Kirov Academy

Our Vision

The Kirov Academy of Ballet is dedicated to artistic and academic excellence and to the investment of a moral education in our students. Founded on universal principles of love, respect, and service, Kirov Academy believes in the importance of the arts and culture in creating a world of beauty and effectuating positive change.

Our Mission

  • To inspire students to excel by drawing on the exceptional traditions of the past and apply their own unique talents to become the best they can be
  • To empower students with the skills, technical training and artistry needed to shine on the world stage
  • To connect tomorrow’s talent with a global family of outstanding artists who are engaged in creating positive change through the arts

The Tradition of the Kirov Academy of Ballet

the first dance school outside Russia to officially be given the name “Kirov”

Kirov Academy of Ballet (KAB) in Washington DC was founded in 1990. Kirov is the only private school and non-profit organization 501(c)(3) that provides an accredited, stimulating academic curriculum, an active 24/7 resident life program, as well as an outstanding ballet program. It was the first dance school outside Russia to officially be given the name “Kirov”. At the opening ceremony, in 1990, letters of congratulations were offered by President Bush and John E. Frohnmeyer, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Kirov Academy of Ballet prepares students to become the next generation of classically trained ballet dancers through the principles and aesthetics of the Vaganova Method of Classical Ballet taught at the Vaganova Choreographic Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. Concurrently, students pursue a multi-faceted academic program including the core subjects and the arts, each furthering the objectives to build a solid educational foundation, and to create, cultivate, and prepare the student for life as a professional artist.

The founding patrons, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, opened the school with the vision of ‘Creating a World of Beauty through Heavenly Art.”

What we offer

The Kirov Academy of Ballet is the only training program of its kind in the United States. It is a prestigious ballet and academic boarding school that prepares students ages 11-21 to become the next generation of classically trained ballet dancers through the principles and aesthetics of the Vaganova method of Classical Ballet with world-renowned ballet instructors.

Kirov is the only private school and non-profit organization that provides an accredited, stimulating academic curriculum, an active 24/7 resident life program, as well as an outstanding ballet program. Kirov has an onsite Physical Therapist, Dance Therapist/Counselor, and Nurse; as well as a Nutritionist who supervises the preparation of wholesome meals for Kirov’s hard-working dancers.

Meet Our Leadership

Tatiana Moon

President

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Kirov Academy of Ballet!

As we look towards the 30th anniversary in 2020, it’s wonderful to know that the tradition of excellence taught in the tradition of the Russian Vaganova method continues on in the lives of our students. Our internationally acclaimed faculty who have made Kirov their home is the backbone of the school. Their dedication to the arts and their commitment to the next generation of artists are what makes our school a “Russian jewel in America’s Capital” according to Dancer Magazine. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the Kirov Academy is the only ballet school in the United States that has approval to use the Kirov name.

Set on nearly two acres in the heart of Washington D.C., the Kirov is a safe enclave of creativity, discipline and purpose. Students who come to the school are driven to bring out their very best and we take great pride in working with the students to help them accomplish their goals. The Kirov has now grown to provide an academics only program, as well as, after school enrichment programs that provide students access to different disciplines and master classes in the performing arts. We are excited to expand our curriculum to meet the needs of our international student body while upholding the time honored tradition of self-respect, regard for others, and dedication to service.

The Kirov Academy of Ballet is very much a family for our students. We deeply care about the success of each individual enrolled in our programs. We know that the secret to our students' success depends on the teamwork of the teachers, the parents and the students. We are not only looking back at nearly 30 years of excellence but also looking forward to what we can create together here at the Kirov. We hope you will join us in raising the next generation of leaders to live their artistic dreams and accomplish their goals.

Tatiana Moon

Chair & President

Pamela Gonzales de Cordova

Executive Director

Pamela Gonzales de Cordova is a Korean-American lawyer, who now serves the Kirov Academy of Ballet as Executive Director. She served on Kirov Academy’s Board and acted as Chair of the Development Committee from 2012-2017.

