Festivals & Exchanges

International Ballet Festival - Narva-Joesuu, Estonia - July 2014

Open World Dance was invited to bring participants to the first International Ballet Festival in Narva-Joesuu, Estonia. In addition to US and Russian dancers from Open World, the festival included dancers, students and teachers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Narva-Joesuu is a historic beach resort town on the eastern edge of Estonia at the Russian border. At the start of the 20th century, this town was the preferred vacation spot of dancers from the Mariinsky Theatre including the incomparable Anna Pavlova. They would put on performances in the park where the festival performance was staged.

This event demonstrated our passion to unite by dance in many ways. Friendships and contacts made between dancers from many countries while celebrating the connection of today's dancers to the great dancers from the past.


In conjunction with the Baryshnikov Arts Festival we hosted in January/February 2013, we invited students from Riga Choreography School to come to Vaganova Academy for a week. Mikhail Baryshnikov was born and began his training in Riga, Latvia. At the age of fifteen, he transferred to Vaganova Academy from where he graduated.

Open World Dance Foundation Invited ABT'S National Training Curriculum to St. Petersburg

Ms. Shchelkanova and Mr. Boytsov noticed that orphanages struggled to find qualified teachers. In November 2011 by invitation of Open World Dance Foundation, friends and colleagues of Ekaterina from American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT (JKO) - Franco DeVita, Raymond Lukens and physical therapist, Julie Daugherty came to St. Petersburg. They provided ABT National Teacher Training Curriculum for pre-professional classes for children ages 6-10 to more than sixty ballet instructors.