Oliver Matz received his ballet training at the State Ballet School Berlin and joined the German State Opera in 1980, serving the company as a leading soloist and international ambassador for 25 years.
Oliver Matz is the recipient of numerous national and international awards such as the bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, and gold medals at the International Ballet Competitions in Helsinki and Jackson, Mississippi, USA.
In recognition of his outstanding artistic achievements, he was appointed “Berliner Kammertänzer” by the Berlin Senator of Culture in 1995 - the first dancer ever to receive this highest honor. For his lifetime achievement, he was appointed Honorary Member of the German State Opera in 2004.
Internationally celebrated choreographers like Ray Barra, Patrice Bart, Michael Baryshnikov, Maurice Béjart, William Forsythe, Pierre Lacotte, Hans van Manen, Rudolf Nurejew, Roland Petit, Uwe Scholz, Yuri Vamos, and Wladimir Wassiljev created roles for him or reinterpretations of classical narrative ballets.
Guest appearances and gala events took him to many parts of the world, including performances with internationally-renowned ballet companies like the American Ballet Theater in New York, the Bayerischen Staatsballett, the Teatro alla Scala in Milano, the Finnish National Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, the Royal Ballet London and the Stuttgarter Ballett.
Since 2005 he has been the head of Zurich Dance Academy, where he also teaches classes successfully. Many of his students are engaged at world-renowned companies and have won top prizes at major international ballet competitions.
He serves as a jury member at acclaimed international ballet competitions around the world.
Jurgita Dronina, Principal Ballerina with National Ballet of Canada and English National Ballet.
Jurgita Dronina was born in Saratov, Russia and trained at the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art in Lithuania and Munich International Ballet Academy in Germany.
Ms.Dronina was a Principal Dancer with Royal Swedish Ballet (2005 - 2010) and Het Nationale Ballet (2010 - 2015)
Jurgita joined The National Ballet of Canada as Principal Dancer
She is also a Lead Principal Ballerina with English National Ballet since 2017 , but remains Principal with National Ballet of Canada.
Jurgita has danced the entire classical repertoire as well as contemporary works and performed worldwide as a International Guest Ballerina with Teatro San Carlo, Arena di'Verona, Opera dell’Roma , Royal Danish Ballet, Norwegian Ballet , Hong Kong Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, performed on the world’s biggest stages in London, Moscow, St.Petersburg, Tokyo, Milan, Turin, New York, Washington - just to name a few.
Winner of Many international Ballet competitions: Gold in France
Silver in Moscow (2005),
Silver in Helsinki (2005),
Silver in Jackson (2006) .
Winner of Prestigious Alexandra Radius Prize “Dancer of the Year” 2014
Winner of Prestigious Zwaan Award, for the role of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty 2011 Winner of “Rotary International” Award 2008
Winner of the “Theatre Award’s “ for the “Best Performance of the Year” in Toronto, for the role of Hermoine in Ch.Wheeldon’s “Winter’s Tale” 2016
Awarded “Order of Merit, Cross of The Knight” , and “Baltic Assembly award” , for distinguished merits to Lithuania in Arts and Culture 2018
Nominee of “National Dance Critic’s Award” for the best female
classical dancer of the Year 2018
Nominee of “Benois de la Danse Prize” for the roles of Sylphide and Juliet , in 2018
Italian, Trained at Teatro All Scala, Milan and Royal Ballet School, London.
After Graduation danced with Zurich Ballet, Teatro All Scala and Het National Ballet where Dario danced for the last 10 years.
Dario has danced most classical and neoclassical repertoire performing many soloist roles such as Hilarion, Tybalt, Rothbart, Gremin and many more from classical ballets.
He has been teaching at the National Ballet academy in Amsterdam where this year he teach the boys of year 2 and 4. Previously taught at the Royal Dutch Conservatory in Den Haag. Dario also gives ballet classes and rehearsals like repetiteur at the Dutch National Ballet and Junior company of the same company.
Choreographer Alysa Pires has created works for companies such as the National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Kelowna, Ballet Edmonton, Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ryerson University, and more.
Alysa was one of the 2017 winners of Northwest Dance Project’s International Choreographic Competition. Pires began working with the National Ballet of Canada as part of their Choreographic Workshop. Over the course of two seasons Pires developed In Between, which premiered as part of FIVE CREATIONS in January 2018 and was subsequently performed at the MADHOTBALLET Gala that June.
