Bolshoi-trained dancers Anastasia Babayeva and Denis Gronostayskiy are the new co-principals of the Pennsylvania Ballet School. The former school director, beloved PAB ballerina Arantxa Ochoa, left in June to join Miami City Ballet School as director of faculty and curriculum.
Babayeva and Gronostayskiy are also the co-founders of Academy of International Ballet in Media, PA. It's not yet known whether their Bolshoi training will be brought to bear on the PAB curriculum, though in a statement artistic director Angel Corella said he was looking forward to their "fresh ideas." The pair will oversee this year's auditions for the PAB School.
It's not surprising that Ochoa would head to Miami, one of the top Balanchine companies in the nation. Casting and programming under Corella's leadership has clearly favored a more classical approach, counter to the company's legacy as a regional expositor of Balanchine. Corella is making a clear statement with the appointment of Babayeva and Gronostayskiy, and their Vaganova approach to ballet education.
Auditions for the PAB school will be held August 3 and August 20. More information can be found here.