The Organizing Committee of the World Ballet Competition has announced members of the 2017 Judging Panel.
Additional members of the Judging Panel will be announced soon, please check our website for updates.
*Click on picture to read judge biography*
NATAYLA BASHKATOVA – RUSSIA
Cirque du Soleil/Principal Dancer
Bashkatova trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and Bolshoi Ballet University. She was a principal dancer for the Bolshoi Theater Grigorovich Ballet and a guest principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. She toured worldwide to countries including Holland, Greece, Egypt, Hong Kong, France, and Belgium. Her awards include "Best Ballerina of the Festival" at the 1992 Spoleto International Arts Festival. In 1998 she joined Cirque du Soleil's "La Nouba" where she currently performs.
THEODORE CONSTANT - ROMANIA
Theodore Constant Dance Academy/Artistic Director
Mr. Constant trained at the Ecole Superieure de Ballet du Quebec before dancing with the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf, Staatsoper Berlin, and Leipziger Ballet. He has toured as a guest artist in Russia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, the United States, and Japan. In 2014, he founded the Theodore Constant Dance Academy.
VIKTOR KABANIAEV - RUSSIA
Westlake School for the Performing Arts/Director of Professional Ballet Division
Mr. Kabaniaev trained at the Vaganova School in St. Petersburg and worked as a principal dancer in various ballet companies in the former Soviet Union, Germany and U.S. Mr. Kabaniaev has created over 40 works for Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Austin, Hanover Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Smuin Ballet, and Sacramento Ballet which have been presented in Belarus, France, Germany, Poland, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Russia, Italy, and the U.S. In 2010, Mr. Kabaniaev joined the faculty of Westlake School for the Performing Arts.
KRISTINA KAMBALOV - USA
First State Ballet Theatre/Executive Director
Ms. Kambalov founded the First State Ballet Theatre (FSBT) with Pasha Kambalov in 2000. She has served as School Director of FSBT for the past 17 years and this marks her first season as Executive Director. She studied ballet with Jean Allenby in Indiana, North Carolina School of the Arts and the Joffrey Ballet School. She danced with the Ballet Theatre Pennsylvania and Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware. Ms. Kambalov has served on the jury of the World Ballet Competition and is the recipient of the 2006 Wilmingtonian Award.
PASHA KAMBALOV - RUSSIA
First State Ballet Theatre/Artistic Director
Mr. Kambalov is a graduate of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg and danced with the Donetsk Ballet, Komi Republic State Opera Ballet, Russian Ballet Theatre. Mr. Kambalov is the founding Artistic Director of First State Ballet Theatre; growing the company from 10 to 22 dancers and moving to Wilmington, Delaware's historic Grand Opera House. He has successfully built artistic partnerships with Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Opera Delaware, and Grand Opera House. Mr. Kambalov has served as a judge for the World Ballet Competition since 2013 and became president of the jury in 2016.
ALEXEY KULPIN - RUSSIA
The Harid Conservatory/Ballet Master
Mr. Kulpin is a graduate of the University of Culture and Art in St. Petersburg. He won the Grand Prix Award at the Muse of St. Petersburg Ballet Competition 1998. Mr. Kulpin danced with St. Petersburg State Opera Ballet, St. Petersburg State Male Theatre by Mihailovsky, Ballet Israel, City Ballet of San Diego, Grand Rapids Ballet among many others. His teaching career includes the Ballet Israel School, City Ballet of San Diego, Grand Rapids Ballet, and Charleston Ballet. Mr. Kulpin joined The Harid Conservatory’s faculty in August of 2016.
JEAN LOGREA – ROMANIA
Graz Ballet, Westchester Ballet/Director
Mr. Logrea trained at the Choreographic Institute in Cluj, Romania before joining the Cluj Opera House as both a principal dancer and a instructor for the affiliate school. For nine years he was entrusted with a class of especially talented students, all of whom danced internationally with major companies. He was a principal dancer with the Graz Opera House for seven years before becoming the Co-Director of the Logrea Dance Academy in Ossining, NY and the Co-Artistic Director of Westchester Ballet Company.
