A&A Ballet Announces Principal Cast for SLEEPING BEAUTY
A&A BALLET (A&A), under the artistic direction of Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev, has announced the principal casting for "Sleeping Beauty," which will be performed at Chicago's Studebaker Theatre (410 S. Michigan Ave), May 4, 2019 at 2 p.m. and 7p.m. The production will star A&A BALLET Youth Company Member and 2019 Youth America Grand Prix honoree Trinity Santoro as Princess Aurora during the matinee staging, A&A BALLET Youth Company Member and recipient of American Ballet Theater's National Scholarship Grace Curry as Princess Aurora at the evening performance and BalletMet company member Michael Sayre as the Prince at both performances.
Cursed by a wicked fairy, the newborn Princess Aurora is fated to die from a prick to her finger on her sixteenth birthday. A good fairy intervenes to alter the wicked fairy's tragic spell: instead of dying, Princess Aurora and her entire kingdom, will fall into a deep sleep. Only true love's kiss will unleash the power to awaken her and the rest of her kingdom.
The production is choreographed by Kremnev and Reznik and features Tchaikovsky's beloved score. The sets feature projections of original illustrations by renowned 19th century book illustrator Gustave Doré. Costumes are designed by Lisa Weller, Carolyn Fay and Laura Skarich and lighting is by Cat Wilson.
"Sleeping Beauty" is Kremnev's ninth full-length ballet and his work has been presented at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Lincoln Center in New York, and the Opernhaus Zurich in Switzerland, among other prestigious venues across the globe. The Huffington Post describes his choreography as "encompassing the best and brilliance of what movement can be while breaking boundaries of what we know."
A&A Ballet was recently awarded "Outstanding School Award" at the 2019 Youth American Grand Prix, while several company members also brought home distinguished awards, including "Best Choreographer" and "Best Ensemble."
The premier will open at 2 p.m. on May 4, followed by a second performance at 7 p.m. Tickets for Kremnev's "Sleeping Beauty" range from $25-$45 and are available now at https://www.aacenterfordance.org/box-office.
Alexei Kremnev founded A&A BALLET with Anna Reznik in 2016. He also has his own distinguished career in ballet as a dancer. In 2001, Kremnev was recognized as one of the Most Influential People in the Arts in Cincinnati and was elected to the Advisory Board on Eastern Europe for Illinois under Senator Mark Kirk in 2011. Under his leadership, the Southold Dance Theatre was named Outstanding School at YAGP in 2008, and the Joffrey Academy of Dance claimed the same title at YAGP every year they participated in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016 and A&A BALLET in 2019. Kremnev's artistic vision was essential in the creation and success of the Gala of the International Ballet Stars in Cincinnati, Children's Ballet Theatre Series, and Winning Works: Choreographers of Color at the Joffrey Ballet. During his time as Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet Academy and the Joffrey Studio Company, Kremnev created sixteen new works at the Joffrey. In 2013, Kremnev received the Achievement Award in Culture from the Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI), and the Business Leaders Award from the American Councils for International Education and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the United States Department of State in 2017.
Anna Reznik founded A&A BALLET with Alexei Kremnev in 2016. Prior to that, she had her own illustrious ballet career. She was featured nationwide in the PBS Holiday Specials "Love is Here to Stay" and "A Family Thanksgiving." In 2002, Reznik was recognized as one of the most influential people in the Arts in Cincinnati. She has been praised for her extraordinary ability to work with today's young dancers. Her thorough knowledge of the most current teaching methods and styles has produced many dancers who have been accepted into some of the most prestigious companies worldwide, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Staatsoper Berlin, Dresden Semperoper, Norwegian National Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Polish National Ballet, Estonian National Ballet, New Zealand Royal Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet, Kansas City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Sarasota Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Tulsa Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dortmund Ballet, Complexions and many others. In 2007, 2017 and 2018 Reznik received the Outstanding Teacher Award at the YAGP. Under her leadership, the Southold Dance Theatre was named Outstanding School at YAGP in 2008, and the Joffrey Academy of Dance claimed the same title at YAGP every year they participated in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016 and A&A BALLET in 2019. Reznik also received the Achievement Award in Culture from the Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) and is a former founding Artistic Director of the Joffrey Academy and the Joffrey Studio Company.
Grace Curry is a member of A&A BALLET's Youth Company and American Ballet Theater's National Scholar (2017-2019). She was awarded with Grand Prix in the Junior Age Division at the Youth America Grand Prix in 2017, and at the 2017 Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York, Curry finished in the top 12 in both the Classical Dance and Contemporary Dance categories representing A&A BALLET at the Lincoln Center. She performed the titular role in Kremnev's production of "Cinderella" in May 2018.
Trinity Santoro is A&A BALLET's Youth Company Member and 2019 Youth America Grand Prix Chicago Junior Age Division 1st place winner in the Classical Dance category and 3rd place in Contemporary Dance. She has received many other prizes including the World Ballet Competition 2017 Gold Medal, Youth America Grand Prix Chicago 2017 1st place in Classical Dance and 1st place for Pas de Deux, 2017 Youth America Grand Prix Finals top 12 for Pas de Deux, and Youth America Grand Prix Chicago 2016 & 2015 2nd place for Classical & Contemporary Dance. She has performed in several leading roles in A&A BALLET's productions, including Cinderella in the 2018 production of "Cinderella," and as Clara in the 2018 & 2017 productions of "The Art Deco Nutcracker." She has studied abroad at the 2018 Royal Ballet Summer intensive, is and a recipient of prestigious scholarships from the Harid Conservatory and Houston Ballet. Additionally, Santoro models for Weissman DWS, The Pointe Shop, and Shirley Hamilton Talent.
BalletMet company member Michael Sayre started dancing at age 3 at Southold Dance Theater in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. He began training under Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev at age 9 at Southold and continued his training with them at the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. After graduating from the trainee program at Joffrey, he joined BalletMet in 2013. Over his five years at BalletMet, he has performed soloist and principal roles in ballets by choreographers such as Edwaard Liang, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Val Caniparoli and others. Some of his most memorable roles in story ballets include Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet," Hilarion in "Giselle," the Prince in "Cinderella" as well as the Nutcracker Prince in "The Nutcracker." Last season, Sayre had the privilege of performing the improvisation solo at the beginning of Ohad Naharin's "Minus 16" and dancing James Kudelka's "Man in Black."
A&A BALLET, based in Chicago's historic Fine Arts Building on Michigan Ave. currently in residence of the American Rhythm Center, is devoted to training in strong, versatile dance technique, as well as the development of personality, independence and artistry. Led by internationally acclaimed artists and former Founding Artistic Directors of the Joffrey Academy and Joffrey Studio Company, Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev, A&A offers a wide variety of classes, professional performance opportunities, private instruction, choreography and training for dancers ranging from age 3 to adult. To date, A&A students have secured 60 full scholarships and nine apprentice and studio company positions with powerhouses including American Ballet Theater, Houston Ballet, Princess Grace Academy of Monaco, Bolshoi Ballet, Colorado Ballet, BalletMet and Sarasota Ballet. For more information visit aacenterfordance.org or call 312.545.2142.