Princess Grace Academy talented graduates & students ignite the Opera of Monte-Carlo

At the Academy students grow wings to fly high

On June 23 and 24, 2018, the Salle Garnier Opera of Monte-Carlo hosted the Princess Grace Academy annual Gala to a standing-room-only captive audience of family, friends and ballet lovers.  From the royal balcony high above H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover, president of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, was cheering the dancers. The gifted students and graduates gave an unforgettable performance proof of their talent and professionalism, under the artistic direction of Luca Masala. I believe that at the Academy students grow wings to allow them to fly very high around the world!

Gala program in Two Acts

The curtains opened and a film unveiling each of the 2018 graduates appeared on the screen, where one after the other each graduate dissolved into the next, to the delightful tunes of violinist Nicole Curau.

The first part was Pas d’Adieux(No farewell), a series of high-flying variations by the graduating students that anticipate their entry into the professional world.

  • Yuria Isaka – Variation of Kitri extract from Don Quixote
  • Yuka Matsumoto – Variation from the Bridesmaid extract from Don Quixote
  • Martino Semenzato – Variation from The Sylph
  • Natatia Walzabluk – Variation of Nikiya extract from The Bayadere
  • YoungSeo Ko – Variation of The Star extract from Paquita
  • Ivana Bueno Garces – Variation of Esmeralda extract from Esmeralda
  • Shale Wagman – Variation of Basil extract from Don Quixote

The second part was dedicated to the Brahms Hungarian Dances, allowing the audience to discover a series of pieces created by the students of the Academy. These twenty-one famous dances, where the music evolves between a nomad universe and romanticism, enabled the choreographers to propose different style going from classic to contemporary and passing by character.

  • Dance No. 6 – Choreographer YoungSeo Ko
  • Dance No. 7 – Choreographer Grigory Chicherin
  • Dance No. 16 – Choreographer Michel Rahn
  • Dance No. 1 – Choreographer Marco Goecke
  • Dance No. 7 – Choreographer Eugenio Buratti
  • Dance No. 11, 14 – Choreographer Jeroen Verbruggen
  • Dance No. 3 – Choreographer Eugenio Buratti
  • Dance No. 9 – Choreographer YoungSeo Ko
  • Dance No. 5 – Choreographer Sara Lourenco
  • Dance No. 13 – Choreographer Eugenio Buratti
  • Dance No. 19, 15, 21, 10 – Choreographer Michel Rahn

(With the participation of violinist Nicole Curau)

Artistic Director – Luca Masala

Director’s Assistant and principal professor – Michel Rahn

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, Pianists

The Academy prepares students for a career in dance & life

The Princess Grace Academy students come from all over the world, to join international companies after graduation, making it one of the most prestigious ballet schools. The Academy is really demanding but provides students a nurturing home away from home, with professional teachers who impart discipline but also care for their inner souls, and a staff that tend to the youngsters daily needs. The objective is for the young students to learn to live together, away from their families and in a new country.

Each year around 40 to 50 dancers from different countries join this prestigious advanced training at the Academy, 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 generous donors to offset the cost.

Academy Exams 2018 at the studio of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo

Luca Masla scouts 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 2018 graduates have joined important Ballet companies

Congratulations to the new graduates who become the Academy ambassadors around the world!

  • Yuria Isaka, Japonaise – Berlin Staatsballett
  • Martino Semenzato, Italien – Stuttgart Staatsballet
  • Youngseo Ko, Coréenne – Norvegian National Ballet in Oslo
  • Yuka Matsumoto, Japonaise – Berlin Staatsballett
  • Natatia Warzabluk, Américaine – Ballett Zürich
  • Ivana Bueno Garces, Mexicaine/américaine – English National Ballet in London
  • Min-Ji Nam, Coréenne – Stuttgart Staatsballet
  • Shale Wagman, Canadien, 1er au Prix de Lausanne – English National Ballet, Londres

Today’s Quote

“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!” Luca Masala.

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