Cosmin is a native Transylvanian from Sibiu, Romania. At age 9, Cosmin was discovered in a nation-wide search for artistic talents and accepted into the Academy of Arts and Choreography in Cluj-Napoca, RO. He completed the Academy with honors and also received certification in pedagogy and choreography. After graduating, Cosmin was engaged as a soloist with the Romanian National Ballet in Cluj-Napoca, RO and the touring company Europe Ballet. He continued his professional dance career with the Croatian National Ballet in Croatia's capital, Zagreb. Cosmin danced in various productions and commercials produced by Zagrebacka Televizija, which was the leading television network in Croatia. In 1992 he was engaged as a soloist with the Landesbuhnen Sachsen in Radebeul (Dresden), Germany where he danced for 10 years. The Sachische Zeitung and The Morgen Post followed his dance career and published many excellent reviews and articles about his life and performances.
Cosmin has established himself as a master ballet instructor in New England and the east coast since his arrival to the USA in 2002. He was on the dance faculty of the Boston Arts Academy and artistic associate at Jose Mateo's Ballet Theatre where he coached, taught and rehearsed students and company members. Cosmin has also received excellent reviews for his performances in the various productions from the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the Metro.
In August of 2010 Cosmin founded the International Ballet Academy of Norwell which is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serve the South Shore of Massachusetts, New England and artistic communities abroad.
Born and raised in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ms. Valeikaite received her training from the Vilnius Ballet School. As a student, she received her break through at the age of 18 debuting in the title role of Giselle, whereupon she was promoted to soloist in the Lithuanian National Ballet Company. Her coaches include T. Legat, I. Kolpakova and P. Gusev. A principal dancer for 10 years with the company, her principal roles include those in Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda and Romeo and Juliet. She also toured extensively in the United States, South America and Europe. In 1988, she received prizes in international ballet competitions in Moscow, Varna and Paris.
Upon moving to Germany in 1992, Ms. Valeikaite became a principal dancer at Bonn Ballet (1992-1994) and Essen Ballet (1994-1997). Additionally, she has appeared as a guest artist with numerous other companies including V. Vasiliev-E. Maximova Company, the Bolshoi, Xin Peng Wang, and Ruth Page’s The Nutcracker. She continues to collaborate with the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater on numerous projects. From 1998 to 2001, she established, directed and instructed her own ballet school in Bonn. Since 2003, she has been a ballet mistress and choreographer for the Performing Arts School of Worcester while also teaching at several other dance schools. This is Ms. Valeikaite’s third year as Ballet Mistress with FBP.
A native of Venezuela, Ms. Guerrero received her early training at the Keyla Ermecheo Ballet School in Caracas. She has performed with numerous companies including Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas, Metropolitan Ballet of Caracas, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Michigan Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Jose Mateo's Ballet Theatre and Cadence Dance Project. She has created leading roles in ballets in Gianni Dimarco's El Amor Brujo, Schéhérazade and Azucar, Plotnikov's Carmen, The Widow's Broom, Loof and Let Dime and Coma, De Bouteiller's Romeo and Juliet and FBP's 2006 premiere of Don Quixote. Other leading roles include Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, Rubies, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tarantella, Who Cares?, Pelzig's The Princess and the Pea, Swan Lake and Eldar Aliev's A Thousand and One Nights. Ms. Guerrero also participated in the 2004 Venezuela Del Mundo Gala and was recognized for representing Venezuela internationally with high standards and “projection, dignity and beauty.” In addition Providence Mayor David Cicilline awarded a Citizens Citation for her “exceptional and wholehearted devotion for the art of dance.”
After her retirement from the stage in May 2012, she transitioned into her new role as Ballet Mistress with the Company, and as a faculty member with FBP School where she continues to pass on her knowledge to a new generation of dancers.
Born in Kharkov City, Ukraine, Plotnikov received his training at the Kiev-Ukraine School and the St. Petersburg Vaganova Ballet Academy. From 1987 to 1990, he was a soloist with Donetsk Ballet Company in the Ukraine. Plotnikov held principal dancer positions at Ballet Mississippi and Tulsa Ballet Theatre between 1990 and 1993, before joining Boston Ballet as a principal dancer in 1993, where he performed until 2006. He has danced major roles in extensive classical and contemporary ballets by many of the major choreographers, and has toured extensively in Russia and the US.
