Ronda Nychka was born in Lamont, Alberta and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School Toronto. She entered the National Ballet of Canada under the direction of the famous Erik Bruhn (including Lynn Wallis, Director, Royal Academy of Dance, London, England) and was quickly promoted to the Rank of Soloist. Soon-after, she was invited to join the Staatts Ballet Berlin (Gert Reinholm) and a year later, she was personally invited by the iconic Maurice Bejart to work with him in Lausanne, Switzerland as a Principal Ballerina with “Bejart Ballet Lausanne.” Her repertory includes all the Major Classical Ballets, including Principal Roles in The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Les Sylphides, La Sylphide, Le Corsaire, as well as leading roles in several ballets by the immortal George Balanchine, Sir Kennith MacMillan, Peter Wright, Sir Frederick Ashton, Roland Petit, Maurice Bejart, Valery Panov, Hans Van Mannen, Glen Tetley and John Cranko.
Highly regarded for her dramatic abilities, lyrical qualities, and exceptional versatility in both Classical, Neo-Classical and Contemporary repertoire, she has received critical acclaim throughout the world as she graced the stages of the most prestigious theaters worldwide performing with The National Ballet of Canada (“New York Times” for her “outstanding” performance of “The Prostitute” in Glen Tetley’s “La Ronde”; Staatts Ballet Berlin and Ballet Bejart Lausanne (in both companies for her portrayal of “Elue” in Maurice Bejart’s “The Rite of Spring”, Alberta Ballet, for her portrayal of “Siren” in George Balanchine’s “The Prodigal Son” and Veronica Tennant Productions (for dancing in film).
Ms. Nychka has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with a roster of illustrious choreographers and dancers world-wide: working with or having roles created especially for her by such renowned choreographers as Celia Franca, Hans Van Mannen, Rudi Van Danzig, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Glen Tetley, Maurice Bejart, John Alleyne, Dominique Dumais, David Allan, Helgi Tomasson, Anna Sokolow, Veronica Tennant C.C. and David Nixon. Ms. Nychka is privileged to have directly worked with Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Erik Bruhn, Fernando Bujones, Richard Cragun, Lynn Seymour, Azari Plisetsky, Michael Denard, Eugene Valukin, Natalia Makarova, Marcia Haydee, Reid Anderson, John Meehan, Colleen Neary, Victoria Simons, Joysanne Sidimus, Alonzo King, Roslyn Anderson, Peter Martins, David Howard, Maggie Black, Gianni Versace, Karen Kain C.C., Alexander Grant, Peter Wright, Sylvie Guillem, Lynn Wallis and Sean Cheesman; and partnered by Maurice Bejart, Rex Harrington O.C., Frank Augustyn O.C., Jorge Donn, Gil Roman, Kevin Hagen, David Nixon, Patrick Aiden De Bana, Jannick Bouquin, Aidar Akhmetov, Peter Shauffus, Denis Ganio, John Alleyne and Julio Arozarena.
In 2000-2001, she was commissioned by Mikko Nissinen (director Boston Ballet) and Alberta Ballet to choreograph for the 1st. Canadian Festival of New Works. In the creation of “Virtues & Vices” she was responsible for the music, choreography, costume and set design, a cast of 26 dancers (including Mikko Nissinen), and sound text written and recorded especially for her by the luminous Veronica Tennant C.C. Ms. Nychka was also invited as a Guest Artist with the National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Jorgen and Veronica Tennant Productions.
Ms. Nychka has been frequently involved and featured in creating dance for television on both the international and national scene, including Pyramides by Maurice Bejart, Television Suisse Romandes; La Ronde by Glen Tetley, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with Adrienne Clarkson Presents. She was featured in Flamenco at 5:15 directed by Cynthia Scott- Academy Award for Best Documentary. Ms. Nychka has created two original roles in dance films, choreographed, directed and produced by Veronica Tennant C.C: “TRIO”- Gemini Award, and “Northern Light: Visions and Dreams.”
Ms. Nychka has been consistently teaching Ballet for 21 years. She was on the faculty of Grant McKewan College as a Master Ballet Instructor, Artist-in-Residence at Belhaven University as a Guest Master Teacher and Choreographer and continues to be in high demand from dance schools, companies and competitions as a Judge in the genres of Classical Ballet, Lyrical, Modern and Contemporary.
