WELCOME TO BALLET RUSSE BRITISH COLUMBIA
Ballet Russe BC is the only classical ballet training facility in Western Canada that is exclusively dedicated to the Vaganova method. A training system meticulously created by the world-renowned Russian ballerina and pedagogue, Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951), this training technique blends romantic components of the French style with the strength and beauty of the Italian technique. Created to capture the dancers’ entire body with precise articulation and beautiful lines, it was Vaganova’s belief that by engaging the entire body with equivalent attention paid to the upper body, épaulement, limbs, and feet, the dancer would achieve a heightened consciousness of movement and broaden their artistic range and abilities.
With local and international backgrounds and decades of incredible professional experience, the school’s Directors and Faculty share a wealth of knowledge and expertise and provide unparalleled leadership and development training to Ballet Russe BC students.
Our students are regularly accepted, often on scholarship, in international summer intensive studies in prestigious professional academies such as Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Kirov Ballet Academy, The Royal Ballet School, School of American Ballet, Atlanta Ballet School, Canada’s National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Ellison Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet School, Canada’s National Ballet School, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, just to name a few.
Ballet Russe BC Faculty
Roberta Baseggio | Artistic Director
Born in Italy, Ms. Roberta Baseggio began her ballet studies at very young age. She trained at the National Academy of Dance in Rome, where she graduated with a Degree in Arts and Dance in 1989. There, she mastered the Vaganova method, Italian Enrico Cecchetti method, and the Martha Graham contemporary technique and trained with internationally renowned ballet masters Victor Litvinov, Loipa Araújo, Margherita Trayanova, Zarko Prebil, Luc Bouy, Floris Alexander, Patricia Neary, Elisabetta Terabust, just to name a few.
Over the course of her professional career, Ms. Baseggio performed throughout Europe and internationally, working alongside legends of dance such as Carla Fracci, Peter Schaufuss, Susan Hogard, Vladimir Vassiliev, Luciana Savignano, Charles Jude, Valentina Kolpakova, Monique Loudier, and choreographers such as Roland Petit, Rudy Van Danzig, Ricardo Nunez, Lorca Massine, Stephen Petronio, Luciano Cannito, Giuseppe Carbone, and Massimo Moricone.
Ms. Baseggio performed as a soloist and principal dancer with some of the most prestigious Italian state theatre companies such as the Opera House in Rome, the Maggio Danza in Florence, the San Carlo Theatre in Naples, and the Arena and Filarmonico Theatre in Verona, as well as with private companies like Astra Roma Ballet, the Balletto di Napoli and Koros. She has performed leading roles in some of the most ballets of classical and contemporary works such as “Romeo and Juliet”, “Swan Lake”, “Don Quixote”, “Giselle”, “La Sylphide” by Peter Schaufuss, “Midsummer Night Dream”, “The Four Temperaments” by Balanchine, “The Nutcracker”, “Cinderella” by Rudolf Nureyev, among many others.
Since relocating to Canada in 2007, Ms. Baseggio has been teaching ballet and contemporary in Victoria and Vancouver, and has been invited to adjudicate in the city’s main dance festivals. In 2009, Ms. Baseggio founded and directed the Vancouver City Dance Theatre (VCDT), and she choreographed a world premiere called, “The Dali Universe” featuring principle dancers from the National Ballet of Canada as well as various other local and international guest professional dancers. The VCDT toured Europe and was later awarded “Best Dance Company of the Year” by Il Giornale della Danza”.
In 2010, she was appointed Teaching Director Representative for North America and Canada by the National Academy of Dance in Rome, with the directive to introduce and expand its curriculum based on the Vaganova method. In addition, since 2011, she has been working as a Stage Movement Coach and Choreographer at the University of British Columbia, Opera and Music Division where she has designed and implemented Total Body Awareness workshops for opera singers. Ms. Baseggio is also a Member of the Association of Russian Ballet and Theatre Arts.
As the Artistic Director of Ballet Russe British Columbia, Ms. Baseggio is thrilled play an integral role in helping to shape and advance the future of ballet training in the lower mainland.
Tanya Jarrett | FOUNDER & Executive Director
Based on a deep respect and passion for the performing arts, Tanya has taken the first steps towards fulfilling a lifelong dream of hers by founding Ballet Russe BC and in doing so, creating an educational environment that is based on a set of strong core values for dancers in pursuit of exceptional classical ballet training. Born and raised in North Vancouver, BC, from the age of 3, she spent the bulk of her childhood and adolescent years training in both classical ballet and piano. Tanya’s career in the arts and entertainment industry spans over 16 years and she holds a Masters in Business Administration from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Given her passion, background, education, and professional experience, she is in a unique position to drive the school’s and its dancer’s continued development and success alongside an incredible team of Faculty, helping to solidify BC's ballet presence on the world stage. Her goal is to ensure that Ballet Russe BC students receive unrivaled training in a demanding, yet remarkably uplifting and supportive environment.
