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Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory Performance Project Presents: An Evening in Honor of an American Hero of 9/11… Spring Gala 2005

by Jennifer Wesnousky
April 9, 2005
Symphony Space
2537 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
(212) 864-1414

Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory Performance Project Presents: An Evening in Honor of an American Hero of 9/11… Spring Gala 2005

Dance Conservatory Performance Project
(www.ValentinaKozlovasDCNY.com)

Presented at Symphony Space
(
www.symphonyspace.org)

Artistic Director and President: Valentina Kozlova

Active Board Members: Denise Meskunas, Sue Medeiros, Rita Schulster, Boz Swope

Costume Production: Sue Medeiros and DCNY Parents
Manager/Graphic Designer: Ashley Middleton
Publicist: Audrey Ross Publicity
Company Photographer: Boz Swope
Lighting Design/Stage Manager: John Torres

Black Magic Woman:
Music: Carlos Santana
Choreography: Margo Sappington
Costumes: Christian Holder
Lighting: John Torres
Danced by: Valentina Kozlova

Petipa Variations:
Music: Minkus, Pugnii, Delibes
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Staged by: Valentina Kozlova
Lighting: John Torres
Dancers: Chelsea Cannamela, Rachel Bueide, Morgan Corley, Anuta Rathe, Yekaterina Yurochkina, Christina Del Percio-Evans, Kymberly Corley, Elise Levinger, Haley Meskunas, Clelia Montali, Marielle Kaplan-Newman, Veronika Verterich, Grace Azmitia, Amy Schulster, Ksenia Pereverzeva, Alexandra Vool, Laura Beniaminova, Zazni Vlijter

Calling:
Music: John Mattick, Chris Hinson, Carlinho Brown, Olodum, Herbie Hancock, Djivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook
Choreography: Margo Sappington
Costumes: Willa Kim
Lighting: John Torres
The Scent: Valentina Kozlova
The Man: Vitaly Verterich

Black Swan:
Music: Pyotr Illich Tchaikovsky
Staged by Valentina Kozlova after Yuri Grigorovich
Lighting: John Torres
Danced by: Whitney Jensen

Aragognia Jota:
Music: Spanish Folk Music
Choreography: Vitaly Verterich
Costumes: Sue Medeiros
Lighting: John Torres
Dancers: Rachel Bueide, Lyla Medeiros, Ashely Middleton, Ksenia Pereverzeva, Yekatreina Yurochkina

Ladies Knight:
Music: Tirol Concerto, Movement III, Dennis Russell Davies Performs Phillip Glass
Choreography: Jill Schulster with contribution from dancers
Rehearsal Assistant: Clelia Montali
Costumes: Jill Schulster
Dancers: Brittany Browning, Johnathan McGill, Amy Schulster, Jill Schulster, Stefanie Truppi

Diana and Acteon:

Music: Cesare Pugne
Choreography: Aggrippina Vaganova
Staged by Valentina Kozlova
Danced by: Whitney Jensen

Red Bandanna:

Music: Ron Wasserman
Violinist: Alison Crowther
Choreography: Margo Sappington
Costumes: Sue Medeiros
Dancers: Valentina Kozlova & Vitaly Verterich, Grace Azmitia, Rachel Bueide, Chelsea Cannamela, Morgan Corley, Christina Del Percio-Evans, Lyla Medeiros, Anuta Rathe, Ksenia Pereverzeya, Yekaterina Yurochkina

(See May 22, 2004 Review)

By Jennifer E. Wesnousky
May 21, 2005

Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory Performance Project's 2005 Spring Gala, presented at Symphony Space on Saturday, May 21, 2005, featured an eclectic potpourri of both pieces and performers. The evening opened with Black Magic Woman, featuring Ms. Kozlova herself. Clad in sleek purple and sporting pointes and a peacock feather fan, the Artistic Director and President of the Dance Conservatory Performance Project made it clear why she was once selected first from 30,000 applicants at the Bolshoi Ballet School in her native Moscow, going on to become a Principal Dancer there as well as with the Bolshoi Ballet of Los Angeles, the Australian Ballet and the New York City Ballet. The audience was treated to more professional flare in Calling, an interpretive piece in which Kozlova was accompanied by Vitaly Veterich (of Bolshoi Theatre, Kirov Ballet, Moscow Folk Ballet and Riverdance fame). The pair made the most of international choreographer and director Margo Sappington's intricate transitions between slow, serpentine intertwining to more frenetic movement and music, showing off both Kozlova's exquisite penchée lines and Veterich's explosively passionate countenance; not to mention his leaps and turns.

Other numbers demonstrated Kozlova's abilities not only as a dancer, but as a teacher of aspiring young talent. Petipa Variations, a charming, classical piece performed in a series of variations, featured students from Kozlova's Dance Conservatory of New York, ranging in age from toddlers to adults, beautifully bedecked in cotton candy colors. Whether executing bourreés in unison or performing one of the many solo segments, each and every dancer seemed perfectly at home both en pointe and onstage, even while it was clear that each was at a different place on her path to professionalism. Young Whitney Jensen has clearly come a long way towards this goal as Kozlova's student and the recent recipient of the gold medal at New York's Youth American Grand Prix Competition. Tall, lean, beautiful and blonde, Jensen was a technically excellent ray of light throughout her two solos, Diana and Acteon and Black Swan.

The show maintained the interest of the audience by departing occasionally from the pure classicality of the aforementioned pieces. Aragognia Jota, an upbeat, folkloric- inspired dance set to Spanish folk music, showcased Veterich's choreographic finesse as well as authentic-looking Spanish peasant attire in striking black, white and red. A group of dancers later displayed their playful streaks in Ladies Knight, a boy-meets-girl scenario in which adolescent girls competed for the affections of the winsome Jonathan McGill, whose stage presence remained strong throughout Jill Schulster's clever choreography. Schulster, who recently graduated with a dance degree from NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, not only choreographed but both costumed and danced in the piece.

The caliber of the Dance Conservatory Performance Project's choreography, technique and training, costumes and lighting attested, on May 21st, to the myriad of talent with which Valentina Kozlova works in a company and staff comprised of both professionals and up-and-coming artists. Such was particularly apparent as, opening to the melancholy strains of Ron Wasserman's Lament and Restoration on Alison Crowther's violin, Kozlova, Verterich and a chorus of dancers, dedicated their final piece, Red Bandanna, to Ms. Crowther's late son, Welles Remy Crowther, September 11th's famed "Man in the Red Bandanna" who perished after saving many lives. The participants' professionalism and passion, as well as the meaning behind the evening's title, An Evening in Honor of an American Hero of 9/11…, was solidified as the performers joined Ms. Crowther in her heartfelt homage.

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