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The Company

ABT Artistic

Fabrizio Ferri

Kevin McKenzie

Artistic Director

Hamilton E. James Chair

Kevin McKenzie was a leading dancer with both The Joffrey Ballet and the National Ballet of Washington before joining American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in March 1979. He was appointed a Principal Dancer the following December and danced with the company until 1991. A native of Vermont, McKenzie received his ballet training at the Washington School of Ballet. In 1972, McKenzie was awarded a silver medal at the Sixth International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.

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Fabrizio Ferri

Alexei Ratmansky

Artist in Residence

 

Alexei Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow.  His performing career included positions as principal dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet.  He has choreographed ballets for the Mariinsky Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Kiev Ballet and the State Ballet of Georgia.

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Rosalie O'Connor

Clinton Luckett

Assistant Artistic Director

 

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Sarah Sterner

Susan Jones

Principal Ballet Mistress

 

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Gene Schiavone

Irina Koplakova

Ballet Mistress

 

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Hanna Bass

Carlos Lopez

Ballet Master

 

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Gene Schiavone

Nancy Raffa

Ballet Mistress

 

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Morgan Shevett

Keith Roberts

Ballet Master

 

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Kevin McKenzie

Kevin McKenzie was a leading dancer with both The Joffrey Ballet and the National Ballet of Washington before joining American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in March 1979. He was appointed a Principal Dancer the following December and danced with the company until 1991. A native of Vermont, McKenzie received his ballet training at the Washington School of Ballet. In 1972, McKenzie was awarded a silver medal at the Sixth International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.

As a Principal Dancer with ABT, McKenzie danced leading roles in all of the major full-length classics including Solor in Natalia Makarova’s full-length production of La Bayadère, Don Jose in Roland Petit’s Carmen, the Prince in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s production of the full-length Cinderella, Franz in Coppélia, the Gentleman With Her in Dim Lustre, Basil and Espada in Baryshnikov’s Don Quixote (Kitri’s Wedding), Albrecht in Giselle, a leading role in The Garden of Villandry, Her Lover in Jardin aux Lilas, the male lead in The Leaves Are Fading, the Friend in Pillar of Fire, the leading role in Raymonda (Grand Pas Hongrois), a featured role in Requiem, the Champion Roper in Rodeo, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, James in La Sylphide, and leading roles in Other Dances, Paquita, Les Sylphides, Sylvia Pas de Deux and Theme and Variations. He created Amnon in Martine van Hamel’s Amnon V’Tamar and a leading role in Clark Tippet’s S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A.


During his performing career, McKenzie appeared as a Guest Artist throughout the world, including Spoleto, Italy; Paris, London, Tokyo, Havana, Moscow, Vienna and Korea, dancing with, among others, the London Festival Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, the National Ballet of Cuba and the Universal Ballet in Seoul. In September 1989, McKenzie was appointed a permanent guest artist with The Washington Ballet and, in 1991, assumed the position of Artistic Associate.  He has also acted as Associate Artistic Director and choreographer with Martine van Hamel’s New Amsterdam Ballet.

McKenzie was appointed Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre in October 1992.  His previous choreographic credits include Groupo Zambaria (1984) and Liszt Études (1991) both for Martine van Hamel’s New Amsterdam Ballet, and Lucy and the Count (1992) for The Washington Ballet and, for American Ballet Theatre, The Nutcracker (1993), (1995, in collaboration with Susan Jones) a new production of Swan Lake (2000), the conception and direction of a new production of Raymonda (2004), with choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes and a new production of Sleeping Beauty with Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov. In 2014, McKenzie, with ABT Ballet Mistress Irina Kolpakova, staged a new production of Raymonda Divertissements.

McKenzie has received numerous awards including an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont (1993) and the Dance Magazine Award (1999).  In addition, he appeared in two Emmy Award winning broadcasts, The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore (1970) and American Ballet Theatre in Le Corsaire (1998) both for PBS’ Dance in America series.  McKenzie is a founding board member of Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, New York.

In 2017, American Ballet Theatre celebrated McKenzie’s 25th Anniversary as Artistic Director.

