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Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Performance Reviews
Florence Gould Hall
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Dance Conservatory Performance Project

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 22, 2004
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

About the Author:

Dance Conservatory Performance Project

Valentina Kozlova, Artistic Director

Spring Selection
Works of Renewal
Special Performances of Valentina Kozlova, Irina Dvorovenko
Maxim Beloserkovsky, Andrei Kisselev

Featuring Students from
Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory of New York
250 West 54th Street
NY, NY 10019
Audrey Ross Publicity: audreyrosspub@aol.com

Nov Den
Pas de Trois from Swan Lake
The Four Seasons
Aragognia Hotta

Presented at Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 22, 2004

(See More Reviews and Photos of Valentina Kozlova's Ballet Students and Events and an Interview with Valentina Kozlova).

The Dance Conservatory Performance Project creates an opportunity for ballet students and professional dancers to share the stage. The professionals gain insight into dance pedagogy and expand repertoire. (Program Notes). One of Valentina Kozlova's students, Skylar Paley Brandt, is a YAGP Competition winner and performer, and three DCPP students have been invited to dance with American Ballet Theatre in the coming year. Caitlin Dieck and Skylar Paley Brandt were photographed by this writer at the DCNY studio in private lessons. Irina Dvorovenko and husband, Maxim Beloserkovsky, both born in Kiev, Ukraine, are Principal Dancers with American Ballet Theatre and have been often reviewed in this magazine. Andrei Kisselev, born in Moscow, is a Principal Dancer with Connecticut Ballet.

Nov Den (A New Day): Choreography by Valentina Kozlova, Music by George Harrison, Peter Gabriel, Ravi Shankar, Mahoud Tabrizi Zadeh, Eddie Jobson, Philip Koutev, Jewish Liturgy, Costumes by Sue Medeiros, Design Concept by Valentina Kozlova, Stage Design by Gary Giffune, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Performed by the Students, Andrei Kisselev as Man, and Valentina Kozlova as Zorya (Dawn). With Andrei Kisselev performing with a walking stick, students in biblical costumes, Valentina Kozlova in ethereal visions, and the students dancing in blue jeans and later in simple cloths to uplifting melodies of George Harrison, Nov Den creates a mood, synthesized in Ms. Kozlova's choice of a Jewish song, Nov Den, Psalm 23.

Andrei Kisselev has dynamic stage presence and performed a magnetic solo, amidst the ensemble pieces by student dancers. As Zorya (Dawn), Ms. Kozlova coiled and re-coiled on the floor and across the stage like an elegant nymph, surrounded by maidens, hunters, flower children, and a dancing sandstorm. I was struck by the primitive imagery, angular patterns, and Old Testament motifs. The music was evocative and enervating, as the students created very sensual, focused, and circular choreography. Ms. Kozlova danced a pas de deux with Andrei Kisselev that was strong and virtuosic. This was a very unusual and folkloric work, which was illustrative of Ms. Kozlova's childhood in the Russian landscape, according to her annotations.

Pas de Trois from Swan Lake: Choreography by Valentina Kozlova after Marius Petipa, Staged by Andrey Silantyev, Costumes by Lee Dieck, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Performed by Caitlin Dieck, Zoë LePage, and Andrei Kisselev. This piece, with solos, pas de deux, and pas de trois, with the professional Andrei Kisselev partnering students, Ms. Dieck and Ms. LePage, was poised, energetic, and performed with excellent elevation and extensions. Ms. Kozlova created choreography that showcased her students quite well, in duo and trio, classically partnered motifs with Mr. Kisselev. Both ballerinas displayed promise and presence.

The Four Seasons: Choreography by Valentina Kozlova, Music by Antonio Vivaldi, Costumes by Sue Medeiros, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Assistant to Ms. Kozlova-Julia Blaustein (a student), Performed by the Students. This performance of The Four Seasons, in contrast to NYC Ballet's The Four Seasons, with excerpted operatic orchestration, was actually performed to the familiar Vivaldi work. In exquisite costumes by Sue Medeiros, students danced through a warm Summer, a bright Autumn, a shivery Winter, and a very sweet Spring. Julia Blaustein served as a choreographic assistant and dancer, as well, to exemplify Ms. Kozlova's concept of students in dual roles and pre-professional training.

Alissa Stover and Marek Ranbom danced an effective duet in the midst of Summer, and Ms. Stover is a stunning and sensational young dancer, with a soft but magnetic manner, mixed with confidence and technique. Caitlin Dieck is a dancer to watch, with her ever-present and strong, stage demeanor, superb balancing skills, and lightning spins. Skylar Paley Brandt, all in red, a young YAGP Competition winner and performer in the YAGP Gala, danced a virtuosic solo as the third of the cold Winter trio of dances. Ms. Brandt is consistently capable of engaging her audience with charm and endearingly charismatic qualities. Moreover, her dance skills are exceptional for a student of about 9 years old, with elegant leg turns and extra time en pointe. The Ensemble completed this work in a buoyant interpretation of Spring.

Aragognia Hotta (Spanish Folk Music): Choreography by Vitaly Verterich, Costumes by Sue Medeiros, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Performed by Grace Azmitia, Caitlin Dieck, Lyla Medeiros, and Sabrina Tharani. Just like Flamenco, these four lovely young dancers swirled in dynamic dimensions in red, black, and white ruffles and lace. This was hot music for the end of May, and the music was matched with the energy and effervescence of these four DCNY students.

Farewell: Choreography by Maria Chimengilly, Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Performed by Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky. What a joy to see two ABT Principals in a program with ballet students, and they seemed so relaxed and inspirational in this incredibly passionate and sensual duet. Sitting quite near this small and intimate stage, I was awestruck by the connection of this renowned couple, partners in dance and marriage. How lucky they are to have this most unusual relationship, so very rare and exciting, as they anticipate each other's every turn and timing. They often dance lead roles together in the ABT Repertoire, but this eloquent work was quintessential closeness.

Gospel (All Spirituals Sung by Mahalia Jackson): Choreography by Valentina Kozlova, Staged by Lyla Medeiros, Costumes by Christian Holder, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Performed by the Students. With casual and unrestrained style and emotion, Ms. Kozlova has choreographed a work that uplifts and generates hope and optimism. Her notation quotes her own belief, "There's always hope to overcome our own fears." Therefore, she names her movements: Weeping, Chained, Hear Us, and Overcome. This is a piece about the power of collective spirits, prayers, and tenaciousness. The Mahalia Jackson spirituals were moving and motivating. Lyla Medeiros' solo, performed to City Called Heaven, and Stephanie Lichtinger's solo, performed to The Lord's Prayer, were soft and soothing. The black dresses as costumes created the visual severity that coincided with the simplicity of the Gospels.

Kudos to Valentina Kozlova and Dance Conservatory Performance Project. Kudos to Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky for professionally expanding this delightful evening of unique ballets.

Students Of Valentina's Dance Conservatory of New York
Photo courtesy of Boz Swope

Students Of Valentina's Dance Conservatory of New York
Photo courtesy of Boz Swope

Valentina Kozlova with Andrei Kisselev
Photo courtesy of Boz Swope

Skylar Brandt
Photo courtesy of Boz Swope

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