Marina Kesler graduated from the Tallinn School of Choreography in 1988 from the class of Tiiu Randviir and joined the ballet troupe of the Estonian National Opera. In 1992–2010 she worked as a teacher at the Tallinn Ballet School.Since 2010, she works as a repetiteur at the Estonian National Ballet. In 1997, she obtained master’s degree from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS, Moscow). At the Estonian National Opera she has been the choreographer for several opera and operetta productions. She has created works also for Bel-Etage and Endla theatres.
She came among the three best at the X International Moscow Choreographers’ Competition 2005 and received a prize for the dance piece “Danse sacral”(I. Stravinsky) and for “Ne me quitte pas” (J. Brel). Marina Kesler received the Annual Estonian Theatre award in 2007 for “Werewolf” (Estonian National Opera) and in 2021 for her production of “Anna Karenina” (Estonian National Opera) to the music of Dmitry Shostakovich. In 2011 and 2021, she was awarded the Colleague Prize of the Estonian Professional Dancers’ Union and in 2021 the Ida Urbel grant by the Estonian Ballet Union.
“One Day” (2006)
“Bernarda Alba’s House”(2008)
“Werewolf” (to the music of L. Sumera, R. Kangro, A. Pärt and L. Auster, 2007)
“Othello” (to the music of A. Pärt, 2010; Israel Ballet Company, 2012; ESTO Days in San Francisco, 2013)
“The Generous Tree” (Nargenfestival, composer Tauno Aints, 2011)
Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” (2012)
Tubin’s “The Goblin” (2015)
“Death and the Maiden” (2015)
“Taming of the Shrew” (2018, Jerusalem Ballet)
“Three Sisters” (2019)
“Anna Karenina” to the music of Dmitry Shostakovich (2020)
“The Glass Menagerie” (2021)
Ballet Master for the following productions:
Schiavoni’s “Medea”, “Alice in Wonderland”
Balanchine’s “Serenade”, “Who Cares?”
Edur’s “The Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake”, “La bayadère”
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Birkadze trained at the National Academy of Dance of Tbilisi with Vakhtang Chabukiany. He was invited to attend the Bolshoi Ballet Academy where he graduated with Honors in Classical Ballet, Pas de Deux, and Traditional Dance. Birkadze was awarded the Gold Medal in Moscow in World History and Literature. Upon graduating from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, he furthered his studies as a Pedagogy in Dance.
Birkadze has danced and choreographed throughout Europe with an international career dancing for the Bolshoi Ballet, Kremlin Ballet, Corella Ballet de España, CND among others. He was appointed Artistic Director of BMK Company, bringing elite dancers from around the world to perform in their galas.
As a choreographer, Birkadze has created numerous works for world renowned companies and dancers. He has also worked extensively on opera productions rising to Lead Assistant to Production at the Gran Teatro de Liceo, and Assistant Choreographer to David McVicar. He has also worked closely with Yuri Grigorovich, Christopher Wheeldon, Natalia Makarova and performed works especially by Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, and Stanton Welch to critical acclaim. Birkadze has since created new works for companies throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States, and was recently on faculty at the Boston Ballet.
Birkadze is currently artistic director of The Dallas Conservatory’s professional division, Classical Training Program, and continues to travel internationally for his choreography and other artistic ventures.