Andrea Lassakova was born in Dolny Kubin, Slovakia, and received her dance training exclusively with Klara Skodova at the Eva Jacz Dance Conservatory in Bratislava, the primary training facility for the Slovak National Ballet. She graduated from the Conservatory in 2011, and the same year joined the Slovak National Theatre as a demi-soloist, where she performed roles in ballets including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, the Swan Lake, Giselle and The Little Prince.
In 2013-2014, Andrea moved to Finland and became a dancer of the Youth Company of the Finnish National Ballet. In 2014-2015, she joined the Finnish National Ballet’s Main Company. In 2015, Andrea moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, and joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet by invitation as soloist, and was promoted to the rank of First Soloist in 2021, dancing major principal repertoire including Odette/Odile in the Swan Lake, Medora in Le Corsaire, Gamzatti in La Bayadere, Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote, Queen of Willis in Giselle, Fairy of the Summer in Cinderella and Sylvia variation from Coppélia by Messerer.
Andrea was one of the few ballerinas to work under the tutelage of Madame Tatiana Nikolaevna Legat. From 2021-22 she was coached by former Kirov Ballet Prima Ballerina Zhanna Ayupova and worked frequently with choreographers Nacho Duato, Oleg Vinogradov, and Mikhail Messerer.
Ekaterina Malkovich was born in Abakan, Russia, and she is World Ballet Series principal dancer. The former Ural Opera Ballet star and two-time nominee for the coveted Golden Mask Award says of the role: “I think that my own character and worldview are somewhat similar to that of Cinderella. Despite her circumstances, she looks at the world with kindness and never allows anger or grief to get the better of her.”
Ekaterina graduated from Novosibirsk State Choreographic College, formerly Perm State Ballet School (class of the Honored Artist of Russia Galina Vedenina). She joined the Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theater’s Ural Opera Ballet in 2013. Malkovich has danced numerous soloist and principal roles including Giselle in Giselle, Gamzatti in La Bayadere, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Paquita in Yuri Krasavin’s Paquita (2019) for Ural Opera Ballet. She has garnered many awards, including Laureate of the International Competition of Choreographic Educational Institutions “Orleu” (Kazakhstan, 2010) and Diploma of the International Competition of Ballet Dancers “Arabesque” (Perm, 2016), and earned nominations as best artist for the prestigious Golden Mask Award in 2017 as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and in 2018 as Giannina in Naiad and the Fisherman.
Ekaterina took up gymnastics at five years old and began dancing a year later. Her professional dance career started when she was ten.
After completing her training at the Novosibirsk State Choreographic College, she went on to perform at Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre for over nine years.
Ekaterina performed on the main stages of the Bolshoi Theatre, Stanislavsky Theatre, and Alexandrinsky theatre, as well as the Samara Theatre and Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet Theatre as an invited Prima.
Ekaterina’s favorite character is Alice in Wonderland – she is strong and brave but at the same time naive and honest. She is very smart despite her young age.
Ekaterina’s dream is to one day open her own ballet school.
Konstantin Geronik was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and graduated from the Belarusian State Choreographic College in 2010 with distinction. He joined the ballet company of the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus. He has danced numerous leading roles and his repertoire includes Basilio in Don Quixote, Ali in Le Corsaire, The Bronze Idol in La Bayadère, James in Sylphide, Prince in The Nutcracker, Siegfried, Joker and Pas-de-trois in the Swan Lake, Chipollino in Chipollino, Desire, Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Peasant Pas de deux in Giselle, Frondoso in Laurencia, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. Geronik has toured Germany, France, Spain, China, Japan, The Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, and Poland as a principal dancer.
He has received multiple international awards and nominations, including: 1st Prize at the Young Ballet of the World competition in Sochi (2010), 1st Prize at the Tanzolymp competition in Berlin (2011), 1st Prize winner of The 4 Beijing International Ballet Invitational for Dance Schools & International Dance Performance Series (2012), the 3rd Prize winner of The International Competition of The Ballet Artists in Astana in 2016, the 2017 National Theatre Award as the best male dancer for his lead role in Le Petit Prince, and in 2018 Konstantin received the title of The Honored Artist of Belarus.
Konstantin also had an artistic collaboration with the founder and director of the international festival World Ballet Stars Vadym Pysarev and has performed as a guest artist at Nina Ananiashvili’s Gala Concert, who has been described by the Daily Telegraph as one of the twelve greatest ballerinas of all time.
CORPS DE BALLET
Marcos Ramirez is currently a Lead Dancer with Los Angeles Ballet. Joined the National Ballet of Cuba at the age of 17 and then Los Angeles Ballet in 2020, where he has performed the roles of Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, The Cavalier Prince in The Nutcracker, Gustave in Lady of the Camellias, and other leading roles in contemporary pieces such as Ghosts by Christopher Wheeldon and Bloom by Anabel Lopez Ochoa.
