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Born in Australia in a Russian émigré family, Michael Chernov received his early ballet and theatre training at the National Ballet and Theatre School in Melbourne, Australia and the Urdang Academy in London. His career as a ballet dancer was in Europe and Australia until he retired as a dancer in 1986.
As an actor, Chernov performed Off-Broadway, as well as with the Hartford Stage Company, Alonso Theatre Company in Florida and regionally around the United States in plays by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Shaw and Coward, working under the direction of Tony Award winning directors Vivian Matalon and Brian Murray.
In 1992, he studied theatre directing at T. Schreiber Studios in New York. He has directed plays by Anton Chekov and Horton Foote, including directing the actor Leonid Satinovsky from Russia’s prestigious Moscow Arts Theatre in Chekov’s The Bear.
Chernov received his Graduate Ballet Teacher’s Diploma (Vaganova Method) at the Victoria College of the Arts and, in 2002, completed a Master of Arts Administration at the University RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. He choreographed The Nutcracker for the Philippines Ballet Theatre in 1995. Additionally, he taught dance and choreographed two ballets at Adelphi University in 1996 and 1997, as well as teaching classical ballet at the Victoria College of the Arts in 2004 and 2005.
Chernov has worked in partnership with his wife Gelsey Kirkland in coaching, teaching and directing ballet dancers since 1993. They were co-directors of the ballet school at Danceworld in Melbourne, Australia.
Chernov worked with Kevin McKenzie and Gelsey Kirkland in staging The Sleeping Beauty, for American Ballet Theatre, where his responsibilities included theatrical concept, dramaturgy, scenario, mise-en-scène and choreographic collaboration.