Local dancer leaps to a professional dance career with Donetsk Ballet


Carinthia Bank (right) in costume for her debut performance with the Donetsk Ballet

When the acclaimed Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine brings its production of Peter Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, The Nutcracker, to Philadelphia, among its 18 professionals will be Carinthia Bank of Chestnut Hill, PA.

Bank, 18, studied at WissahickonDanceAcademy, in Germantown, from 2001 to 2008, then at the prestigious Kirov Academy in Washington, DC. Upon graduation this past May, she was invited to join the Donetsk, led by artistic director Vadim Pisarev.

Already accepted to Princeton University, she opted to defer admission and packed her bags for Ukraine, following her dream to dance with the Donetsk Company. Within one month of her arrival, she was dancing in France as the company toured its production of Swan Lake.

The Donetsk Ballet is known worldwide for the exceptional artistry and technique of its dancers. Company favorites, Maxim Valchik and Irina Komarenko will be featured as principal dancers, and Bank will be dancing some solo roles as well as in ensembles.

The Donetsk Ballet will present two performances: Saturday, December 15 at 6:30pm, and Sunday, December 16 at 2pm, at Plymouth/Whitemarsh High School, 201 E. Germantown Pike, in Plymouth Meeting. Joining the company onstage are 40 local student dancers selected through open auditions held by the International Ballet Exchange (IBE), a Philadelphia nonprofit.

But first, Bank and new colleagues from Ukraine will stop at George Washington High School. There, on December 13, they will present a special performance for students of the Philadelphia school district, also through the auspices of the International Ballet Exchange.

For the December 15 and 16 performances at Plymouth/Whitemarsh High School, tickets are $18 for students and seniors; $28 for adults. Group rates are available. All seats are reserved. To purchase tickets in advance, call 215-849-7950 or 1-800-849-4919. Tickets will be available at the door.

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