He has also performed in international Galas in Italy and Cuba. Marcos was awarded 1st and 2nd place in international competitions in Cuba and 1st place in YAGP regionals.
As a Guest Dancer, Marcos has performed roles such as “Flames of Paris,” “Don Quixote 3rd act pas de deux,” “The Nutcracker,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and many others.
Currently a dancer of Los Angeles Ballet.
Kate Inoue is currently a lead dancer with Los Angeles Ballet. Her repertoire with the company includes performing Aurora and Princess Florine in “The Sleeping Beauty,” the Marie (Sugar Plum Fairy) in “The Nutcracker,” Nichette in Val Caniparoli’s “The Lady of the Camellias,” “Bloom” by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s “Morphoses” and “Fool’s Paradise” and much more. As a guest dancer, she has performed the Grand Pas De Deux of “The Nutcracker,” “Don Quixote” Act III Pas De Deux and “Flames of Paris” Pas De Deux. In 2017, she was awarded second place at the Crea Ballet Competition in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Rasmus Ahlgren began his training at the Ballet School of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet in Helsinki, Finland in 2005. He later trained at the Helsinki Ballet Academy and the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 2018, Ahlgren joined the Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre as Second Soloist and was promoted to First Soloist in 2020. He joined the Finnish National Ballet as a junior company member in 2022.
Ahlgren’s repertoire includes George Balanchine’s Apollo, Mikhail Fokine’s Les Sylphides, William Forsythe’s The Second Detail, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet (Romeo, Benvolio), Natalia Makarova’s Swan Lake (pas de trois), Marius Petipa’s Le Corsaire (Ali), Anton Pimonov’s Sleeping Beauty (Prince Desire), Jerome Robbins’ Winter, and Rostislav Zakharov’s The Fountain of Bakhchisarai(Vaslav).
Ahlgren was Silver Medal winner at VKIBC in 2017. He received the Bronze Medal and the Marius Petipa prize for academicism and clean classical ballet at Arabesque in 2020.
Rasmus Ahlgren joined Boston Ballet as an artist of the Company in 2022.
Aviva Gelfer – Mundl
Aviva Gelfer-Mundl was born in Fullerton, Southern California, and began her ballet training at age 10. By age 12, she won the Gold Medal at the Youth America Grand Prix, NYC Finals, which allowed her to study, on scholarship, at Canada’s National Ballet School. In 2018, Gelfer-Mundl was the only American to win a Prize at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition granting a scholarship to study at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. Later that year, she became the Grand Prize winner in the Music Center Spotlight Awards and was awarded 2nd Prize at the VII Vaganova Prix International Ballet Competition. In 2022, she was additionally awarded the Elaine Koshimizu Scholarship for Excellence in Dance.
While a student she performed soloist roles on the some world’s most coveted stages including David H. Koch Theater, Walt Disney Hall, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Mariinsky Theatre, Boston Opera House, and with the National Ballet of Canada. After graduation, Gelfer-Mundl spent two seasons with Boston Ballet II.
Gelfer-Mundl joined Los Angeles Ballet in 2023. In her first season with the company, she performed principal roles in the company’s productions of The Nutcracker and was a part of Melissa Barak’s World Premier of Memoryhouse. She is elated to be performing at World Ballet Festival 2024!
Regarded as a “dance luminary” (Washington Post), “pure joy in toe shoes” (Los Angeles Times), and “the ballerina who can stop time (and re-start it too)” (New York Times), Tiler Peck is widely recognized as one of the top American ballerinas of our time. A Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet (NYCB), an actress, choreographer, author, and designer, Peck continues to evolve as an artist and add to her extensive repertoire.
In May of 2022, Peck curated and directed the highly anticipated inaugural Artists at the Center for New York City Center, and has since developed the program into the critically acclaimed show, Turn it Out with Tiler Peck and Friends. The program, which features premieres from William Forsythe, Alonzo King, Jillian Meyers and Michelle Dorrance, enjoyed a sold-out world premiere in New York City and a European debut in London at the prestigious Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
Now, Tiler is excited to be touring the show in her home state of California.
This past fall Peck had choreographic premieres at Northern Ballet in Leeds and at Cincinatti Ballet and is making her first ballet for New York City Ballet this February.
Tiler added the title of curator when she launched and starred in the Los Angeles Music Center’s presentation of BalletNOW. She was the subject of the Hulu feature documentary, Ballet Now, and also choreographed the box office smash action movie, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
She performed with Josh Groban at Radio City Music Hall in a special streamed later on PBS, she appeared in Season 7 of Ray Donovan opposite Liev Shreiber and the Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things, and was the first ballerina ever to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Tiler also guested on Dancing with the Stars for three seasons and on Julie Andrews’ Netflix series, Julie’s
Greenroom, and starred in the film Ballet 422.