Alexei Ratmansky

Alexei Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow.  His performing career included positions as principal dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet.  He has choreographed ballets for the Mariinsky Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Kiev Ballet and the State Ballet of Georgia, as well as for Nina Ananiashvili, Diana Vishneva and Mikhail Baryshnikov.  His 1998 work, Dreams of Japan, earned a prestigious Golden Mask Award by the Theatre Union of Russia.  In 2005, he was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet.  He was made Knight of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2001.  He won his second Benois de la Danse for Shostakovich Trilogy in 2014.

Ratmansky was named artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in January 2004.  For the Bolshoi Ballet, he choreographed full-length productions of The Bright Stream (2003) and The Bolt (2005) and re-staged Le Corsaire (2007) and the Soviet-era Flames of Paris (2008).  Under Ratmansky’s direction, the Bolshoi Ballet was named “Best Foreign Company” in 2005 and 2007 by The Critics’ Circle in London, and he received a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream in 2006.  In 2007, he won a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2009, Ratmansky choreographed new dances for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida.  Ratmansky joined American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in January 2009.

For American Ballet Theatre, Ratmansky choreographed On the Dnieper (2009), Seven Sonatas (2009), Waltz Masquerade, a ballet honoring Nina Ananiashvili’s final season (2009), The Nutcracker (2010), Dumbarton (2011), Firebird and Symphony #9 (2012), Chamber Symphony, Piano Concerto #1 and The Tempest (2013), The Sleeping Beauty (2015), Serenade after Plato’s Symposium (2016), Whipped Cream (2017) and Songs of Bukovina (2017).

Ratmansky was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow for 2013.

Clinton Luckett

Clinton Luckett was a dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 10 years, from 1992-2002.  His professional career spanned 15 years and began at the National Ballet of Canada. As a dancer he created roles in original works by Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, John Neumeier and James Kudelka among others and appeared in featured roles in most of the full-length ballets in the classical repertoire.  Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he began his dance training there, and after two years of study at the National Ballet School in Toronto, joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1987. 1n 1992, Luckett came to American Ballet Theatre where he was featured in the works of Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Agnes De Mille, Martha Graham, Jiří Kylián, Lar Lubovitch, Kenneth MacMillan, Mark Morris and Antony Tudor.  He appeared on television in the PBS/Dance in America programs ABT Now and Le Corsaire, and in the CBC/Rombus Media productions of Glen Tetley’s Alice and La Ronde.

In 2002, Luckett became the Artistic Associate for the Education and Training Department at ABT.  In that position he worked closely with the ABT Studio Company, was a regular faculty member at the ABT New York Summer Intensives, and also served as a Company Teacher at ABT.  In September 2006, he assumed the position of Ballet Master with the artistic staff of ABT. Luckett has been a guest teacher for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and taught ballet at New York University.

Luckett performs the roles of the Dacha Dweller in The Bright Stream, a Photo Journalist in Cinderella, the Duke in Lady of the Camellias, Escalus and Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet, Galifron in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Catalabutte in The Sleeping Beauty and Gonzalo in The Tempest.

Luckett was appointed Assistant Artistic Director in August 2016.

Susan Jones

Susan Jones was born in York, Pennsylvania and began her early dance training there.  She continued her studies with Lucille Hood at the Rockville School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, and with Mary Day at the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, D. C.

In 1969, Jones accepted an apprenticeship with The Joffrey Ballet, dancing with the original Joffrey II, and made her professional debut with the New York City Opera, Robert Joffrey, choreographic director.

Jones joined American Ballet Theatre in 1971 and danced with the Company for eight successive seasons.  Among her roles were the Cowgirl in Rodeo and The Accused as a Child in Fall River Legend.  Her transition from dancer to staff member began in 1976 when, as Assistant Ballet Mistress, she assisted Twyla Tharp with Push Comes to Shove.  She was appointed Ballet Mistress in 1980 and Regisseur in 1982.

Jones returned to American Ballet Theatre as Ballet Mistress in August 1997 after a three-year absence during which time she mounted Natalia Makarova’s full-length La Bayadère for the Ballet del Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s production of Don Quixote (Kitri’s Wedding) for The Royal Ballet.  In 1995, she staged ABT’s most recent production of Don Quixote in collaboration with Kevin McKenzie.  Other stagings include Symphonie Concertante (2006) and Fall River Legend (2007).  Her Tharp stagings include Bach Partita (2013) and The Brahms-Haydn Variations (2015).