Ms. Nychka has a vast and professional experience of training, teaching, adjudicating and performing within the Classical Ballet genres that she has embodied: Enrico Cecchetti, Royal Academy of Dance, Aggripina Vaganova, Paris Opera Ballet, August Bournonville, Cuban Style and George Balanchine. She is versed in the genres of National, Character, Modern, Contemporary, Liturgical Dance: Martha Graham, Maurice Bejart, Jiri Kylian, William Fosythe and Roland Petit.
“I enjoy sharing my knowledge and passion; encouraging all who are captured by the Love of Dance!” WEBSITE: www.rondanychka.com
Born in Tripoli, Libya, Marcus Alford found his way to several continents as an Air Force brat. He eventually landed at the University of Alabama where he earned a B.A. degree. Inspired by his dance teachers, he headed to Chicago where he choreographed, taught, danced and toured with the legendary Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for a decade.
Mr. Alford has been on the faculty of every major dance organization including D.M.A., D.E.A., Internationale Tanz Werkstatt, Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and many others. Marcus’ high energy jazz classes have also inspired students at the Festival of the World in Hungary, The American College Dance Festival, The International Ballet Competition, Jackson, MS, Hubbard Street Dance Studio, Chicago and the North Carolina School of the Arts. He currently serves of the faculty of the Kennesaw State University Department of Dance.
In 1986, Marcus founded “JAZZ ON TAP” (the Metro Atlanta Jazz and Tap Dance Festival) which has grown to be one of the largest dance events of its kind in the U.S. featuring master classes and performances involving 2,500 dancers annually. In 1991, he authored Jazz Danceology, now a standard in the libraries of jazz dancers, teachers and universities everywhere. Alford’s company, Jazz Dance Theatre South, founded in 1986, toured the U.S. and Europe for 15 years presenting the highest caliber of concert jazz and tap. Serving the Ballet community with its own festival, Mr. Alford founded “BalletFest Atlanta” in 2003.
Marcus Alford has performed in and/or choreographed many award winning industrials and TV/video projects. With Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Marcus danced “The Rehearsal”, an Emmy Award winner. His “Customer is King” (Media Mix, London/Atlanta) won a Telly Award for outstanding television and video production and “Alcatel is Here” (Networld / Interop Communications Show) won the Best of Show award. Mr. Alford’s industrial work includes clients such as Kohler Corporation, Sprint, I.B.M., and N.F.L. Commissioners. His concert choreography can be seen on companies throughout the dance world.
Marcus loves to share the wonderful art and excitement of dance with all!
Ballet Technique, Character, and Variations
Mikhail Ilyin is fully certified with all the levels of ABT’s National Training Curriculum Pedagogy Program and the Feldenkrais Methode of Somatic Education (a 4 year Professional Training Program in Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration).
Born in St. Petersburg, Mikhail graduated from Vaganova Ballet Academy in 1998 with BA in Arts. In 1999, he joined the Boston Ballet for two years, then Miami City Ballet where he became principal in 2003.
His repertoire with Miami City Ballet included leading roles in Swan Lake, Paquita, Le Corsaire, Coppélia, The Nutcracker, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Stars and Stripes, Sonatine, Ballet Imperial, Apollo, Theme and Variations, Allegro Brillante, Ballo della Regina, Glinka Pas de Trois, Donizetti Variations, Prodigal Son, La Source, Western Symphony, Symphony in C, Afternoon of a Faun, Dances at a Gathering, Interplay, Company B, Arden Court, Piazzolla Caldera, Giggling Rapids, The Reassuring Effects (of Form and Poetry), The Golden Section, Nine Sinatra Songs and In the Upper Room.
Mikhail joined American Ballet Theatre in January 2008, he performed leading roles and soloist roles in Etudes, Corsaire, Company B, Rabbit and Rogue, Swan Lake, Merry Widow, Sleeping Beauty among others.
Mikhail Ilyin won the Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition “Vaganova Prix” and a diploma at the Paris International Dance Competition (1998), Silver Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition (2000) and Bronze Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson (2002).
Mikhail has performed, taught and choreographed across the United States, including the Miami City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre’s JKO (faculty member), French Academy of Classical Ballet (faculty member), Joffrey, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet and Ellison Ballet schools among others. In 2005, he was chosen by Dance Magazine as one of the “to watch” dancers of today. He has been an Artist-in-Residence with Ballet Mississippi since 2005.