Born in Bakersfield, California, Tiler began her dance training at the age of two at her mom’s dance studio. At 14, she entered the School of American Ballet. The same year, she became an apprentice with NYCB and within a few months was asked to join the corps de ballet. Tiler was promoted to Soloist in 2006 and to Principal Dancer in 2009.
At 11, Tiler made her Broadway debut in The Music Man and next appeared on Broadway as Ivy Smith in the Tony-nominated On The Town. She played Louise in the Emmy-nominated production of Carousel (New York Philharmonic, Live From Lincoln Center) and more recently played the title role in Susan Stroman’s musical, Little Dancer (Kennedy Center). She is due to star in the production on Broadway.
Tiler had the honor of performing for President Obama at the 2012 and 2014 Kennedy Center Honors. She was the 2004 Mae L Wien Award winner, the Janice Levin Honoree for 2006-2007, winner of the Léonide Massine’s Positano Premia La Danza for International Emerging Artists, and a 2004 recipient of a Princess Grace Foundation–USA Dance Fellowship. In 2013, she was named in Forbes 30 under 30 in Hollywood Entertainment and won the Princess Grace Statue Award. She also received the 2016 Dance Magazine Award. Tiler developed and produced a daily ballet class, #TurnItOutWithTiler, initially aimed at helping people stay connected and moving during the pandemic. The show’s down to earth tone coupled with its very necessary purpose attracted the attention of enthusiasts like Jennifer Garner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Leslie
Odom Jr and Josh Groban, who all guested on the show.
Her first children’s book, Katarina Ballerina (Simon & Schuster) was published in 2020, and Katarina’s adventures continue in Katarina Ballerina & The Victory Dance (2022), where she helps a fellow ballet dancer follow his dreams.
With a passion and keen eye for fashion, Tiler recently launched the “Love, Tiler” collection with Só Dança and designed the capsule collection, Tiler Peck X STATESIDE, in collaboration with the popular Los Angeles-based womenswear line. Her second capsule collection for STATESIDE was released in early 2023.
Roman Mejia was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and began studying ballet at age 3 with his mother and father. At age 13, he entered the Mejia Ballet Academy.
Mr. Mejia attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet’s official school, in 2014 and 2015 before entering SAB full-time for the 2015 winter term. In August 2017, Mr. Mejia became an apprentice with NYCB, and he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in November 2017.
Mr. Mejia was promoted to the rank of soloist in October 2021 and Principal Dancer in February 2023.
In 2019, Dance Magazine featured Mr. Mejia as one of their “25 To Watch” picks, and he became a recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Foundation – USA Dance Fellowship. In 2020, Mr. Mejia was named a Clives Barnes finalist.
His repertory includes leading roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon among many others.
Most recently, he starred in Twyla Tharp’s TWYLA NOW and Tiler Peck’s Artists at the Center at New York City Center. Mr. Mejia was the Vail Dance Festival’s 2022 Artists in Residence.
Angelina loves ballet for its vivaciousness. She was born in Pleshenitsy – a small town in Belarus- and took up gymnastics when she was six, then gradually moved on to ballet by age ten. Angelina received her training at the Belarusian State Choreographic Gymnasium-College, and she also graduated from the Belarus State University of Arts and Culture with a degree in Cultural Studies.
Angelina’s least favorite parts are those rather static roles which require more walking than dancing. She enjoys herself the most when moving and expressing herself in various characters and styles. The most challenging dance moves for her are the ones that require turnout – Angelina had to work hard on her turnout from an early age.
A piece of advice to her younger self: Always find good use for your free time. Keep improving, and never doubt yourself. You can do it!
Ekaterina likes trying new techniques in ballet and dreams of visiting Paris.
Ekaterina was born in Kaliningrad. She started dancing when she was eight years old – first as a member of the ensemble called “The Dream”. After some time, when she realized that dance was more than a hobby for her, Ekaterina moved to Minsk, Belarus, to receive her professional ballet performer training at the Choreography College.
Ekaterina danced on the stages of the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus, Royal Opera House Muscat, and other renowned venues. Her roles include Maria in La Halte de Cavalerie, the Beloved in Straussiana, The Fairy of Generosity in Sleeping Beauty, Step Sister in Cinderella, Angela in Creation of the World, and Little Swan in Swan Lake.
Ekaterina’s least favorite ballet move is assemblé. She also came to learn that sometimes a new part that seems wrong at the beginning – it may contain a challenging technique, or an unusual character temperament – becomes her favorite through the work process. Ekaterina likes to find ways to bring color to a character and make it uniquely her own. Thus, she turns the roles that she initially disliked into the best and most interesting ones.