In addition to her duties as Principal Ballet Mistress, Jones performs the role of the Dacha Dweller in The Bright Stream, Berthe in Giselle, the Nurse in Onegin and Nurse in Romeo and Juliet.

Irina Koplakova

Irina Alexandrovna Kolpakova was born in Leningrad and studied at the Leningrad Choreographic School where she was an outstanding member of the great pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova’s last graduating class (1951).  She entered the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet at the age of eighteen and danced her first leading role, the title role in Cinderella, at the age of twenty-two.

Her roles with the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet included the Waltz and Mazurka in Chopiniana

(Les Sylphides), Eve in The Creation of the World, (to the Andre Petrov score), the title role in Giselle, Maria in Rostislav Zakharov’s The Fountain of Bakhchisrai, Masha in The Nutcracker, Desdemona in Vakhtang Chaiboukiani’s Othello, Natalia in Petrov’s Pushkin, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.  Her created roles included Katerina in Yuri Grigorovich’s The Stone Flower (1957), Shyrin in his The Legend of Love (1961), and leading roles in Igor Belsky’s Coast of Hope (1959), Georgi Alexidze’s Ala and Lolly (1969) and Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasiliov’s Creation of the World (1971).

Kolpakova was honored with the title of Merited Artist of the R.S.F.S.R. in 1957 and People’s Artist of the R.S.F.S.R. in 1960.  She is married to Vladilen Semenov who partnered her in many of her most famous roles.

Prior to joining American Ballet Theatre as Ballet Mistress in 1990 during the Company’s 50th Anniversary season, Kolpakova taught and coached the Company in May 1989.  Currently, in addition to coaching Principal Dancers, Soloists and company members in La Bayadère, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, she teaches ladies Company class.  She also performs the role of the Czarina in The Snow Maiden.

In 2014, Kolpakova, with Kevin McKenzie, staged a new production of Raymonda Divertissements.

Kolpakova received a 2010 Dance Magazine Award.

Carlos Lopez

Carlos Lopez began his professional career at the Victor Ullate Ballet in his native country of Spain where he danced as principal dancer for six years. His repertory included leading roles in Don Quixote, Giselle, Theme and Variations, Allegro Brillante, Paquita, Les Sylphides and ballets by Maurice Bejart, Rudi Van Dantzig and Hans Van Manen. With this company he toured to Argentina, Belgium, Cuba, England, Germany, Italy and the United States.

Lopez joined American Ballet Theatre in 2001 and was promoted to Soloist in 2003.  He has worked with Natalia Makarova, Gelsey Kirkland, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky and  William Forsythe. His repertoire with ABT included Iago in Othello, the Bronze Idol in La Bayadère, Mercutio and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, the Nutcracker-Prince in The Nutcracker, Birbanto in Le Corsaire, Puck in The Dream, Benno in Swan Lake, the second sailor in Fancy Free, Alain in La Fille mal gardée, Eros in Sylvia, the Lead Pontevedrian dancer in The Merry Widow, the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, the Joker in Jeu de Cartes and roles in Offenbach in the Underworld, Amazed in Burning Dreams, The Green Table, Petite Mort, Sinfonietta, Dark Elegies, In the Upper Room, Gong, Company B, Seven Sonatas, Symphonic Variations, Glow Stop, Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and workwithinwork.

In 1996, he won the Silver Medal at the Paris International Ballet Competition and in 2004 was awarded the Les Etoiles de Ballet 2000 Prize in Cannes.

As a guest artist, Lopez has performed with the National Ballet of Georgia, National Ballet of Cuba, Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, among others.  He has appeared in the World Stars Gala in Budapest, the Miami International Ballet Festival, Stars of the 21st Century in Toronto and the Havana International Ballet Festival.

