Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory's NUTCRACKER WINTER SUITE Will Star Nikita Boris and Justin Valentine

Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory of New York returns to Symphony Space with Kozlova's delightful new production of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Winter Suite," running slightly over one hour - Saturday December 3 at 7 PM. This year's production will star Nikita Boris as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Justin Valentine as her Cavalier.

At the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition last April in NYC, the young dancers were both awarded scholarships to the Vaganova Ballet Academy, directed by Nikolai Tsisaridze, in St. Petersburg, Russia. By December, Nikita will have completed her two-month scholarship at the school, and Justin will return to Moscow to continue his one-year scholarship. Other dancers will be drawn from Kozlova's midtown ballet school, where her teaching method combines the Bolshoi School with Balanchine methods of training, and the cast includes several remarkable young dancers who have won medals in ballet competitions around the world.

The production is ALL-DANCE, and opens with the Snow Scene, continuing into the Act II divertissements, including the Waltz of the Flowers, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, the Russian, Chinese and Arabian dances, and more - all danced to the beloved music of Tchaikovsky. Kozlova, a former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet, has staged these dances after the original by Marius Petipa and Vainonen (formerly with the Kirov Ballet), and Margo Sappington has arranged the production.

Valentina Kozlova was trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School, graduated into the Bolshoi Ballet Company and soon rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. She was the youngest dancer ever to dance the role of Juliet, and appeared in principal roles until 1979, when she defected while the Company was on tour in Los Angeles. The ballerina guested with companies around the world, starred on Broadway in "On Your Toes," and joined New York City Ballet as Principal Dancer, at the invitation of George Balanchine, remaining with that company until 1995. With Margo Sappington, Kozlova directed her own Ballet: The Daring Projects for several seasons, and also became coach and judge for ballet competitions around the world. Kozlova directs her own midtown school as well as the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition, presented twice in Boston and four times in New York. The 7th VKIBC is scheduled for June 2017 at Symphony Space, NYC.

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