Alyona khakkoulova | ballet Instructor
Ms. Alyona Khakkoulova is a graduate of The Dance Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she received thorough training and graduated with distinction. As a result of her talent and versatility, she performed as a leading dancer around the world. She eventually found her love of teaching, and for more than 20 years, has provided exceptional dance training to students in Ontario and more recently, British Columbia. As a former studio owner and artistic director, she specialized in teaching under the Vaganova methodology. Her pupils have been been awarded and recognized in local and international dance competitions, with a number of her students accepting placement in some of the world's most respected training institutions. She is also the recipient of numerous choreography and creative concept awards due to her cutting edge, avant-garde style. She has in-depth experience in creating a multitude of productions ranging from solo and small groups pieces, to complex and stylized larger pieces. Her unique and innovative approach, caring and passionate demeanor, along with her keen attention to detail, truly enables her students to realize their goals. Ms. Alyona is thrilled to join the Faculty and team at Ballet Russe BC and is looking forward to an exceptional season ahead.
Alla Krivchun | Rhythmic gymnastics stretch coach
Ms. Alla is the Director and Founder of Planet Rhythmics (www.planetr.ca), and is a Performance and AGG/Interclub Level Coach. She is a former Ukrainian National Team Rhythmic Gymnast, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education, a Master’s Degree in Human Kinetics (Coaching Science), UBC, and a Master of Sport Degree in Rhythmic Gymnastics. She has 35 years of Athletic and Coaching Experience and is also a fitness instructor and coach of BC Group and Individual Champions. She has choreographed the Gymnastic Shows “Gymnastrada”, is fully Certified in Canadian National Coaching Certification Program, level 3, and also serves as a Judge in the BC Provincial Category. Ms. Alla has been a Permanent Guest Faculty Member since 2015 and continues to challenge our boundaries in stretch, strength, and conditioning for students of Ballet Russe BC as part of our unique and specifically-customized training curriculum.
Nicholas Gede-Lange | Contemporary Instructor
Originally from Ontario, Nicholas began studying ballet at the age of 5. He then broadened his studies to include jazz, lyrical, tap, modern, flamenco, african, acrobatics and figure skating. At the age of 16 he was accepted into the National Ballet School of Canada (NBS) where he graduated from the full professional dance program. After travelling the world for a year performing in musical theatre reviews, Nicholas settled in Vancouver and danced for 2 seasons with Ballet British Columbia. He then performed in HELLO, DOLLY with the Vancouver Playhouse before heading to Tokyo Disney in ENCORE where he was half of the principle adage team and featured acrobat. Nicholas has been part of over 10 world premiere productions including Mirvish's LORD OF THE RINGS in Toronto. Some of his other credits include performing with The Canadian Opera Company, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada and CBC Radio Canada. Nicholas has toured with Felix Gray’s musical, SHEHERAZADE, LES MILLE ET UNE NUITS as the principal character dancer Alazim, which played at the Follies Bergers in Paris, France. Nicholas can also been seen in the feature film MIRROR MIRROR starring Julia Roberts, now available on Netflix. For the past few years he has been teaching full time in the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland BC. He is very happy to be going into his second season teaching in the Vancouver area and to spread his wealth of knowledge to his students, helping them reach their potential to become the best performers they can be.
Jenifer zschoerper | Ballet & Character INstructor
Ms. Jenifer began her ballet training at the young age of three. After earning the highest score of over 50,000 children during the audition and selection process, she was accepted into the highly recognized and prestigious Bolshoi Theatre School in Brazil where she was recognized by Vladimir Vassiliev who awarded her the Galina Ulanova Prize for young dancers. During her years of study, she performed as a soloist throughout Brazil and Internationally in Italy, Germany, France, and Russia. In 2007, Ms. Jenifer was accepted into English National Ballet School in London on a full scholarship, however, she chose to continue her studies with the Bolshoi Theatre School where she graduated as Valedictorian of the Class of 2009. She went on to compete that year in Brasilia and eventually chose to study at the Pacific Dance Arts School on full scholarship where she performed as a Soloist and Principal. In 2011, Ms. Jenifer was offered a contract to perform for a full season as Principal Dancer with the Baltimore Ballet where she also coached and prepared advanced-level dancers for competition. She also performed in Brazil at CIA Brasileira de Ballet as a Principal dancer and worked as a coach for two years. Over the span of her career, Ms. Jenifer performed and shared the stage with ballet greats such as Alla Scalla di Milano, Natalia Osipova, Ivan Vassiliev, Marianlea Nunez, Ekaterina Krysanova, Marta Romagna Marcelo Gomes, and Tiago Soares to name a few. In 2013 she moved to Massachusetts to train the Boston Ballet and one year later, she moved to Vancouver to complete her BFA in Arts Administration and she joined Ballet Russe BC as a full-time faculty member in 2016.