Alysa was commissioned to create a new work for the 13th International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize and was appointed Choreographic Associate in 2019. Alysa is an Honours BFA graduate from the Ryerson School of Performance and was the recipient of the 2015 Jack McAllister Award, which recognizes alumni accomplishment.
Greta Hodgkinson, OOnt
Born in Providence, Rhode Island and trained at The National Ballet School, Greta Hodgkinson joined The National Ballet of Canada, where she has been a Principal Dancer since 1996. An artist acclaimed for her dazzling technical virtuosity, dramatic intensity and articulate characterization, she is the complete ballerina, par excellence. Ms. Hodgkinson has performed every leading role in the classical repertoire and her talents extend to the contemporary repertoire as well. She has had numerous roles created for her by world renowned choreographers and has worked closely with such icons as William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Glen Tetley, John Neumeier, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, James Kudelka and Crystal Pite.
As a guest artist, Ms. Hodgkinson has appeared with The Mariinsky Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Munich Ballet and Teatro Comunale di Firenze. She has also performed at the World Ballet Festival in Tokyo, the State Kremlin Palace, Moscow, the Gala des Etoiles, Stars of the 21st Century and International Ballet Galas in the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia and Europe. Ms. Hodgkinson has also worked extensively in film and has been featured in numerous dance and fashion magazines.
In 2000, Ms. Hodgkinson was nominated for the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse for her role as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. In 2017, Ms. Hodgkinson was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour which recognizes individuals whose exceptional achievement in their fields have left a lasting legacy in the province, Canada and beyond. Ms. Hodgkinson has received two Citations from the State of Rhode Island in recognition of her extraordinary talents and accomplishments as a world class prima ballerina and her outstanding contribution to arts and culture in the United States.
Ms. Hodgkinson is an inspirational teacher and coach, working with professional dancers and students. In 2020, after an extraordinary 30 years as a ballerina with The National Ballet of Canada, Ms. Hodgkinson was appointed to Artist in Residence with the company.
TDSB Certified teacher
Jason Ambrose started dancing at age 16, with formal ballet training beginning a year later. He is an alumnus of the Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program where he was mentored by former San Francisco Ballet Soloist Edward Ellison. Ambrose was personally invited by St. Petersburg Conservatory Dean Oleg Vinogradov, as the first African American to enroll in their Ballet Master and Choreographers Degree Program and to dance with the Ballet Theatre of the St. Petersburg Conservatoire. Jason travels the country, and internationally, as a guest ballet teacher and classical and contemporary choreographer. He has choreographed for and coached numerous Top Three winners in the YAGP Contemporary and Classical Solo Categories as well as the 2020 Prix de Lausanne Second Prize Winner. Jason received the 2020 WBAC Grand Prix Outstanding Teacher Award. Ambrose has served as the Resident Choreographer for Ellison Ballet, NYC, and Ballet Master at Elite Classical Coaching in Frisco, Texas. He is currently Artist in Residence at Elite Classical Coaching and a Full Time Men’s Teacher at the San Francisco Ballet School.
YRDSB Certified teacher
Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Misha Tchoupakov performed with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow as well as with the Colorado Ballet, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, and San Francisco Opera Ballet in USA and Vienna State Opera Ballet in Austria. He also holds an M.F.A. in Dance Pedagogy and Choreography from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography and he had taught for Colorado Ballet, Houston Ballet, Oregon Dance Theatre, David Taylor Dance Theatre, State Street Ballet, Ballet Arlington in US, Guangzhou Ballet of China, Galili Dance in Netherlands, Cluj Opera Ballet and Sibiu Ballet Theatre in Romania, and Cia Brasileira de Ballet and Teatro Municipal do Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. He was also on the faculty of the Royal Ballet School, the Elmhurst School for Dance in Association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, and the English National Ballet School in the UK and served as Assistant Professor at University of Utah Department of Ballet. Mr. Tchoupakov currently with YAGP Ballet and Contemporary Dance Competition in New York as Rehearsal Director, Judge and Master Teacher and is an internationally renowned guest teacher. He joined the faculty of University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2013.