Newsletter Summer 2014 ABA has been awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Performances

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1 Newsletter Summer 2014 ABA has been awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Inside this issue: Performances Community Involvement Grant Award Our Supporters Summer Intensives Auditions Testimonials A Peek Inside ABA Links The Akhmedova Ballet Academy is dedicated to providing the finest quality ballet training utilizing the Vaganova Method with personal and artistic mentoring to prepare young talented dancers to become strong and fully developed artists for the 21st century ready to take their places in major dance companies around the world. Performances Spring Festival of Russian Ballet: On May 30th, ABA dancers and recent graduates presented a mixed bill which included the ballet Paquita as well as character dances and original contemporary works at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring. In the audience were VIPs County Executive, Ike Leggett, his wife, Catherine Leggett, and arts advocate Busy Graham. Mrs. Leggett gave the opening remarks.

2 Community Involvement ABA students performed at Career Day for hundreds of students at Sargent Shriver ES on April 29 th and at Arcola ES on June 3 rd. Dancers not only performed classical solo variations and character pieces but were available to answer student questions. In May, ABA students attended the Bolshoi Ballet performance of Giselle at the Kennedy Center. In June, Mme. Akhmedova escorted her dancers to the National Gallery of Arts in Washington D.C. to view the works of Degas, Renoir, and other impressionists.

3 ABA has received a grant from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County to purchase costumes for its new production entitled Nutcracker Sweets. In addition to its own students, ABA will be recruiting 20 young dancers, between the ages of 9 and 12, to perform in the show. Auditions for the Nutcracker will take place at the ABA studio on September 20 th at 12:30 pm. Dancers will be selected based upon their coordination, musicality, and ability to learn repertoire. To register for the audition, please Mme. Akhmedova at The show will not only be performed at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center on December 19 th, but will also be taken to several senior citizen homes in Montgomery County. This project has several important goals. First, it will increase access to live art. By taking Nutcracker Sweets to these facilities, ABA will increase cultural enrichment of county residents, support direct interactions between artists and community audiences, reach audiences it does not typically serve, and provide access to the live arts for audiences who would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience such programs. Second, it will deliver a valuable arts experience to young Montgomery County students. ABA will provide quality dance rehearsals and the chance to perform on a professional stage in front of a live audience to 20 young county students. Since ABA is charging only a very nominal fee, it may be providing access to the arts to young students who may otherwise not have the opportunity to experience such programs. Third, it will help ABA dancers become more experienced performers. Learning and performing Nutcracker Sweets will increase the student's classical repertoire and experience with story ballets. Performing it in community based venues such as senior citizen communities will teach them the importance of sharing their gifts and talents while providing a diverse audience with quality entertainment. Thank you to our supporters

4 Summer Intensives Committed to excellence, ABA offers the serious dance student, 12-19, a comprehensive and challenging summer experience. Individual attention and daily coaching is provided to help students develop artistically. Classes offered include ballet technique, pointe, repertoire, contemporary, Pilates, nutrition, and private coaching. Each session ends with a demonstration to allow students to perform the variations and choreographies learned. Session I ended with a highly successful demonstration performance which took place Friday, July 18th at Dance Exchange in Takoma Park. The show not only featured summer intensive participants but also 2 of ABA graduates Abigail Kasten of First State Ballet in Delaware and Deanna Pearson of the Houston Ballet in Texas. Session II had a record attendance this year with dancers from all over the east coast. This allowed ABA to rent a summer home where the dancers could stay with an ABA adult chaperone. During their free time, the dancers enjoyed biking, shopping, photo shoots, a BBQ at Mme. Akhmedova s house, and trips to several beaches and towns. The program concluded with a studio show at the Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans.

5 Auditions Audition for ABA s Professional Training Program for 2015/2016 will take place in February 2015 at the Akhmedova Ballet Academy, Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD Only a limited number of slots are available. Interested students can audition at that time or send in an audition video. For additional audition and registration information, please Mme. Akhmedova at Testimonial I heard about the Akhmedova Ballet Academy (ABA) and Mme. Jacqueline Akhmedova through a friend at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. After studying at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia, I came home in the summer and trained at ABA. After just a month of classes with Mme. Akhmedova, I fell in love. I knew that in order to take the next step in my ballet career, I needed to stay and train with Madame in the Professional Training Program. This past year in the PTP program has been challenging, yet very rewarding. Mme. Akhmedova is the best teacher you will find that cares about each of her students and pushes them every day to be the greatest dancer and person they can be! I ve learned more classical repertoire in the PTP program than I ever have, and Mme. Akhmedova strives to perfect every aspect of the Vaganova technique. I feel I ve grown as a ballet dancer and artist and gained a large load of knowledge just through my first year in the PTP program at the Akhmedova Ballet Academy. I am excited to see what my future holds, but until then I will continue to work hard and train with my incredible teacher and mentor, Jacqueline Akhmedova. Natalie Schott PTP Student

6 A Peek inside ABA On June 7 th, ABA students and their families enjoyed the End of the Year Celebration BBQ at the home of Mme. Akhmedova and Mr. Tibbitts. Delicious food, fun games, and pleasant conversations were enjoyed by ABA dancers and their families. Links: Mme. Akhmedova began dancing as a child in Munich at the Roleff-King Ballet School and the Munich State Opera Ballet School. After graduating with honors from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and the Ukrainian Academy of Dance in Kiev, with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Ballet Performance, Pedagogy, and Choreography, she had a professional career of more than 20 years. She was a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet in Tashkent, the Munich State Opera Ballet, and the Vienna State Opera Ballet, dancing every leading role in the classical and contemporary repertoire and was a guest artist with major companies worldwide. Her students have won such prestigious competitions as the Youth America Grand Prix, Prix de Lausanne, and Tanzolymp and have gone on to successful careers in such companies as American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, etc. She has also judged influential international ballet competitions and taught master classes throughout the world. Mme. Akhmedova taught advanced students at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. for seven years. She also prepared students for competitions, choreographed, and advised them on their careers, helping them pursue their dreams of dancing with professional companies. She was then the Ballet Master for CityDance Ensemble and the CityDance Conservatory Ballet Program at the Strathmore Center of the Arts in Bethesda, MD before opening the Akhmedova Ballet Academy in Silver Spring, MD in 2011.

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