Growing up surrounded by the rhythm of her native Morocco gave AFIFA LAHBABI an early appreciation for music and dance. Afifa’s formal dance background includes tap, ballet, modern, and substantial flamenco training with Rosario Ancer .
Afifa has been a soloist in the Flamenco Rosario Dance Company Cuadro Flamenco series since 2002, a featured soloist in the 2005 and 2007, 2009 Vancouver International Flamenco Festivals and Flamenco Rosario company dancer in the 2009,2012, 2013, and 2015 festivals. She had the pleasure of co-choreographing and performing a dance work with Melanie Meyers especially for the 2012 Vancouver International Flamenco Festival. Other performances include Flamenco Rosario's Los Cuatro Vientos, Ayer y Hoy, Flamenco y Las Americas, Guadalquivir and Mis Hermanas. Afifa was invited to perform independently at the Pemberton Folk Festival in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 she travelled to train intensively in Sevilla, Spain with Alicia Marquez, Adela Campallo, Belen Maya and Mercedes Ruiz. In 2009, Afifa returned again for more intensive dance training in Jerez de La Frontera, Spain with Andres Peña, Isabel Bayón, Ana Maria Lopez and Manuela Carpio, returning again in 2010 to further her training with Rafaela Carrasco, Manuela Carpio, Ana Maria Lopez, Mercedes Ruiz, and Andres Peña.Her ongoing dance training includes numerous dance workshops with renowned flamenco masters such as Joaquin Grilo, La Lupi, La Moneta, Angeles Gabaldon, Javier Barron, Pilar Ogalla, Leonor Leal and many more. Afifa is a dedicated, loyal and passionate instructor and choreographer and has considerable experience teaching introductory levels up to professional training programs, teaching and choreographing regularly for "A" division professional figure skaters through Skate Canada since 2010, and she is thrilled to be on board as a Permanent Guest Faculty member at Ballet Russe BC.
As a guest of our facility, you will be welcomed by an abundance of bright, natural light and a warm and welcoming reception area. Our high ceilings and open concept provide our dancers, families, instructors, and friends with a comfortable and uplifting environment. Our dancers have access to 3 beautiful studios, each equipped with the best flooring and equipment. The safety and well-being of our students is of critical importance to us and the floors on which dancers train plays a huge part in the prevention of injuries.
Our dedicated Student Lounge was designed with our dancers unique needs in mind. With plenty of room to relax between rigorous classes, catch up with friends, stretch and warm up, connect to Wi-Fi and do homework or read a book the Lounge encourages relaxed downtime when needed and provides for a nice community space. Equipped with a fridge, microwave, and water cooler which provides 99.9% purified ice cold and hot water, stretch and warm up tools, a dedicated phone, and other amenities, our goal is to provide our dancers with everything they may need during their demanding daily training regime to stay fueled up and ready to go.
Our 1600 SF Pavlova Studio is perfect for large Grande Allegro, group choreography, and provides as an excellent means to rehearse for stage given its dimensions are at par with many full-size local and international theatre stages. Slightly larger than most commercial dance studios available for rent at well-known facilities in and around Vancouver, our Pavlova Studio is air conditioned, and boasts 8 foot mirrors, top of the line floating Harlequin maple sprung floors, Harlequin “Cascade” marley flooring, Harlequin maple hardwood barres, and custom-made barre mounts designed exclusively to suit the unique needs of our dancers.
Our Nijinsky Studio is 800 SF and ideal for regular classes for all ages, private lessons, as well as Conditioning and Rhythmic Stretch sessions. With an abundance of natural light, exposed high ceilings, air-conditioning, and 8 foot mirrors spanning the two walls opposite the windowed walls, Nijinsky provides as our second state of the art dance studio. Also boasting top-of-the line floating Harlequin maple sprung floors, Harlequin “Cascade” marley flooring, Harlequin maple hardwood barres, and custom-made barre mounts designed and built to spec for our dancers.
We are growing! We are thrilled to announce that our Diaghilev Studio is currently under construction and will provide dancers with an additional 1050 SF of top-of-the-line studio space by the start of our upcoming 2016|2017 academic year! Diaghilev Studio will boast the same exposed high ceilings, expansive natural light, air-conditioning, 8 foot mirrors, and of course, exceptional floating maple Harlequin sprung floors, Harlequin “Cascade” marley flooring, Harlequin maple hardwood barres, and custom-made barre mounts designed and built especially with our dancers in mind.
Ballet Russe BC uses Harlequin Floors & Barres exclusively throughout our facility.