Princess Grace Dance Academy talented students & graduates put a fantastic show in the Salle Garnier

Academy graduates all joined important Ballet companies

On June 24 and 25, 2017, the Salle Garnier Opera of Monte-Carlo hosted the Princess Grace Dance Academy annual Gala to an standing room only captive audience, where talented students and graduates put an unforgettable show proof of their talent and professionalism.

A 100% of the Princess Grace Dance Academy students, coming from all over the world, join international companies after graduation, making it one of the most prestigious ballet schools, a very demanding institution but providing students a welcoming home away from home, with professional teachers who also tender to their young souls, and a staff that takes care of their daily needs.

Introducing the 2017 graduates

(Their names are listed from left to right as they appear on the group photo below @Alice Blangero)

  • Gustavo Ferreira Chalub – Zurich Balett
  • Marina Fernandez Duarte – Bayerisches Staatsballett Munich
  • Jaat Benoot – La Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo
  • May Nagahisa – Mariinsky Theatre
  • Andrea Marino Gambazza – Bayerisches Staatsballett Munich
  • Lisa Van Cauwenbergh – Royal Swedish Ballet
  • Iacopo Arregui Taddei – Zurich Ballett
  • Michèle Pinelis – Zurich Ballet
  • Giovanni Tombacco – Bayerisches Staatsballett Munich
  • Nicole Conti – Scottish Ballet
  • Luca Afflitto – Zurich Ballett
  • Mikhael Kinley Safronoff – Ballet de l’Opera National du Rhin

Learning about dance and life

Each year around 40 to 50 dancers from all over the world join this prestigious advanced training at the Academy of Dance Princess Grace, under the direction of Luca Masala. During 4 years, students from 14 to 18 years old take courses in classical, contemporary and character dance, as well as courses in composition, Pilates, music and dance history. In parallel the dancers follow a normal school instruction by mail and the foreign students take language courses. It costs approximately Euro 15,000 for the tuition of each student, and as some of them cannot afford it the Academy relies on donations to offset the cost.

The objective of the Academy is also for the students to learn to live together, away from their country of origin and their families, thanks to the help of professional teachers and staff who are really caring human beings. “The Academy is not only a dance school, it is a school of life that will help the students integrate in a universe that is not easy. Because to dance is not a job, it is a real way of life!” affirms Luca Masala.

Luca scouts talented young dancers all over the world by attending reputable contests and selecting the most talented youngsters. Not an easy task as most academies compete for the same gifted dancers. The students of the Academy work very hard in friendly ambiance and learn the trade that will enable them one day to make their dream come true. Since its creation the Academy has trained several generations of dancers, who at the end of their courses join renowned international dance companies.

The Princess Grace Dance Academy artistic team is composed of:

  • Luca Masala, Director of Artistic Teaching and Pedagogy
  • Michel Rahn, Director’s Assistant and principal professor
  • Pedagogic team
  • Olivier Lucea
  • Gioia Masala
  • Carole Pastorel
  • Thierry Sette
  • Roland Vogel
  • Massimiliano Greco, Accompanying Pianist and Responsible for Music
  • Antonio Puntillo and Kayoko Maie, Accompanying Pianists

2017 Gala program

First part Pas d’Adieux (Goodbye) – Performed by the 12 graduates

  • La Bayadere – May Nagahisa & Iacopo Arregui T. Saltini – Choreography R. Vogel after M. Petipas with Music: L. Minkus
  • Black Swan – Lisa Van Cauwenbergh & Jaat Benoot – Choreography Marco Goecke; Music P. I Tchaikovsky
  • In Memoriam – Michelle PInelis & Mikhael Kinley-Safronoff Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; Music: A Filetta
  • Les Indomptes – Andrea Marino Gambazza  & Giovanni Tombacco – Choreography C. Brumachon; Music: W. Martens
  • Carmen – Nicole Conti & Luca Afflitto – Choreography S. Lourenco; Music: G. Bizet
  • Romeo & Juliette – Marina Fernandes da Costa Duarte & Gustavo Ferreira Chalub – Choreography J.C Maillot; Music: S. Prokofiev

Second Part “Etudes” (Studies)

A group of 20 students with Czerny in the piano arranged for the orchestra by K. Riisaker. Staging by Luca Masala with choreographies by: Eugenio Buratti, Julien Guerin, Sara Lourenco, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Michel Rahn, Jeroen Verbruggen and Roland Vogel.

The “Studies” enabled to discover the compositions of three graduated dancers: Michelle Pinelis, Luca Afflitto and Lisa Van Cauwenbergh.

Today’s Quote

“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.” Merce Cunningham


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