In 1998 Plotnikov’s extensive performance career lead to choreographic inspiration. Since then Plotnikov has created a myriad of original works for numerous organizations and individuals, often to great acclaim. These include solos and duets performed at International Gala Performances and as part of international ballet competitions, with musical taste ranging from Brahms to Pink Floyd. From 2002 to 2005, he received rave reviews for his choreography and as co-director and co-producer of the choreographers’ showcase Raw Dance in collaboration with Boston Ballet and Boston Center for the Arts. He has since created original, commissioned works for companies including Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, Richmond Ballet, New Jersey Ballet and the Bolshoi Theatre.
Awards include “Best Choreography” at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition and at the 2007 World Ballet Competition, Orlando; Outstanding Choreography Prize at the 2006 Youth American Grand Prix Competition; Second Prize winner of the 2007 International Choreographic Competition in Milwaukee; Best Choreography Award at the 2008 Ballet Competition in Perm, Russia; and Outstanding Choreographer Award at the 2009 Youth American Grand Prix.
In 2003, Festival Ballet Providence Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric commissioned Plotnikov to create an original version of Carmen, his first full length ballet. That success lead to numerous ensuing commissioned works by the company, including The Widow’s Broom (2004, based on the story by Chris Van Allsburg, with original score by Novi Sad native Alexandra Vrebalov), Loof and Let Dime (2006), Viktorations (2006), Bre (2007), the overwhelming critically acclaimed Coma (2007) , Cinderella (2007), Atom (2009), Sun Dust (2009), and Surrender (2010). In 2010, Djuric named him Festival Ballet Providence Resident Choreographer.
Mr. Plotnikov is married to Boston Ballet’s Larissa Ponomarenko.
Born December 21, 1975 in Tbilisi, Georgia. His primary dance training began at the National Academy of Dance of Tbilisi with Wahtang Chabukiany. In 1991, his was invited to attend the School of the Bolshoi Ballet under the direction of Genady Ladiah, former director of the Verse Conservatoire. In 1996, Birkadze graduated with Honours in Classical Ballet, Pas de Deux, and Traditional Dance.
Birkadze was awarded the Gold Medal in Moscow for his brilliance in World History and Literature. During his dance studies, Birkadze obtained his Diploma in Business Administration with a Master in Art Direction, and Public Relations and Marketing. Upon graduating from the School of Bolshoi Ballet, he decided to further his studies as a Pedagogy in Dance.
In September of the same year, under the direction of Ekaterina Maximova, principal ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet, he entered the Kremlin Ballet with director Erick Volodin (former Director of the Bolshoi Theatre) and Yuri Grigorovich (Choreographer and Director of Bolshoi Ballet).
Some of his numerous roles include: “The Jester” in Swan Lake, “Mercutio” and “The Clown” in Romeo and Juliet (choreography by Grigorovich), Nutcracker, Don Quijote, Tom Sawyer, Napoleon Bonaparte, etc. He participated in a number of Galas interpreting choreographic works by Y. Grigorovich, A. Petrov and V. Vasilievwith European success. Awarded the Silver Medal in Russia and the Bronze Medal in Luxembourg in 1996.
In October 1999, he was promoted to Principal Dancer in the Young Ballet of Catalonia, a company directed by renowned teacher Rodolfo Castellanos, principal dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba. In 2002, Birkadze created “In a Coma” for International Dancer Angel Corella that premiered at the Gala de la Hispanidad in Murcia, Spain. He was also named Artistic Director of BMK Company.
In the following years, he participated in numerous productions at the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona while Teaching Advanced Technique in the most prestigious schools in the city. He continued to work with Angel Corella, creating Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, and Celaje for the tour Angel Corella and the Stars of American Ballet. In 2007, he started working in Corella Ballet Castilla y Leon as a dancer and choreographer. In 2010 joined Sarasota Ballet as a Soloist and Choreographer.
Nowadays Birkadze is a Resident Choreographer in Festival Ballet of Providence