Assaf Benchetrit began his dance and music studies at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. Upon graduation, he danced with the Jerusalem Dance Theater, the Panov Ballet, and later with The Israeli National Ballet Company. During his military service, Assaf received the “Remarkable Dancer” prize from the Israeli government which allowed him to continue dancing while serving. After completing his military service, he arrived to United States to dance with companies such as The Joffrey, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet. Throughout his career, Assaf toured through England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and numerous other countries. He performed lead roles in the majority of renowned ballet productions such as Swan Lake as Siegfried, Don Quixote as Basilio, La Corsaire as Ali, La Bayadere as Solar, Coppelia as Franz, Sleeping Beauty as the Prince, the title-role in Petrushka, and a number of George Balanchine works including Apolloin the title-role, Donizetti Variations and the Nutcracker as Cavalier. Assaf holds a joint B.S in computer science and B.F.A in dance degrees with academic honors from Montclair State University, and an M.F.A degree with academic honors in dance from Hollins/ADF/Frankfurt. He was a faculty member at Columbia University (Barnard College), Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and Raritan Valley Community College, where he taught ballet, mens’ class, pas de deux, variations, and modern dance. He is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at UNH.
SHURA BARYSHNIKOV is a Rhode Island-based educator, improvisor, dancer and movement designer. Shura has worked as a choreographer and movement consultant for Trinity Repertory Company, The Wilbury Theatre Group, Bridge Repertory Company, Elemental Theatre Collective and on a number of Brown/Trinity MFA productions. As a freelance dancer, she has performed in works by Heidi Henderson, Ali Kenner-Brodsky and Betsy Miller, among others, and with Aerplaye Dance, American Dance Legacy Initiative, Lostwax Multimedia Dance and Festival Ballet Providence. Shura is a teaching associate in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University and has also taught movement and choreographed for students at MIT, Dean College, Rhode Island College, Salve Regina University and at Earthdance in Plainfield, MA. Shura’s performance work has been presented by the RISD Museum, Festival Ballet Providence, the Providence Fringe Festival and in Earthdance’s Moving Arts Lab.
The first of two summer intensives begins today with the Junior Intensive! The students arrived this morning for their first full day of intense 9-5 classes. Our intensive programs are designed to enhance a student’s development during the summer, where they can fully focus on their classes and progress. These students not only work on their dance technique, they also have conditioning classes and lectures about dance history and other topics . It’s no surprise that these long days can be difficult to get through, so here are a few tips, courtesy of Friends of Festival Ballet Providence!
Make new friends! There are students here from many cities and towns. Making new friends can be one of the best things about Intensive.
Take Care of Your Body. No sense working all day in class and not eating right or not hydrating during the day or staying up late at night. You won’t perform well the next day.
Pack that dance bag well:
Toe tape (for lots of intense Pointe work)
Bobby pins, brush, hairspray
An extra pair of tights, ballets shoes, jazz shoes, ballet skirt and warm-ups
A note book and pen to record the corrections from teachers or difficult combinations
Snacks like a granola bar or banana (bananas are great for cramps!)