BALLET

Founded in 2010 by Artistic Directors Gelsey Kirkland & Michael Chernov, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet's mission is to foster a rebirth of dramatic storytelling in ballet through our academy programs that provide specialized training for gifted students from around the world, and through the development of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, a classically oriented Professional Studio Company capable of creating and performing new and dramatic works. Located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet (GKA) endeavors to provide the most innovative and comprehensive ballet training programs in the world, recognizing the need for new methods of instruction to cultivate and inspire the next generation of ballet dancers. Through an elite training program aimed at the full cultural development of the young artist, GKA has built a uniquely focused curriculum led by some of the ballet world's most acclaimed master teachers. GKA's curriculum is rooted in European tradition with influences from both the Vaganova and Bournonville styles of ballet training. The GKA training system is built around three major areas of study: ballet, core dynamics, and dramatic development. It integrates technique, style, mime, acting, character dancing, and historical dance, with a commitment to develop classical dancers with the ability to advance the art form of classical ballet, and who are capable of expressing powerful theatrical ideas in ballet through a rich understanding of multiple artistic disciplines, cultures, and traditions. Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet consists of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, a professional Studio Company and four academy programs, including a Full Day Professional Training Conservatory Program, a Pre-Professional After-School Program, a Children's Recreational Program, and a Summer Intensive. GKA's programs provide year-round full-time ballet training and serve over 500 students annually.

MICHAEL CHERNOV (Choreographer/Co-Artistic Director ) received his early ballet and theatre training at the National Theater Drama and Ballet School in Melbourne, Australia. He has performed with classical ballet companies in Australia and Europe. From 1987 to 1994 Mr. Chernov worked as an actor performing Off-Broadway and in regional theatre with the Hartford Stage Company and the Alonso Theatre Company in plays by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Shaw, and Coward, working under the direction of Tony Award winning directors Vivian Matalon and Brian Murray. In 1992 he studied theatre directing at T. Schreiber Studios in New York and has directed plays by Anton Chekov and Horton Foote, including directing the actor Leonid Satinovsky from Russia's prestigious Moscow Arts Theatre in Chekov's The Bear. In 2003 Mr. Chernov received his Graduate Ballet Teacher's Diploma (Vaganova Method) at the Victorian College of the Arts, and in 2006 completed a Master of Arts Administration at the University RMIT, Melbourne Australia. He taught classical ballet at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004 and 2005, and at Danceworld in Melbourne, Australia where he was co-director of the ballet program with his wife Gelsey Kirkland. He has taught at Steps on Broadway, Peridance Studios, and Ballet Hispanico in New York and in summer programs throughout the U.S. From 2006-2007 Mr. Chernov worked in collaboration with Gelsey Kirkland and Kevin McKenzie on the staging and choreography for The Sleeping Beauty at American Ballet Theatre. In 2010, Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Chernov founded Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, and in 2013 they founded the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Studio Company. Mr. Chernov staged and choreographed The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty for Gelsey Kirkland Ballet as well as a new ballet,Stealing Time set to music by Kurt Weill.

GELSEY KIRKLAND (Co-Artistic Director) received her early training at the School of American Ballet, gaining early stage experience dancing children's roles in Balanchine's The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Harlequinade. She graduated to the New York City Ballet in 1968, was promoted to soloist in 1970, and principal dancer in 1972. Her desire to master roles in full-length works coincided with Baryshnikov's defection and invitation to dance with him at American Ballet Theatre, which she joined in 1974 as principal dancer. Teachers most influential in her development as a classical artist include Stanley Williams, Maggie Black, David Howard, actress and mime Pilar Garcia and dramaturge Greg Lawrence. Ms. Kirkland received worldwide acclaim for her performances in the classical repertory: the title role in Giselle, "Kitri" in Don Quixote, "Clara" in The Nutcracker, "Swanhilda" in Coppélia, "Aurora" in The Sleeping Beauty, "Juliet" in Romeo and Juliet, "the sylph" in La Sylphide, "Lise" in La Fille Mal Gardée, "Odette/Odile" in Swan Lake, "Nikiya" inThe Kingdom of the Shades, "the Mazurka" and pas de deux in Les Sylphides, and "the sleepwalker" inLa Sonnambula. Major choreographers have been inspired to create new works for her; namely, a production of Firebird by George Balanchine when she was seventeen, several ballets by Jerome Robbins, and Antony Tudor's The Leaves are Fading and The Tiller in the Fields. Ms. Kirkland's guest appearances with leading companies are notably the critically acclaimed performances of The Sleeping Beauty and MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet with The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, and in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet with The Stuttgart Ballet. On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's 60th Birthday Gala at Covent Garden, she performed the balcony pas de deux with Anthony Dowell. Her appearances on American and British television include Live from Lincoln Center and the film version of Baryshnikov's The Nutcracker. Retirement from the stage in 1986 marked Ms. Kirkland's transition into teaching and coaching in institutions such as American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet, and The Australian Ballet. In the 1990's she was Professor of Dance at Adelphi University in New York. Gelsey Kirkland and Greg Lawrence are the authors of her first autobiography Dancing on my Grave published in 1986, her second autobiography titled The Shape of Love published in 1990, and a children's book called The Little Ballerina and Her Dancing Horsepublished in 1993. In 2002-2005 she taught at the Victorian College of the Arts and was director of the ballet program at Danceworld 301. Ms. Kirkland studied the Vaganova Method under Robert Ray at the Victorian College of the Arts. She continued intensive teacher training under Nina Osipyan. In 2006 -2008 she collaborated with Kevin McKenzie and Michael Chernov in the staging and additional choreography for The Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theatre, as well as appearing as the "Fairy Carabosse" in that production. In 2010, Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Chernov founded Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, and in 2013, they founded the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Studio Company.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.GKartscenter.org or call (212) 600-0047.

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