Before joining KAB, Ms. Gonzales de Cordova practiced international financial law in Europe for over 30 years and made her transition back to the U.S. as General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Banks Office of Finance, before joining Kirov. Her prior positions include General Counsel to Volvo Financial Services Europe, foreign legal consultant in private law practice in Luxembourg and Brussels as a member of the Banking & Finance team of Loyens & Loeff. Ms. Gonzales de Cordova served as Resident Counsel to J.P. Morgan, working in London, Paris, and Brussels and in-house counsel with Merrill Lynch in NY and London. She developed the first cross-border collateral system, Trinity, for use by banks and financial institutions and sold the software and system to JP Morgan in 1999, allowing her to donate $2 million to leukemia research.

She is a passionate lover of classical ballet and has taught classical ballet in a Belgian orphanage for many years. She studied at Harvard and Georgetown University Law Center, speaks English and French and has studied Japanese. She is the mother of 5 children.

Julia Moon

Co-Artistic Director

Born in Washington, DC, Julia Moon began her professional training in Seoul, at the Sunhwa Arts School. After further study at the Royal Ballet School in London and L’Academie de Danse Classique de Princess Grace in Monaco, she began her dancing career at the Washington Ballet working with Choo San Goh and Mary Day. She returned to Korea as a founding member of Universal Ballet in 1984, dancing leading roles in much of the company’s repertory, including the leads in La Sylphide, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere and many other classics. She was one of the dancers chosen to dance the lead role in Universal Ballet’s Shim Chung, when the ballet was first created in 1986. In 1989, she became the first Asian to appear as a guest principal with the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, dancing the lead role in Giselle, and returning in following years to appear in lead roles in Don Quixote (1992) and Swan Lake (1995).

Working together with Oleg Vinogradov since 1992, she led Universal Ballet to inherit the Russian classical ballet tradition, and the company has grown into a leading force in the development of classical ballet in not only Korea, but all of Asia. Since 1996, Julia Moon has served as General Director of Universal Ballet. She has also served on the jury for many ballet competitions, including the Maya Plisetskaya (’96), Varna (’02), Helsinki (’05), Premio Roma (’05), and Jackson (’06) international ballet competitions. Her many awards include the Young Artist Award given by Korea’s Ministry of Culture and the Presidential Award for the Performing Arts. She has also received an honorary doctorate from the Moscow State University of the Arts. In 2010, she was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit Hwakwan by the Korean government, and in 2012 ISPA / International Society for the Performing Arts’ International Citation of Merit.

Now that she has retired from the stage and is responsible for running the company, Julia Moon is often surprised at how many people in all walks of life are fans of classical ballet. Pursuing the idea of ‘a community-friendly ballet company’, she delivers introductory lectures in the history of ballet and ballet appreciation to business executives, service groups, and university students, sharing her passion and interest in ballet. Her current responsibilities include not only directing the Universal Ballet, but also the Universal Arts Center, Universal Ballet’s official schools and the Kirov Academy of Ballet.

Brian Yoo (Bingxian Liu)

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 the Universal Ballet as a soloist.

For two years, beginning in 1995, Brian Yoo 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 several 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.

Adrienne Dellas Thornton

Artistic Director Emeritus

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, Ms. Dellas 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.

Oleg Vinogradov

Founding Artistic Director

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.

Artistic Faculty

Svetlana Kravtsova
Deputy Artistic Director
Anastasia Dunets
Ballet
Marianna Rozanova
Ballet
Evgenia Singur
Ballet/Character Dance
Bat Udval
Pre-Professional Program
Irina Wunder
After school program manager
Anastasia Vasileva
Summer
Victoria Yanchuk
Summer
Anton Wilson
Modern dance
Courtney Washington
Jazz dance
Mark Rubin
Floor barre
Regina Martin
Music Director & Accompanist
Victor Shklyar
Accompanist
Tigran HovHannisyan
Accompanist
Arsen Sumbatyan
Accompanist
Karen Cerkez
Costume Manager
Alexa Stevens
Physical Therapy
Mariana Zschoerper
After School

Academic Faculty

Stephen Gabb
Academic Dean
KIRSTEN OBADAL
English
KARINE ONANA
French
KONUL RASULOVA
Science
Kerrington Shields
History
ALEXANDRA TOMALONIS
Ballet History
Allison Bruemmer
ESL
CONSTANCE GABB
ESL
Batya Carl
Counselor
© 2018. Kirov Academy of Ballet.All Rights Reserved.