Summer Ballet Intensive Program Faculty

Yukari Thiesen: Artistic Director

Former soloist Matsuyama Ballet, Tokyo, Japan: Director Valley Performing Arts Council: Artistic Director Fresno Ballet Theatre. She has been the Producer of “the Nutcracker” with the Sacramento Ballet and also with Russian Festival Ballet, “Snow White & Seven Dwarfs” “Cinderella” “The Jungle Book”, “The Secret Garden”, “Beauty & the Beast”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “Don Quixote” with State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara. She is the director/choreographer for outreach productions of “The Little Match Girl”, “Snow Queen”, ”The Red  Shoes”, “Cinderella”, “From the Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake Act III” and other ballets for over 200,000 grade school students from 23 school districts. She is an artist in residence with four school districts and oversees ballet programs for three school districts. She was the recipient of the Fresno County Office of Education Artist in Residence grant in 2013. In September 2017 she was awarded the Outstanding Educator in Arts for 2017 by the FOUNDATION @ Fresno County Office of Education.

Aaron Smyth: was trained at Australian Ballet. He has danced with ABT, Joffrey Ballet, and London’s Royal Ballet. He worked with Walt Disney’s “The Nutcracker and Four Realms”, partnered with Misty Copland, was a cast member of the long- running musical “An American in Paris” in London and will appear in another musical “Cats” in London.

James Folsom: is from San Marino, California. He was trained and graduated from Kirov Academy at Washington DC with a scholarship. He has danced with Ballet Austin and Dayton Ballet prior to joining State Street Ballet (SSB) in 2017. He is a principal dancer with the Company.

Sergei Domrachev: was born in Russia and graduated from the Perm Ballet Academy. He was a bronze medalist in the Vaganova Competition and the International Arabesque Competition in 1992, also earning the Audience Favorite Award. He has danced professionally as a Soloist with both Moscow Classical Ballet and Los Angeles Classical Ballet. Domrachev joined SSB in 1997, and throughout his 20-year tenure has performed Principal and Character roles to critical and popular acclaim.

Leeza Domrachev: following her parents Marina Fliagina (SSB Ballet Master) and Sergei Domrachev, she is studying at the prestigious Perm Ballet in Russia where she will shortly graduate. She has already been offered a contact with Moscow Classical Ballet. She will co-teach with her father at Northwest Studio where she has spent her past summers attending the Summer Ballet Intensive Program.

Alexey Kulpin: Graduate from the University of Culture Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degree in ballet methodology and choreography. He was the 1998 Grand Prix winner of the Muse of St. Petersburg Ballet. He is currently a fulltime faculty member at Harid Conservatory in Florida. He is a sought – after judge for Youth America Grand Prix and other East Coast based ballet competitions.

Anton Romanov: Northwest Studio Ballet Master – Trained and graduated from the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow:  Former principal & soloist with the Kremlin Ballet Theater, Moscow / Ballet Municipal of Lima, Peru / Ballet Municipal of Rio De Janeiro / National Ballet of Paraguay / Bayerische Staatsballet in Munchen Germany. Recipient of the Bronze Medal at the professional ballet dancers’ competition in Bento de Danza, Brazil, the Gold Medal at Interdanza and participated in the Paris International Ballet Competition in Paris, France.

 Yulia Gamboni: a native Ukrainian from Odessa, Ukraine. She was trained in the classical Russian Vaganova Ballet method in Odessa Ukraine. In 1993 she received a bronze medal and Title of Laureate at the Moscow International Ballet Competition of “Ballet Russ”.

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