The annual summer program conducted by the Bossov Ballet in Pittsfield was given a twist this year, as two decorated Russian dancers have spent time as guest instructors, and will be performing with the student company this weekend in Waterville.

Artistic Director Natalya Nikolaevna Getman said the students in the renowned ballet program at Maine Central Institute have been working to improve their technique through the summer. The visiting faculty members, Elena Petrichenko and Sergey Chumakov, will perform during the weekend performances.

Getman said she, Petrichenko and Chumakov danced together in Moscow 15 years with the same company and reconnected this summer to teach at the intensive summer program.

She said the two have a unique style that mixes acrobatics with ballet in performances Getman said were similar to performances by the theatrical group Cirque du Soleil.

“For our community, to see this level of performance, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.

The visiting performers and ballet program participants will perform a medley of work from well-known ballets at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Waterville Opera House.

Errol Kurtz, a senior at MCI, said he improved his balance, style and technique under the teachers at the summer program.

“They knew a lot about how to teach and to explain,” he said. He said Chumakov’s style particularly demonstrated skills he wanted to develop.

Kurtz, who wants to enter professional dance after school, said attending MCI was important to him so he could study under such instructors to prepare for after graduation.

While instructors have performed with the students before, Getman said they have not participated to the extent Petrichenko and Chumakov will in the weekend performance. She said while the performance features the students’ level of skill, it also represents an opportunity for attendees to see ballet performed by dancers with the abilities of the two visiting teachers.

“They were very kind to say yes,” Getman said, of Chumakov and Petrichenko agreeing to come to Maine to teach at the program.

The two are graduates of the State Academic Choreography Institute in Perm, Russia, and have been principal dancers with the Crown of Russia Ballet since 2001. Their experience includes an extensive history of professional dance including companies such as the Moscow State Ballet Company at Bolshoi Theatre, the Classic and Modern Choreography Theatre in Moscow, the Russian Classical Ballet Theatre, the Classical and Modern Choreography Theatre and the Russian Ballet of the 21st Century.

While the accolades of the instructors command respect from those familiar with ballet, students of the Bossov Ballet said after rehearsal that outsiders don’t always understand the discipline that goes into dance.

The comprehensive program, which trained the students in the Vaganova method, involved hours of practice in improving their technique and character.

The students have a wide range of ambitions. Some aspire to careers in professional dance while others see dance as an avocation, but have interest in careers such as medicine or law.

Following a dress rehearsal, Abigail DeSchiffart, a junior at MCI and student of the ballet, said the program has taken a substantiale amount of her time that summer, she made participating a priority during the summer school vacation.

“This is where I want to be,” she said.

DeShiffart is among the students considering a variety of careers, from medicine to dance to law.

“That’s one of the highlights of the program,” said Jen Beane, director of communications for the school. “While not all may want to pursue professional dance, they come out with the discipline to succeed at other careers.”

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

 


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