About Us

 

At Brighton Ballet Theater (BBT),
we believe in the powerful ability
of the arts to unite people in the shared desire for kindness, compassion, self-expression and beauty. Our faculty, guest artists and students represent a rich diversity of ethnicities, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds, languages and abilities but we all have one thing in common: the joy of dance.
 
We feature small-group instruction and a friendly, family atmosphere so that all students receive individualized
attention and, when they are ready, can challenge themselves with the support of both teachers and peers. BBT is a community in which respect, appreciation and self-awareness are just as important as technique and skill.
Since 1987...

 

....The Brighton Ballet Theater (BBT) has offered affordable, professional dance instruction and performance opportunities to children and adults, both in studio classes and within the New York City public school system. Students from diverse backgrounds come together at BBT to develop their physical and mental capacities using the Vaganova method, a ballet training system that not only teaches correct technique, but also proper disposition. BBT teachers, who hail from the best ballet academies and colleges in Russia and the US, prepare over 500 dancers annually for life-long health, creativity, self-discipline, personal responsibility and professional success.

 

Many people assume that our name refers to Brighton Beach, but it is actually much bigger than this. We initially chose the name “Brighton Ballet” because of the associations with the word “bright,” like bright ideas and a bright future. We also chose this name because Brighton, as in Brighton Beach, represented a place of great diversity and a welcoming home for new immigrants, things that we wanted our ballet school to represent as well. But most people are surprised to know that our classes did not start in Brighton Beach at all. In fact, we were originally founded on Avenue M at East 17th Street. We later moved to Brighton Beach, then to Coney Island, and now to our current location. 

 

BBT has headquartered its Brooklyn operations on the campus of Kingsborough Community College (KCC) since 2005. KCC, part of The City University of New York system, offers both associate degree programs and a wide array of continuing education courses. In 2013, KCC was even named one of the top four community colleges in the United States by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program! We are fortunate to partner with KCC and appreciate the access they provide our students to their excellent performing arts center, classrooms, shuttle, and of course their beautiful setting by the sea.

 

Our goal in Brooklyn is to foster the development of well-rounded, healthy, passionate, imaginative and resilient young adults who have the potential to succeed in any field. Unlike many dance programs in Manhattan and other parts of the country, our program is open to dancers at all different levels, from recreational dancers to those who are preparing for careers in dance. By nurturing their minds and bodies, delivering the highest level of training and instruction and sharing the daily discipline and rigor required in the life of a professional artist, we enable our students to discover their inner strengths, achieve new competencies, and identify and pursue career choices aligned with their talents and interests. Our location on a college campus further enhances our students’ exposure to other cultures and provides opportunities to work as a team with individuals of different abilities, backgrounds, languages, and outlooks.

 
BBT's Historic Timeline

 

1987

Brighton Ballet Theater/School of Russian American Ballet is formed with six students at a Midwood, Brooklyn dance studio.

 

1989

The school grows to over 100 students.

 

1991

With the fall of the Soviet Union, over the next few years tens of thousands of new immigrants settle in Brooklyn, New York. Through the early 1990s, many professional dancers, teachers and families start coming to BBT. The school's reputation for excellence becomes common knowledge and the school population reaches over 500 students.

 

1992

BBT Company stages its first full-length ballet "Carlson Who Lives on the Roof" as choreographed by Elizabeth Shipiatsky.

 

1995

Edouard Kouchnarev joins Brighton Ballet Theater as a dancer. BBT stages first major "Nutcracker" performance.

 

1996

In honor of the first-ever listing of a Russian company--VimpelCom (NYSE: VIP)--on the New York Stock Exchange, BBT performs on the trading floor in November 1996. Media coverage includes reports by NBC, CNN, ABC, CNBC, Bloomberg Television and others.

 

2000

BBT Artistic Director Edouard Kouchnarev re-envisions "The Nutcracker Ballet." In his new and original choreography, Kouchnarev's “A Winter Fairy Tale” departs from the traditional "Nutcracker" by portraying the beautiful international diversity of the world by representing the countries of Spain, Nigeria, China, India, France and Russia. In BBT's version, the ballet culminates in the Land of Freedom rather than the traditional Land of Sweets.

