After a lifetime of dancing, instructing young talent internationally (including here at The Joffrey Ballet), artistic superstars Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik decided to open A&A Ballet.
This summer, students came from far and wide to be apart of this groundbreaking new company. A&A Ballet promises to help passionate dancers achieve their goals while becoming trailblazers in the industry.
BTSCelebs was given the opportunity to interview one of the founders, Alexei Kremnev, and learned a little more about this intriguing new dance studio.
BTSCelebs How was A&A Ballet born?
Alexei Kremnev: A&A Ballet and A&A Center for Dance was born on June 6, 2016, but it was conceived a long time ago. The A&A name appeared in 1994, while we both were in Moscow. After all of our experience of successfully building 5 different organizations, it was launched as an independent brand.
Why did you choose the Chicagoland area for your company’s location?
Chicago is our home. We adore Lake Michigan, the seasons and architecture. Location also makes Chicago very convenient for our national and international students.
Besides yourself, what kind of choreographers will be training your dancers?
We always have been very selective, but risky at the same time. Intuition plays a very important role. I would like to see a more original approach for every company so each company looks very different. Personalities and qualities of our dancers also will play a big role in who we are going to work with.
There are many talented young choreographers who need to be recognized, supported and given a chance. This season we are working with talented Justin Allen and Ronn Stewart.
Tell us about one dancer you worked with in the past that actually inspired you. How did they influence your work with rookies?
We had a great education ourselves, that’s why we truly believe in its value and would like to continue to invest our energy and knowledge in helping the young generation. Among the legendary teachers I studied with, there are two who influenced my teaching philosophy the most. Eleonora Vlasova was a great ballerina and a laureate of the Paris Academy of Dance Award for her achievements in ballet, and German Pribilov, who studied with the great Alexander Pushkin, a teacher of Rudolph Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. They taught me to have a lot of patience and have an individual approach to every dancer.
What Hollywood movie would you love to recreate into a ballet for the Chicago stage?
There are two in my mind. I always loved “Some Like It Hot”. It’s a perfect, very classy comedy with so much American flavor and texture. I also would like to make my “Coco + Igor” a little bit longer. The theme of Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky’s lives makes it an absolute unique material to study. I’m very attracted to that period in the Arts and History. Our “Urban Nutcracker” will partially take place in Chicago of 1930 and then transform into the future, but we’ll talk about it later…..
If you could choose one musician (American or foreign) to play live music during your performances, who would you choose and why?
Herbert Von Karajan and Frank Sinatra.
What should we anticipate from A&A Ballet in the coming year?
We have had a wonderful start. The Youth Company, pre-pro program, intensive seminars bring so much joy, appreciation, energy and also future plans. We’ll continue to develop our “Children’s Series” bringing our “Cinderella”, “Pinocchio”, “Peter Pan”, “Sleeping Beauty”.
“Urban Nutcracker” will take place in 2017. We are very open minded, creative and flexible with our approach to every project, but have very strong core educational values and vision. Devoted to Youth, we’ll try to make Dance education as important as all other forms of the Arts, and also proudly represent Chicago in a world of international dance
If you want to learn more about this magical new dance company, visit A&A Ballet online (aacenterfordance.org).
*A Special Thanks to Alexei Kremnev for the Interview and Images*