Lopez is an ABT Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.  He joined the faculty of the ABT Studio Company in 2013 and was appointed Studio Company Ballet Master in September 2014. During this time he participated in ABT’s Royal Ballet School Exchanges in London, Ibstage Barcelona, YoungArts in Miami and was a member of the jury at the Youth America Grand Prix in 2015.

Lopez was appointed Ballet Master at American Ballet Theatre in August 2016.

Nancy Raffa

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Raffa received her early training with Madame Gabriella Darvash.  In 1980, she became the youngest and first American female to win the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland.  The same year, Raffa joined Makarova and Company on Broadway and, at age 16, became a member of the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre.  She joined Ballet de Santiago in 1985 as a principal dancer and was also a principal dancer at Ballet National Française de Nancy. In 1992, she became a principal dancer with Miami City Ballet.

Raffa began her teaching career as an adjunct faculty member in Miami at the New World School of the Arts.  In 1994, she joined the staff of the Miami City Ballet School (MCB), becoming the coordinator for the School’s summer intensive program and Ballet for Young People program.  She also held the position of MCB’s Summer Intensive Program and MCB’s Apprentice Program. In 2005, Raffa returned to her native New York and was appointed Director of American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive program, as well as Company teacher, Ballet Mistress for ABT II and faculty member for the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Among her many awards, Raffa was twice awarded a special teacher’s recognition from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and won a grant from the United States Information Services to act as a cultural ambassador and teacher for the company and school in Honduras.

Raffa was appointed Ballet Mistress with American Ballet Theatre in June 2007.  In addition to her duties as Ballet Mistress, Raffa co-created the role of Carabosse with Alexei Ratmansky for his new production of The Sleeping Beauty in 2015.  She also performs roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Onegin, On the Dneiper, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and La Sylphide.

At ABT, Raffa has assisted Ratmansky on nearly all of his work since his appointment at Artist in Residence in 2009.  She has staged several of his works for leading ballet companies including On the Dneiper and Firebird for Het National Ballet; Seven Sonatas for Atlanta Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet; Shostakovich Trilogy for San Francisco Ballet.

Raffa assisted Twyla Tharp in the workshop production of Tharp’s Tony Award-nominated Broadway show Come Fly Away.  More recently, in 2010, she staged Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove for Tulsa Ballet Theatre.  Raffa served as Honorary Judge at the 40th Anniversary of the Prix de Lausanne competition in 2012 and also judged the Youth America Grand Prix in Japan, Mexico, Brazil and New York.  She delivers Master Teacher classes by request and has taught all over the United States, Europe, South America and Japan.

Raffa holds an Ace certification in exercise physiology and graduated magna cum laude in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Thomas University in Miami.

Keith Roberts

Born in Denver, Colorado, Keith Roberts trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet.  He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1987 as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to Soloist in 1992. In 1997, he was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer.

With American Ballet Theatre, he has performed in works by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, John Neumeier, Nacho Duato, Merce Cunningham, Ulysses Dove, and Ben Stevenson.

He toured with Twyla Tharp Dance creating original works Surfer on the River Styx, Mozart Clarinet Concerto K581 and Beethoven’s Hammerklavier, as well as performing Known By Heart “Junk Duet” and Sinatra Suite.  He also danced in PBS specials Twyla Tharp: Oppositions, and American Ballet Theatre Now – Variety and Virtuosity performing Nacho Duato’s Remanso.

In 1998, Roberts made his Broadway debut in Matthew Bourne’s production of Swan Lake as “The Swan/Stranger,” and in 2000, he took over the role of “Perc 4” in the Broadway production of Fosse.  In 2002, he created the role of “Tony” in Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out receiving Tony and Astaire Award nominations.  In 2010, he created the role of “Hank” in Tharp’s Broadway production of Come Fly Away and her Las Vegas production of Sinatra Dance With Me.

As a répétiteur, he has staged works at American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet, Boston Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Corella Ballet Castilla y Leon, Ballet Mainz, Orlando Ballet Theater, National Ballet of Canada, Ballet West, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Ballet Arizona.  In 2008, Roberts was the assistant choreographer for Twyla Tharp’s work, Rabbit and Rogue at American Ballet Theatre.

Roberts attends Columbia University’s School of General Studies where he is studying for his bachelor’s degree.