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Bossov Ballet Theatre

January 8, 2016

Maine dance program for learners, ages 4 to adult

I had the opportunity to visit Maine Central Institute recently to learn more about the Bossov Ballet Theatre. The staff was wonderful to meet with me and as a follow-up share the information below. I was very impressed with the dance instruction provided by the Artistic Director Natalya Getman and with the passion exhibited by the students in class and in a follow up conversation. If you have any questions about the program please contact Jen Beane at jbeane@mci-school.org.

IMG_1392Bossov Ballet Theatre (BBT) was founded on February 23, 1996 by Col. Michael D. Wyly and Andrei Bossov, a former principal dancer with St. Petersburg’s Kirov Ballet. Initially an independent corporation, Bossov Ballet Theatre was housed on the campus of Maine Central Institute (MCI) in Pittsfield, Maine. In 2013, BBT officially became a part of MCI.

BBT at MCI offers an after school program for students from ages 4 to adult. In addition, the program offers high school-aged students who qualify for the opportunity to study classical ballet (Russian style) as part of the academic curriculum. This unique program, the only one of its kind that we are aware of in the United States, allows students to earn full academic credit for ballet training. These students receive three and a half hours of ballet class during the school day, and two and a half hours on Saturday plus rehearsals. The curriculum includes technique, pointe, partnering, classic pointe variations, character, and acting.

IMG_1361In addition to ballet, students take a full college preparatory high school curriculum, grades 9 through 12. The ballet course counts for 2 credits each year and is continuous all four years. Students can matriculate as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors, depending on their previous credits earned at other institutions. Ballet and other academics are all on MCI’s campus along with dormitories and dining. Classes are small; the year-round ballet class includes 15 select students.

Historically, MCI’s ballet students have been the school’s highest achievers in terms of SAT scores and grade point average. Students who complete the program are uniquely positioned either to matriculate to an outstanding college or join a professional ballet company. BBT dancers have gone directly from their senior year in high school to companies and colleges such as the following.

Schools

  • Academic Ballet School of St. Petersburg, Russia (“Vaganova Academy”)
  • Hart School, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Suny Purchase, New York
  • Denison University, Granville, Ohio
  • Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
  • University of Utah, Utah

Ballet Companies

  • San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco, California
  • Ballet Met, Columbus, Ohio
  • Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, Illinois
  • Ballet Theater of Maryland, Annapolis, Maryland
  • Ballet Illinois, Peoria, Illinois
  • Bejart Ballet, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Columbia Classical Ballet, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Louisville Ballet, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Nashville Ballet, Nashville, Tennessee

Classes are taught by BBT Artistic Director Natalya Getman. Getman was born in Russia, where IMG_1368she was a gymnastics champion by the age of ten. She studied dance at the Leningrad Academy Choreographic School (Kirov Theater) and graduated with honors from the Uzbek Choreographic School. Upon graduation from the Uzbek School, she joined the Turkmenistan State Theater of Ballet and Opera. In 1995, Getman joined the Moscow Ballet and began touring with them to countries such as Turkey, Spain, Israel, and China. In 1999 she came to the United States with the Moscow Ballet to dance and teach choreography to local children to allow them to dance in the children’s roles with the visiting company when they traveled with The Nutcracker to their city. Getman joined Bossov Ballet Theatre in 2001 as an instructor and became Artistic Director in 2013.

BBT at MCI also offers a six-week Summer Intensive and students can apply to take 1, 5 or 6 IMG_1367weeks.  The five-week intensive program will culminate with a full performance of Don Quixote on Friday July 29 and Saturday July 30 at the Williamson Center for Performing Arts in Fairfield. In addition to Getman, the summer faculty includes Elena Petrichenko and Sergey Chumakov, soloists with the Moscow Ballet. Petrichenko and Chumakov perform both in the US and internationally and come to MCI each summer directly from Moscow.

In addition to the performance at the end of the Summer Intensive, each year BBT students have the opportunity to perform two full-length ballets that have been professionally staged at area theaters. BBT just completed its annual production of The Nutcracker and the school is looking forward to this year’s spring show, featuring The Ugly Duckling, at the Waterville Opera House on May 13 and 14.

Students who are interested in Bossov Ballet Theatre can visit the website at www.mci-IMG_1379school.org/ballet, email bossovballet@mci-school.org or call the Admission Office at 207-487-2282. Auditions are required as part of the admission process and can either be done in-person or by sending a video. Fees for the program are based on the class level in which the student is placed after auditioning. Merit scholarships are available for the year-round and summer intensive programs. Students who are interested in joining BBT are invited to visit a class, though an appointment should be made in advance.

BBT is fortunate to have students from around the country and the world. In addition to IMG_1371classical ballet, the program teaches students key skills including memorization, time management and discipline, which can aid students in all aspects of their lives. It also instills a deep love and appreciation for dance, music and the visual arts while allowing students to investigate their varying interests. The high school students are encouraged to join other student clubs and co-curricular activities while at MCI and have a “normal” high school career. Many of the students who choose to not pursue ballet professionally have gone on to very successful careers in medicine, communications, business and other areas.

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