Metropolitan Ballet Academy welcomes Angel Corella to The Bridge: A Master Class Series

Angel Corella_headshot-226_smaller file by_iziliaev

Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) announces that special guest artist Angel Corella, Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet, will teach a master class at MBA during The Bridge, MBA’s annual master class series for intermediate and advanced ballet students. The Bridge 2016 will be held June 8-15 at MBA, 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046. Guest faculty for The Bridge include returning acclaimed artists Cynthia Drayer, Andre Reyes, and John Selya; classes are limited in size and accompanied by a pianist.

Lisa Collins Vidnovic, who danced for a decade with Pennsylvania Ballet before founding Metropolitan Ballet Academy and Company 20 years ago says, “As a former member of Pennsylvania Ballet, I am delighted to welcome Angel Corella to MBA for The Bridge. This is a great honor for the Metropolitan Ballet community and an exciting opportunity for advanced dance students at our studio and in our region. The Bridge allows intermediate and advanced dance students to study with some of the region’s most celebrated professional dancers and teachers during the gap between the end of the academic year and the beginning of MBA’s Summer Intensive.”

The Bridge intermediate classes (levels 2x, 3, 3x, 4) will be held from 4:30-6:00 pm; tuition is $125 for the series. Advanced classes (levels 4x, V/Advanced) will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm; $175 tuition includes the master class with Angel Corella on Friday, June 10 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Intermediate students registered in The Bridge are invited to observe Mr. Corella’s master class. All students may register for The Bridge and MBA’s Summer Intensive at the MBA studio or call 215-663-1665. Visit www.metropolitanballetacademy.com for information.

About The Bridge Guest Artists

ANGEL CORELLA, Artistic Director, Pennsylvania Ballet
Regarded as one of the finest dancers of his generation, Angel Corella was appointed Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet beginning with the 2014-2015 Season. Corella’s talent, technique, and passion have brought him wide acclaim around the world. Born in Madrid, Spain, Corella joined American Ballet Theatre in 1995 and was quickly promoted to principal dancer. In his 17-year career with ABT, he established himself as one of the greatest male dancers of his time. Corella excelled in a wide range of repertory and has danced such iconic roles as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker. He has also appeared as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet in London, the Kirov Ballet in Russia, and New York City Ballet. He has received numerous awards, including First Prize in the National Ballet Competition in Spain (1991), the Prix Benois de la Danse (2000), and the National Award of Spain (2003). Corella has danced for Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Sophia of Spain, and United States Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. Corella’s onstage talent and passion translate wholly to his behind-the-scenes career. From 2008- 2014, he served as director for his own company, the Barcelona Ballet (formerly the Corella Ballet), in his native Spain, where he is regarded as a national treasure. It was the first classical ballet company established in the country in 20 years. Corella retired from the ABT in June 2012 but continued to dance with his own company. A passionate teacher and mentor to young professional dancers, Corella has taught at summer programs and leading dance schools including the Royal Ballet School in London.

CYNTHIA DRAYER and her husband, Andre Reyes, serve on the faculty of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She was previously Classical Ballet Program Head at Boston Ballet School from 2007-2012. Cynthia was trained at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, and at 17 was one of an elite group of young dancers picked to join Ballet Repertory Company, the touring and second company to American Ballet Theatre in New York City. In 1980, Director Ben Stevenson invited her to join Houston Ballet and quickly  promoted h e r  to  soloist. Visiting  choreographer Helgi  Tomasson asked her to join San Francisco Ballet when he began his directorship in 1985, promoting her to Principal Dancer in 1987. Her signature roles in San Francisco Ballet’s repertoire include, Balanchine, Feld, Taylor, Bintley, Tomasson, Forsythe, Kudelka, Kylian, Smuin, Christenson, and Jacobson. Cynthia served on the faculties  of the  Cornish  College  of  the  Arts,  Preparatory Division in Seattle, Washington Academy of Arts and Marin Ballet before becoming co- director of the Santa Clara Ballet with her husband. In 2003, Cynthia and Andre founded their own school, Volee Dance,  in  Palo  Alto,  California. She returned to the stage with the San Francisco Opera and made her National television debut on Great Performances as Lolo in the Opera’s production of The Merry Widow, and was also part of the ground-breaking world premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic with renowned theatre director, Peter Sellers. Her final performance in 2006 was in the featured Pas de Deux in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Cynthia brings her diverse professional experience and her expertise from extensive research and study with master teachers Henry Berg, Pat Hon and Svetlana Afansieva in her exploration and creation of children’s ballet syllabus and progression.

ANDRE REYES joined the faculty of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2012, after serving on the faculty of Boston Ballet School since 2007. He received his early dance training from his parents Benjamin Reyes and Josefa Villanueva at Santa Clara Ballet School before continuing on at Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet School. Reyes, a longtime favorite of San Francisco Bay area audiences, performed as a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet from 1980 to 1993, and Pacific Northwest Ballet from 1994 to 1996. During his career he worked with world-renowned choreographers Glen Tetley, Jiri Kylian, Michael Smuin, Elliot Feld, James Kudelka, and David Bintley. Special invitations include San Francisco Opera’s “Fol de Rol”, San Francisco Symphony’s “Arts for Life” benefit and “Symphony Pops” series. Mr. Reyes has also performed in numerous international gala performances and in major television appearances, including Cinderella, DANCE IN AMERICA (WNET), and more. He has served on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts, Washington Academy of Performing Arts, Kansas City Ballet, and Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program. He co-directed the Santa Clara Ballet  from  2000–2001  and with his wife, Cynthia Drayer, co-founded  and  directed  Volee  Dance  in  Palo  Alto, CA from 2004-2007. Reyes has been a guest lecturer for Stanford University, University of Santa Clara, San Francisco State University, Boston College, Harvard, and the American College Dance Festival Association.

JOHN SELYA trained at the School of American Ballet (SAB) from 1980-1988, where he received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Mr. Selya performed works created by Balanchine, Robbins, Tharp, and Mark Morris, Tetley, Kudelka and Kylian, as well as the classical repertoire, during his 11 years with the company. He also choreographed three works for ABT: Moondance, Disposition and Don’t Panic. After joining Twyla Tharp Dance, the noted choreographer’s touring company, Mr. Selya created and performed the central role of Eddie in Tharp’s Tony Award-winning Broadway show, Movin’ Out. His performance earned him a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical, an Astaire award for Outstanding Dancing on a Broadway Stage, and a Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway debut. Mr. Selya has also appeared as the Mambo dancer in “Damn Yankees,” Scranton Slim in “Guys and Dolls” and Sid in Twyla Tharp’s recent Come Fly Away. In 2008, Mr. Selya was an Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Joyce SoHo, where he created two works: Tweaker and La Voix Humaine. He has also performed in the films Everyone Says I Love You, Across the Universe and Romance and Cigarettes. Most recently, Mr. Selya directed the touring company of Come Fly Away. He recently performed in Twyla Tharp’s 50th Anniversary tour.