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Loyola hosts Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition Semifinal, a first for the U.S.

September 30, 2014

For the first time ever, the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition Semifinal is coming to the U.S.—and it’s happening in New Orleans. Loyola University New Orleans is hosting the major international ballet competition this spring, and the Crescent City will get a little taste of the action in a Tuesday, Oct. 7 masterclass taught by the competition’s namesake dancer, Valentina Kozlova.

A former prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet Company and the New York City Ballet, Kozlova will teach the special ballet class to a select group of local dancers, including Loyola student dancers as well as dancers from across the city. The masterclass is set for 6:30 p.m. in Loyola’s Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located on the second floor of the Communications/Music Complex.

“This upcoming international ballet competition at Loyola is not only a major cultural event for the city of New Orleans, but it also gives students of this region an opportunity to experience the high-caliber instruction of a former principal dancer of both the famous Bolshoi Ballet and the New York City Ballet,” said Laura Zambrano, director of the Loyola Ballet. “The competition offers young dancers opportunities for their future endeavors while bringing to the community this important art form.” The Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition is one of a select group of prestigious dance organizations that are members of UNESCO’s International Dance Council.

The Oct. 7 masterclass offers a glimpse of the spring competition, which Loyola is hosting from Friday, Feb. 27 to Sunday, March 1, 2015. The Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition Semifinal not only showcases some of the world’s most talented young dancers to New Orleans audiences, it also serves as part of the Loyola Ballet’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2015. For 50 years, the Loyola Ballet has continued its longstanding tradition in excellence in dance by offering its students opportunities to work with internationally known dance directors, choreographers and world-renowned dance teachers.

Open to the public, the competition aims to bring highly trained and globally sourced young talent to the forefront to create career, scholarship and performance opportunities for young dancers. Additional masterclasses, as well as the dance competitions—must-see public events—will be held Feb. 27 to March 1, 2015 in Loyola’s Roussel Hall.

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