Ballet Academy Marian is a private initiative of professionals enthusiasts. Essentially, the Academy is a children’s summer camp for young talents who want to improve in the field of classical ballet and to learn from the most experienced artists and teachers in Bulgaria. The Academy was first held in August 2011 in the Balkan village of Marian, which is located 8 kilometers from the town of Elena. During those five years the final concerts become real cultural celebration for the residents and visitors of the Elena Balkan.
The main objectives of the Academy are:
– to educate young Bulgarians from all over the country in the art of classical ballet;
– to enable young talent to dance together with the most prominent ballet dancers of Bulgaria;
– to create an atmosphere in which the dancing Bulgarian children know each other through the joint shared experience;
– to reveal the Balkan with its beautiful nature and Renaissance history;
– to develop cultural tourism in Elena region;
– to enable the inhabitants of the region to touch live ballet art.
The Academy is held in the village of Marian for two weeks in August every year.
It ends with two or three ballet concerts: one in the village of Marian, one in the city of Elena and one in the town of Veliko Tarnovo. The concert includes joint performances by children who participated in the Academy and performances by professional ballet artists guests of the Academy. Ballet training is held in the hall of the community center in the village of Marian for about 40-50 children. This year we will use also the hall of the community center in the neighboring village Ruhovtsi for more detailed work with different groups. Most of the participants are accommodated in tourist base about a kilometer and a half from the community center in Marian, as well as guest houses near the rehearsal hall. Some travel from their homes, while others live in places provided by their parents.
The program of performances is prepared by the Academy.
Besides children in the performances participate guest artists of the Sofia Opera and Ballet and Opera Burgas. The performances in Marian, Elena and Veliko Tarnovo are free and they have detailed media coverage. The Academy performances include parts of famous classical ballets like “Giselle,” “La Bayadere”, “Don Quixote”, “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Le Corsaire” and others.
Till now, teachers, coaches and performers in the Academy were:
- Classical Ballet: Dr. Diliana Nikiforova – prima ballerina of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Darina Bedeva – prima ballerina of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Acad. Krasimira Koldamova – prima ballerina, Kapka Rogleva – ballet teacher and prima ballerina of Burgas Opera, Rosen Kanev – prime soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet
- Typical dances: Radul Roglev – soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Grigor Roglev – choreographer and premier soloist of Burgas Opera
- Guest artists: Martha Petkova – prima ballerina of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Dr. Diliana Nikiforova – prima ballerina of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Darina Bedeva – prima ballerina of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Galina Kaltcheva – prima ballerina of Burgas Opera, Boryana Petrova – soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Christina Chochanova – soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Rosen Kanev – prime soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Trifon Mitev – prime soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Nicola Hadjitanev – prime soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet, Radul Roglev – soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet.
Till now, in our Academy took part children from Burgas, Varna, Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Dimitrovgrad, Svilengrad, Elena, Shumen, Pleven, Kipilovo, Italy and the United States. They make trips into the mountains and countryside, as well as visit various museums, Renaissance houses, churches and monasteries in the region.
We expect that this year will participate between 40 and 50 children who will be divided into three groups. The organizers aim to not exceed this number of participants in order to quality training. The program of performances includes parts of famous classical ballets and their choreographic versions are in accordance with the generally accepted worldwide. In this way the children in the Academy receive a serious preparation for the professional scene. As a result of their participation in the academic programs more than 50% of them go to proffesional schools and subsequently continue to participate in this programs. This is a high praise for the unique stage experience and opportunities for improvement offered by Ballet Academy Marian.
It is important to note that the activity of the Academy has a great effect on increasing interest in the region (more than 150 new visitors just last August)
The organizers of the Academy are enjoying the active support of both the municipal government in the region and local residents. These efforts need to be continued over time in order to have a real impact on audience and the growth of children in such difficult and beautiful art.
Kapka Rogleva – Ballet teacher from Burgas:
“The most important thing for children is the ability to combine their ballet classes with crystal clear mountain air. In Marian they play exercice and work on pearls of the world’s classical heritage. They have contacts with other children and teachers, which is extremely useful. Moreover, they improve their own discipline and acquire many useful habits.”
Rosen Kanev – prime soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet
”As a center of Renaissance spirit the region of Veliko Tarnovo needs initiatives in the field of dance. I think that Ballet Academy in the village of Marian, and final concerts were extremely valuable as the meeting between generations of adolescents and professionals. The Academy contributes to the young talents detection and their introduction into the secrets of ballet.”
Martha Petkova – prima ballerina of Sofia Opera and Ballet
”I have danced on large ballet scenes, I have participated in many prestigious ballet academies, but for me the Ballet Academy in the village of Marian is an unforgettable experience. For me it was a wonderful palette of feelings – Elena Balkan was immersed in ballet spirit. We met wonderful children who want to follow in our footsteps. I think every one of us – professional artists, found himself in their face. I really hope that this is the first ballet summer and we will have many ballet summers for to deliver our skills and inspiration to the next generation of ballet talents”.
Nicola Hadjitanev – prime soloist of Sofia Opera and Ballet:
”My participation in the Ballet Academy in Marian gave me great pleasure. First of all, because there was a truly creative atmosphere. The children’s enthusiasm for work obsessed us the adults. For me, the organizers of the Summer Ballet Academy are real modern Bulgarian Revival Leaders who share their skills with passion and love – it’s a way to give a chance to young people to create art, to manifest itself, and as we know this creates another, more meaningful attitude towards life. I want to mention also the influence of the beautiful landscape that inspires creativity. Ballet Academy to become an annual is a laudable ambition that should be supported”.
Elisaveta Balabanova – the mother of one of the children who participated in the Academy: “My daughter returned reborn – was very happy, grown up and tired of emotions. She told me: “Mom, I will live all year in anticipation of the next “Marian “.
All ballet artists in the project “Ballet Academy Marian” live with the mission to share their skills and to work on the young talents development and detection. In order to continue this initiative is not enough only enthusiasm and professionalism of the leading ballet teachers and artists. The Academy also needs the support of all who are not indifferent to the complex process of search and building the talents and to the cause of revitalizing the cultural significance of such an important and full of Renaissance traditions region as Elena.