ELEUSA LOURENZONI - BRAZIL
International Master Teacher and Choreographer
Mrs. Lourenzoni studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and Municipal Ballet School in Brazil. She received a graduate degree in the History of Art, with specialty in ballet terminology and dance history. She has performed with Municipal Theater Ballet São Paulo, Maria Olenewa Ballet, Ballet of the City Sao Paulo, and Victor Aukstin Company. Mrs. Lourenzoni actively participates as a master ballet teacher and juror in major festivals, and has choreographed works in Brazil, U.S.A. and Argentina. She is the recipient of the Gala Ismael Guiser and Dance Personality Award in Brazil.
GENNADI NEDVIGIN - RUSSIA
Atlanta Ballet/Artistic Director
Nedvigin trained at the Bolshoi School before joining San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 1997. He was promoted to principal dancer in 2000 and retired in 2016. During his career, Nedvigin performed principal roles in Tomasson’s Giselle, Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Sleeping Beauty; Balanchine’s Coppélia; and Cranko’s Onegin. Nedvigin’s honors include the 2001 Isadora Duncan Dance Award and 1999 Erik Bruhn Prize. In February 2016, Nedvigin was appointed the fourth artistic director of Atlanta Ballet in the company’s 87-year history.
VIKTOR PLOTNIKOV - UKRAINE
Plotnikov trained at the Kiev-Ukraine School and the St. Petersburg Vaganova Ballet Academy before joining the Donetsk Ballet in Ukraine as a soloist in 1987. He joined Boston Ballet as a principal dancer in 1993, where he performed until 2006. He has created original, commissioned works to great acclaim for companies including Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, and the Bolshoi Theatre. Awards include Best Choreography at the 2005 Helsinki IBC, 2007 World Ballet Competition, 2008 Ballet Competition in Russia, and 2006 & 2009 Youth American Grand Prix.
RODNEY RIVERA - PUERTO RICO
Ballet Brio/Artistic Director
Rivera trained under the direction of Vladimir Issaev, Carlota Carrera, Silvia Marichal, and on scholarship at Point Park University. In 1994, he became the first male Puerto Rican to participate in the International Ballet Competition in Jackson. Rivera has performed in Taiwan, Cuba, Haiti, Egypt, Japan, USA, Mexico, Spain and Italy. He joined Ballet Brio in 1999 and became Artistic Director in 2010. Awards include Choreography Gold Medal at the Argentina International Dance Competition in 2006 and "Best Choreographer of the Year" by the Puertorrican Institute of Culture in 2010.
WILLY SHIVES - USA
Ballet San Antonio/Artistic Director
Shives was named Artistic Director of Ballet San Antonio in December of 2015, after a brilliant 16 year tenure with the Joffrey Ballet, declared by the New York Times as “an astounding dancer". Shives studied with Nikita Talin in Texas before receiving a scholarship to train at the School of American Ballet. Shives has performed with companies in New York, Austin, Tulsa, Milwaukee, Minnesota and Pittsburgh. He is the recipient of the 2004 Natalie Skelton Legacy Award and "Chicagoan of the Year” by The Chicago Tribune.
BRIAN YOO - SOUTH KOREA
Universal Ballet/Artistic Director
Yoo graduated from Jilin Arts School, studied dance pedagogy at the Beijing Dance Academy, and later joined Universal Ballet as a soloist. In 1995, he became ballet master and choreographer at the Guangzhou Ballet in China and moved to the National Ballet of China in Beijing in 1997. Mr. Yoo rejoined Universal Ballet as Ballet Master in 1999; promoted to Assistant Artistic Director in 2000; and Artistic Director in 2009. Mr. Yoo choreographed several ballets for the Universal Ballet, most recently the full-length Korean ballet, The Love of Chunhyung.