 

2002

BBT stages the ballet “Mavka” choreographed by Edouard Kouchnarev. This original 30-minute ballet is inspired by the famous Ukrainian novel “Song of the Woods.” The ballet is set to the music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and is performed by six professional dancers and 70 BBT dancers. In this enchanting and mystical tale, Mother Nature and her daughter Mavka fight against the evil magic of a wicked witch. Kouchnarev's "Mavka" is a ballet that celebrates the rich history, culture and magical nature of Ukraine, while using classical music in a tribute to the forces and elements of our natural world.

 

BBT presents "The Radish" as choreographed by Edouard Kouchnarev. "The Radish," also known as "Repka" in Russian, is an ancient Russian folk tale that has been told and retold to children for hundreds of years. This original BBT ballet honors Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy, and Jewish musical and dance traditions. 

 

2003

BBT performs "The Nanny's Story," as choreographed by Edouard Kouchnarev. This original ballet is set to the music of Tchaikovsky's "Children’s Album,” a cycle of 24 pieces that the composer wrote for his beloved nephew Volodia when the boy was learning to play the piano.

 

2004

BBT stages "The Ugly Duckling" as choreographed by Edouard Kouchnarev. Performed by 20 professional dancers and 50 BBT advanced division students, this ballet tells the timeless tale of the transformation of the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, all the while teaching children the invaluable lesson of inner beauty.

 

2005

BBT finds a new home at Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach through the assistance of members of the community and KCC President Dr. Regina Peruggi. BBT performs "Sunrise," an original ballet choreographed by Edouard Kouchnarev. Inspired by the poetry of music, the ballet "Sunrise" explores the symbolic connection between dance, the hidden world of nature and the movement and spirit of trees, sun and rain.

 

Edouard Kouchnarev choreographs the new, original one-act ballet "Orchestra," featuring the popular music of M. Ravel. “Orchestra” is performed by a company of both professional dancers and BBT students who recreate not only the voices of the instruments through the art of dance, but who also embody the characteristics of the musicians themselves. The main goal of the production is to demonstrate that a large company is especially in need of a wise and powerful leader--one who is capable of unifying the people.

 

2007

BBT celebrates its 20th anniversary on May 20, 2007 together with the Brooklyn Business Improvement District.

 

BBT's 20th Annual Children's Festival "The World of Dance" takes place at the Leon Goldstein Performing Arts Center, Kingsborough Community College.

 

Additionally, BBT presents the original contemporary ballet "Aria" as choreographed by Edouard Kouchnarev, who also composed the libretto. Conceived as a poetic tribute to womanhood, this classical and modern dance composition moves through five stages of a woman’s life, praising her strength, sacrifice, compassion and enduring love.

 

2008

Choreographers Edouard Kouchnarev and Larisa Akinicheva create "The Kingdom of the Shades" for a BBT production. The ballet is based on Petipa’s "La Bayadere."

 

2009

BBT presents "Sunrise," a ballet inspired by the poetry of music. This original work choreographed by BBT Artistic Director Edouard Kouchnarev explores the symbolic connection between dance and the hidden world of nature, including the movement and spirit of trees, sun and rain. The stunning costumes feature an array of colors in celebration of nature.

 

BBT dancers reprise "The Radish” as choreographed by Edouard Kouchnarev. This year's production features seven professional dancers, including artists from the Ukrainian Dance Ensemble "Iskra," 70 BBT students, live orchestral accompaniment by “Russian Carnival” and "The Golden Rooster” children’s choral group.

 

2010

BBT students perform "The Ugly Duckling" as choreographed Edouard Kouchnarev.

 

2012

It's BBT's 25th anniversary! BBT marks the occasion by hosting a 25th Anniversary Celebration Concert in Brooklyn.

 

2013

New this year, BBT students dance "Chopiniana" as well as the "Dream" scene from the ballet "Don Quixote." 

 

2015

BBT 's World of Dance Festival introduces audiences to "Coming to America." Set to Michael Jackson's song "Black and White," this original modern choreography celebrates the diversity of Brooklyn's immigrant cultures and features several students from BBT's public school workshops. The dance is accompanied by a student art show and a companion book featuring student profiles, BBT history, and student artwork on the theme.

 

BBT students also present excerpts from the ballets "Pacquita" by Minkus, "Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky, and "The Carnival of the Animals" by Saint-Saens.

 

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2001 Oriental Boulevard

Bldg. T7, Room 7211

Brooklyn, NY 11235

718.769.9161 

718-368-4580 |  info@brightonballet.org