Founding Artistic Director

Oleg VinegradovOleg Vinogradov

Born in Leningrad in 1937, Oleg Vinogradov graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy where he and classmate Rudolf Nureyev studied under Alexander Pushkin.  Vinogradov commenced his career at the Novosobirsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet, becoming ballet master in 1961, and soon thereafter began his career in choreography.  In 1972, Vinogradov became Director of the Maly Theatre of Opera and Ballet, leaving in 1977 to become Artistic Director of The Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky).

His choreographic accomplishments include, “Yaroslavna”, “The Inspector General”, “The Spellbound Prince”, “The Knight in the Tiger’s Skin”, “Potemkin”, and a new “Petrushka”.  At the Kirov Academy, Vinogradov played a significant role in preserving the ballets of the Russian classical legacy and in promoting innovation and cultural exchange with the West.  Vinogradov has introduced the choreography of Bejart, Bournonville, and Petit to Russian audiences.  Mr. Vinogradov has also been appointed Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Classical Ballet and Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.


Co-Artistic Director

Adrienne Dellas Thornton
Classical Ballet Teacher, Director and Choreographer Dellas

Born in Detroit, Michigan to parents who immigrated from Greece and Australia, Adrienne Dellas began ballet instruction at four years of age. She studied with an array of teachers, including Enid Ricardo, Robert Joffrey, Hector Zaraspe, Richard and Barbara Thomas, Alexandra Danilova, Perry Brunson, Birger Bartholin, Vera Volkova and Ludmila Morkovina. She turned to teaching at the age of 20, following a career-ending accident.

A master teacher for more than 40 years, Adrienne Dellas trained and coached dancers from all over the world. As her reputation grew, she was invited to South Korea to launch the new Ballet Department of the Little Angels Arts Middle and High School. Based on its success, she established the now internationally acclaimed Universal Ballet Company in Seoul. As the company’s Founding Artistic Director, she choreographed numerous original full-length ballets, as well as restaging many of the classics.

Soon after the Universal Ballet Company began, Ms. Dellas choreographed an original full-length classical ballet “Shim Chung,” which was performed for the Tenth Asian Games 1986 Arts Festival and at the XXIV Olympic Games Seoul Arts Festival in 1988. She was awarded the Gold Medal for Artistic Achievement in Teaching and Choreography by the Korean President in 1988.

Returning to America, she taught for nearly ten years at the newly established Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, which was born out of the foundation of the Little Angels Arts Middle and High School and the Universal Ballet Company. As the only American teacher among the Russian faculty at the Kirov, she trained hundreds of dancers, many of whom are now principal dancers of major international ballet companies. During her tenure at the Kirov, she was invited to teach and choreograph at the world-renowned Vaganova Academy of Classical Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia.

From 2001-2008, she was the Academy Director at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, where she directed the master teachers of ten dance programs ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop.

Adrienne Dellas is internationally known for her expertise in teaching and choreographing for ballet companies, television and cultural events, directing and teaching ballet intensives, judging competitions, creating and conducting specialized teacher seminars, and coaching professional dancers.


Co-Artistic Director

Brian Yoo (Bingxian Liu)ballet_img_34
Universal Ballet Artistic Director

Born in Jilin, China, Brian Yoo (Bingxian Liu) graduated from the Jilin Arts School and afterwards studied dance pedagogy at the Beijing Dance Academy. After graduating he taught for a while at his alma mater in Beijing, and after a few years, he moved to Seoul, Korea, joining Universal Ballet as a soloist.

For two years, beginning in 1995, he was ballet master and choreographer at the Guangzhou Ballet in China, and from 1997 at the National Ballet of China in Beijing. Dancers who prepared under his coaching have won gold and silver medals in the international ballet competitions in Varna, Paris and elsewhere.

In 1999, Yoo returned to Seoul and rejoined Universal Ballet as Ballet Master. He was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director in 2000, and Artistic Director in 2009. For a number of years he has also served as the Director of the ballet department of Sunhwa Arts Middle and High Schools in Seoul. While at Universal Ballet, he has choreographed several ballets for the company, most recently the company’s new full-length Korean ballet, The Love of Chunhyung, which was revived in 2014 as part of the company’s 30th Anniversary Season and took its first overseas trip in 2015 at the invitation of the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman. His shorter works in the company’s repertory include Paganini Rhapsody, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto, and The Colors.


Executive Director

Jonathan Park Park

Mr. Park has been associated with the Academy since 2009 as a member of the Board of Directors. His years of dedication to ballet and artistic education include membership on several boards of directors of ballet and arts education organizations that have positioned him to assume his new expanded role as the executive head of the school. His professional career heretofore has been primarily focused on executive management of business enterprises in multiple fields in the United States and Korea.

In discussing his goals for the Academy, Mr. Park explained, “The Kirov Academy has been at the pinnacle of professional ballet education from its inception. After 23 years of stellar accomplishment KAB needs to make some necessary updates to prepare for another generation of success. I hope to strengthen KAB organizationally, artistically and financially so that we can carry out our mission to find and train the very best talented students of ballet from all over the world so that this beautiful art form can be perpetuated and enjoyed by all. It is truly inspiring to be here, watching youngsters working so hard to grow as ballet dancers, and as people. I feel very deeply that KAB is a national treasure.”