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Politics Aside, Donetsk Ballerina to Teach at Wissahickon Dance Academy

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She’s taking a detour.  The airport in Donetsk is closed due to civil unrest as Russian and Ukrainian cultures clash.  The trains are to be shut down after June 14.  The city has imposed a 10 o’clock curfew for all residents.  Irina Komarenko, Principal Dancer for the Donetsk Ballet Company, will be traveling to Kiev by train before the shutdown.  From there, she will board an airplane destined for New York and will be brought to Philadelphia by Nancy Malmed, Artistic Director of Wissahickon Dance Academy (WDA) where she is slated to direct the summer ballet intensive which begins June 23.

This will be the third year that WDA has brought Irina Komarenko to teach this very unique summer ballet program.  She has danced all of the major roles in Donetsk Ballet productions including Don QuIxote, Swan lake, Sleeping Beauty, Spartacus, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker.  She is fluent in English, having spent six years as Principal Dancer for Indianapolis Ballet.  Like all dancers from the former Soviet Union, she teaches the Vaganova method of classical ballet, a standardized Russian system that stresses strength, flexibility, and artistic expression that has produced some of the greatest dancers in the world.

Irina enraptured Philadelphia audiences this past December with her performance in The Nutcracker. So, students are excited to have her as their teacher this summer.  Adding to the international flavor,  former PA Ballet soloist, Yosbel Delgado, from Cuba, will teach advanced classes and partnering.  The Cuban training is also Vaganova based since their country was a Soviet satellite.

The staff also includes Donald Lunsford, Artistic Director of Philadanco II teaching jazz and modern,  Svetlana Lutz teaching character, and Meghan Dwyer teaching yoga,  rounding out  an interesting international brew of cultures.

The three week course runs from June 23 – July 11 and is for intermediate and advanced ballet dancers ages 10 -22.  It runs from 9:30 to 3:30 everyday and will culminate in a studio performance and reception.

For information, contact the studio at 215-849-7950, or email wissahickodance@verizon.net or visit the website a www.wissahickondance.com.

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