More staff members depart Pennsylvania Ballet

More staff members depart Pennsylvania Ballet

More staff members depart Pennsylvania Ballet

The Pennsylvania Ballet has lost more personnel — a set of school directors.

Anastasia Babayeva and Denis Gronostayskiy, a married couple, left their jobs at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet on Friday, according to a letter that company artistic director Angel Corella and executive director David Gray wrote to parents.

The couple, graduates of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy, had danced in Russia and the United States before opening a dance school, the Academy of International Ballet, in Media. 

Their son, Aleksey Babayev, is a Pennsylvania Ballet corps de ballet dancer.

They were hired in July to run the School of Pennsylvania Ballet after the previous director, Arantxa Ochoa, left for Florida in June. 

“It’s been decided that their  efforts to operate two schools, ours and theirs, was proving to be unworkable,” Corella and Gray wrote, “and that they will be returning to running their own school full time. While we greatly value their teaching and their efforts while they have been here, we appreciate that the situation was not ideal. Samantha Dunster will assume the role of interim school principal while we conduct a search.”

Ochoa, a beloved longtime principal dancer with the ballet, had become the school’s director after retiring from dancing in 2012.

But after 19 dancers were fired or left on their own last year, Ochoa also left, to become director of faculty and curriculum at the Miami City Ballet School.

The School of Pennsylvania Ballet reopened in 2012 after a 20-year hiatus. In 1992, when the Pennsylvania Ballet faced financial difficulties, the school had gone independent and become the Rock School for Dance Education. Now, the Rock School and School of Pennsylvania Ballet both teach talented ballet students in Philadelphia.

Babayeva and Gronostayskiy’s  names have been removed from the company’s website.

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Published at Fri, 10 Feb 2017 23:25:10 +0000

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