Ekaterina’s favorite fairy tale character is the Little Prince because he teaches us to look within, to be loyal and responsible, and to value friendship and love. Her favorite ballet role is Giselle.
A piece of advice to her younger self: Be brave, don’t be afraid of anything, because the dream is stronger than fear.
ELDIIAR MARAT UULU
Maksim was born in Minsk, Belarus, and started dancing when he was 6. His dance career began in a ballroom dancing class, but after a while, Maksim found himself in the world of ballet. He received his training at the Belarusian State Choreographic Gymnasium-College and was invited to the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus. Since then, Maksim has performed on various stages across the world.
Maksim does not have the least favorite dance moves; there are only those he is yet to master. His least favorite character is Crassus in Spartacus – he is vain, full of hubris, and thinks he is invincible out of ignorance.
A piece of advice to his younger self: Have more confidence in yourself!
Harukawas born in Japan and started studying ballet in Kyoto when she was 7 years old.
In 2013-2015 she trained at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet (class of Professor Lyudmila Kovaleva). In 2015-2022 she worked at the Astrakhan State Theater of Opera and Ballet in Russia, and from 2017 was promoted to leading soloist.
She is the 3rd prize winner of the Russian-Japanese Eurasia competition 2019. She toured Germany, England, Spain, and China.
The highlighted roles of her career include: Masha/Princess in The Nutcracker, Giselle in Giselle, Aurora, Princess Florine in Sleeping beauty, Pas de trois in the Swan Lake, Queen of Dryads, Street Dancer in Don Quixote. Also, Sylphide in La Sylphide, Black Swan Pas de dux from Swan Lake, Pas de dux from Talisman, Pas de dux from Le Corsaire 3rd act, and more.
Haruka’sdream is to have her own big book library. Her favorite fairy tale is The Three Musketeers, which she read many times as a child. She is especially fond of the characters of D’Artagnan and Athos, because they are brave and smart, fight against evil, and their resourcefulness gets them out of any trouble they find themselves in.
Haruka likes a good choreographic challenge, and prefers complicated parts which allow for a range of movement. Her favorite ballet role is Giselle because Giselle is a very emotional, lyrical character, and she is in love. “When I dance Giselle, I can feel Giselle’s emotions, happiness, pain, sadness and love… and I want to convey these emotions to the audience” – she says.
Her advice to an aspiring ballet dancer is: Have no fear, dance with your soul, express your emotions, and have fun!
CORPS DE BALLET
JOY GILLIAN REDINGTON
CORPS DE BALLET
Born in Takamatsu, Japan, Makiko’s love for ballet began at the age of 10 when she started training at the Koike Ballet Studio and Emiko Ikemoto Ballet School in Hiroshima. Her pursuit of excellence led her to participate in the Summer School by the Washington School of Ballet. In 2008, she gained admission to the Perm Choreographic School, where she graduated with honors.
Makiko’s professional career as a ballet dancer spans over a decade, encompassing performances in various renowned theaters. From 2011 to 2017, she showcased her talent as a soloist at the Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theater, followed by a tenure at the Bashkir Opera and Ballet Theater from 2017 to 2020, where she excelled in both corps de ballet and solo roles.
Since 2021, Makiko has immersed herself in studying the Cecchetti ballet method as a ballet teacher with the “Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing” in England. Her dedication and talent were recognized in 2022 when she was awarded the “Teachers Study Award” by the Cecchetti Society Trust in England, earning a scholarship to join their prestigious Summer Seminar.
Driven by her love for ballet and a desire to inspire others, Makiko continues to pursue her dreams, aspiring to dance for as long as she can and to share the joy of ballet with audiences around the world.
Tatyana Sulyak found her passion for ballet at the tender age of 6 in her hometown of Pruzhany. By the age of 10, she had embarked on a journey to Minsk, enrolling in the Belarusian State Choreographic College, where she honed her skills for eight years. In 2018, Tanya joined the prestigious Bolshoi Theater of Belarus, gracing its stage until 2023.
With a repertoire spanning classics like Giselle, Swan Lake, Corsair, Bayadère, and Sleeping Beauty, Tanya’s versatility shines through. Her heart finds joy in portraying the spirited “gypsies” in Esmeralda and the enchanting “pussycat” in Sleeping Beauty. Since 2023, she has been enchanting audiences as a cast member of the World Ballet Company.
Tatyana’s favorite ballet character is the stepsister in Cinderella, a role that tugs at the heartstrings and brings smiles to viewers.
Away from the stage, Tanya dreams of extensive travel, a flourishing family, and setting an example for her children. A firm believer in the magic of effort, she draws inspiration from Harry Potter, reminding us that miracles happen with determination.
Tatyana Sulyak echoes the sentiments of her mentor, who once said, “You can do much more than you think.”