June 26, 2012

Press Releases






WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Ballet (TWB) announced today that TWB Company dancer, Brooklyn Mack, won a Gold medal at the 2nd Annual Boston International Ballet Competition (BIBC) in Boston, MA on Sunday, June 17, 2012.  The Washington School of Ballet (TWSB) student, Albert Gordon, also won a Gold medal at BIBC.  The Ballet’s dancers competed against a field of 90 dancers from 16 countries.  Male and female participants were judged according to age, Junior level (age 15-18) and Senior level (age 19-25), in both classical and contemporary divisions.  The competition was an elimination style that consisted of three rounds in three days.  Mr. Mack competed in the Pas de Deux in the first round, performed the compulsory contemporary in the second round, and two classical solos, and one contemporary solo of choice in the final round.  For his performances, Mr. Mack won the Gold medal in the Senior Male Division   Mr. Mack’s awards include an invitation to dance at the Kremlin Palace, Moscow, on November 27, 2012 and a guest performance with The Indianapolis City Ballet “Evening with the Stars” Gala on September 8, 2012. Mr. Gordon competed as a soloist dancing two classical solos in the first round, the compulsory contemporary in the second round and two classical solos and one contemporary solo in the final round.  Mr. Gordon won the Gold medal in the Junior Male Division, and was awarded a contract with the Boston Ballet II for the 2012.2013 season.  Mr. Gordon has chosen to stay at TWSB until he finishes high school next spring.


TWB Company members Andile Ndlovu and Aurora Dickie were also recognized at the competition. Mr. Ndlovu, a Silver medalist in the Senior Male Division last year, performed his own choreography entitled The Art of War at the Competition Awards Gala. Ms. Dickie received a special commendation for “Excellence in Interpretation” of Devotion, choreographed  by Nina Buisson.  Additionally, Mr. Mack received a special commendation for “Excellence in Interpretation” for On the Way choreographed by Dai Jian.


“I am very proud of our dancers at The Washington Ballet, said Kee Juan Han, TWSB’s Director. It was a grueling few days of competition.  We had a Washington School of Ballet student, Albert Gordon, win gold along with our professional winner, Brooklyn Mack.  It shows the quality of training at The Washington Ballet, especially in our Men’s program.”


The Boston International Ballet Competition (BIBC) was founded in 2011 by Valentina Kozlova to allow student and professional dancers ages 13 to 25 years an opportunity to perform and compete in a positive and encouraging atmosphere before a distinguished panel of international judges.  BIBC awards professional contracts, scholarships, monetary and other special prizes to competitors.


Among the panel of judges at BIBC were Oleksi Bessmertni, Founder and Director of the International Dance Festival TANZOLYMP, Andris Liepa, famous Russian dancer and choreographer, Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director of Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School and Septime Webre, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet.

BROOKLYN MACK of Elgin, SC, is in his fourth season with The Washington Ballet. Mr. Mack began his dance training at age 12 with the Pavlovich Dance School under Radenko Pavlovich and Milena Leben before receiving a scholarship to study at the Kirov Academy of Ballet. Mr. Mack then apprenticed with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and later joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company. Before joining TWB, Mr. Mack spent three seasons as a principal dancer with Orlando Ballet. He has performed internationally at Ballet Clasico de Camara with Nina Novak in Venezuela, Latvian National Ballet, NBA Ballet Company in Japan and many others. Notable awards include the Kirsti Paakenen Encouragement Prize at the 2005 International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland, the silver medal at the 2006 Jackson International Ballet Competition, in Mississippi, the Princess Grace Fellowship Award (2007), the silver prize at the 2009 Helsinki IBC, the bronze medal at the 2011 Boston IBC, the Marius Leipa Prize at the Boston IBC (2011) and the silver medal at the 2011 Korean International Dance Competition.


AURORA DICKIE, of Pernambuco, Brazil, is in her fourth season with The Washington Ballet. She began training at age five with her mother and teacher Jane Dickie.  At age 11, she was awarded a five-year full scholarship at the Bolshoi School in Brazil where she studied under the tutorship of Galina Kravtchenko and had the opportunity to take classes as a trainee with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.  Ms. Dickie has worked with the Cisne Negro Cia de Dança, São Paulo, Brazil in 2006 and was a member of Cia de Dança de São Jose dos Campos, São Paulo under the direction of Ricardo Scheir before joining The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company in 2007. In April of 2007, she won the bronze medal at Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC, and was invited to perform at the Miami Ballet Festival in the Gala of International Young Medal Winners.  During a brief hiatus from TWB, she worked with São Paulo Companhia de Dança and completed one semester at Universidade Paulista in the Psychology… In 2012, Ms. Dickie won a Bronze Medal at the Cape Town International Ballet Competition.


ANDILE NDLOVU, of Johannesburg, South Africa, is in his fourth season with The Washington Ballet, after dancing one season with the Studio Company. Mr. Ndlovu began his training in Latin American and in ballroom dance at the age of 10. At 15, he began training in ballet under Martin Schöenberg, director of Ballet Theatre Afrikan. In 2007, Mr. Ndlovu performed with South African Ballet Theatre, performing the lead in Don Quixote and the Jester in Swan Lake, among other roles. He went on to dance with Cape Town City Ballet and tied for first place in the contemporary category of the 2008 South African International Ballet Competition. Mr. Ndlovu has also been part of the 15-year anniversary of Step Afrika! as a guest artist, performed his collaborative choreography solo with Gregory Vuyani Maqoma in Beyond Skin and was a part of the South African version of Queen with Mzansi Productions, choreographed by Debbie Rakusin and Timothy Le Roux.


ALBERT GORDON, of McLean, VA, began dancing at The Washington School of Ballet at age ten. Since 2006, Albert has been studying under the instruction of Kee Juan Han, Director of The Washington School of Ballet.  Mr. Gordon has danced key roles with The Washington Ballet including the role of The Nutcracker Prince, in The Nutcracker. Mr. Gordon won Senior Grand Prix at the regional YAGP competition in Torrington, CT in 2012 and was a finalist in YAGP in New York City in 2012.




Originally founded as The Washington School of Ballet in 1944 by legendary ballet pioneer Mary Day and incorporated as a professional company in 1976, The Washington Ballet (TWB) is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States.  TWB built an international reputation presenting bold works by choreographers from around the world, including Choo-San Goh, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp and Nacho Duato, as well as Neoclassical masterworks and fresh stagings of 19th century classics. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Septime Webre and Executive Director Peter M. Branch, TWB embraces a three-part mission: ensuring excellence in its professional performance company; growing the next generation of dancers through its Washington School of Ballet; and serving the community in which it resides through robust community engagement programs.


The Washington School of Ballet, founded in 1944, is recognized nationally and internationally for its classical training and dedication to excellence in dance and dance education. The school trains over 900 local, national and international students each year, with a curriculum ranging from Pre-Ballet for five-year-olds to pre-professional programs for students ages 13 to 20 years, many of whom wish to pursue dance as a career. The school also offers classes for adults from beginning to advanced levels.


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