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Golden Koscuik - Artistic DirectorGolden Kyle Koscuik
Artistic Director


Golden is a native of Los Angeles has been training and performing as a dancer for over twenty years and instructing dance for 15 years.

 

Work as an Arts Administrator:

Since 1998 Golden has held the position of Vice President and Executive Director of the West Coast Classical Ballet Society, a California “non-profit” organization 501(c)(3) which he co-founded with his colleague and wife Nadezhda Kalmanovskaya-Koscuik.

He is Co-director and Resident Choreographer of Masterpiece Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles based professional dance company which creates and presents both reimagined classical ballets in the Petipa style as well as

21st Century Dance & Theatre productions.


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Current Projects:

Among Golden’s many creative interests include the development of educational dance and theatre curriculums serving the K-12 and higher education industries.

With his colleague and wife Nadezhda he is co-writing and co-authoring a book about the world renowned Vaganova Ballet Curriculum. Nadezhda has recently completed the Russian to English translation. The book has already been given approval by the Russian Ministry of Culture in Moscow and by the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

Golden is known for his careful and unique instructional approach of traditional classical ballet, modern jazz dance and choreography, however, he has recently created two innovative Life-style Movement Programs for Adults including: ‘Infinity Movement Understanding’

and ‘Ballet Gym’.

 

In collaboration with his long- time friend Michael An’gileo, author, motivational speaker and martial artist. Golden is working on a project titled ‘Planet Bluelite’ which An’gileo is the founder of. Golden is also a volunteer for the Eracism Foundation (Louis Gossett Jr., Founder)

 

Educational Background:

Golden completed his elementary education attending the Military Academies in Brentwood and Long Beach, California and thereafter attended Fairfax and Beverly Hills High School where he graduated. He has also completed additional academic coursework at Santa Monica College in California and at Schenectady College located in upstate New York.

  

Early Beginnings:

Golden’s serious interest in Dance began during his last year of high school at which time he was already progressing in several sports including basketball, football, karate, soccer, tack/field and tennis which became one of his early passions and extended to his competing in regional tournaments (he played in a quarter final match against the “confrontational”

John Macenroe Jr., winning the first set but not the match).

 

During this period he became a junior member of the Polish folk dance group Krakusy and then went on to study Russian and Ukrainian Character Dance from J. Erglis and Yuri Smaltzoff (Bolshoi Method) for two years. He also studied 'Scene Study' with actor, John Drew Barrymore and underwent piano and voice lessons.

 

Golden continued his dance training in Los Angeles for several years under scholarship, primarily training with several LA-based ‘Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo’ (“BR”) dance legends and teachers including:


Tanya Lichine                (BR)
Irina Kozmovska           (BR/ SAB, NYC.)
Lawrence Rosenberg    (Anaheim Ballet, CA.)
George Zoritch              (BR, 1st Pas de deux coach)
Paul Maure                    (BR, MDT instructor for a period of six years)
David Gayle, MBE        (United Kingdom, formerly Royal Ballet Company)
Alexander Minz             (Russia/ABT)
Stanley Holden             (Royal Ballet Company)
Irina Baronova              (BR /RAD)
Margaret Hills               (RAD, formerly Royal Ballet Company)
Alexandra Denisova     (BR)

 

Also during this period of time he Golden made his television debut dancing on a segment of ‘Good Morning America’ as well as dancing as a soloist with the Palos Verdes Ballet, The Performing Tree touring group of the Music Center Los Angeles, Southwest Ballet of New Mexico, and the former Sacramento Ballet. He was awarded an “honorable mention” for his acting role in a USC student produced film titled ‘Grand Jete’.

Shortly thereafter he accepted a scholarship to the Milwaukee Ballet School/Company where he remained for two years training primarily with American Ballet Master, Paul Sutherland (formerly Joffrey Ballet/ABT).

Among his earliest and fondest memories as a dance student includes being personally selected by the legendary Rudolf Nureyev  where he performed alongside Nureyev in the Boston Ballet’s production of “Don Quixote”.

 

European Travels and Study:

From 1989-1991 he lived with his mother Lilian in Munster, Germany where he auditioned for the Munster Tanz Theatre directed by *Pieter van der Sloot (refer to website link below) and was hired as a dance company member. http://www.muensterschezeitung.de/nachrichten/kultur/msfe/Die-Callas-war-so-nett;art2551,1269312

While working and living in Munster he studied the German language and related Dance Production & Theatre Design (set, stage and costume) and under Van der Sloot’s tutelage he became familiar with the Dalcroze Method and advanced choreography having performed as a soloist in over a dozen original ballets (classical and modern)

and in his final year was promoted to Ballet Master.   

 

While working with the Tanz Theatre he was given the opportunity of instructing children’s dance classes and assisting Van der Sloot on choreography for a the Arena di Verona Opera and Ballet Companies production of ‘Aida’ (Vittorio Rossi, Director)

as well as performing in Penne, Italy.

 

He has adjudicated for three international ballet competitions (Osaka, Japan and Houlgate, France (Masako Ohya), Normandy, France (Jacques Ibert)

 

Upon returning to the US he met his future wife and dance partner Nadezhda and through his long professional partnership with Nadezhda he has gained an in-depth knowledge about the Vaganova Method and was given the opportunity to train in St. Petersburg, Russia and in England with the Kirov Ballet Co. Working with the following ballet coaches (courtesy of Oleg Vinogradov, former Kirov Ballet Co. Artistic Director):
Ninel Kurgapkina (over a several year period)
Gennadi Selyutski
Vladilen Semyonov
Elena Evetyeva

Golden instructed Ballet at the University of Southern California (USC), Department of Theatre (“adjunct professor”) for the entire academic year in 2000 and he instructed Ballet at the Torrance Learning Center for Arts Excellence for two years.

 

Selection of Credits as Producer/Choreographer:

Getty Center, Geffen Playhouse, James Armstrong Theatre, LA Opera, Pasadena Human Relations Commission, Colburn School, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, American Youth Symphony Orchestra, Orange County Performing Arts Center

 

Celebrity Dance Students:

Emmy Rossum, Timothy Goeble

 

Health & Wellness:

Golden’s lifelong attraction to the Health and Wellness industry have accompanied him throughout his creative life. Between the years 1985-1991 he worked as a certified professional Chef (specializing in Vegetarian and Spa Cuisine) both in the US and in Europe which helped to further support his primary artistic goals.

 

Golden is presently on faculty at the California Dance Theatre located in Agoura Hills and instructs dance classes at the American Jewish University, Familian Campus, Los Angeles.

 

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Scot TupperScot Tupper
Contemporary/Ballet Instructor


Scot has been teaching and studying with Golden & Nadya since 2001. He came to dance as a young adult. His first class ever was once a week ballet at age 17 at Moorpark College.

 

He continued to study ballet, improvisation, and modern dance primarily under the mentorship of Rene Baum Riley, as well as Jazz and performance for several years through Moorpark College’s state of the art facility.

 

In 2000/2001 Scot worked with Rudy Perez, historic post-modern choreographer, under a 13 month intensive internship studying and teacher-assisting at L.A. County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) and USC. Scot is currently an active member of Nancy Evans Dance Theatre (NEDT). Past company experiences include B.E. Productions, Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, Rudy Perez Project, renebaum dance, La Danserie, and others.

 

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Brett Weidlich Brett Weidlich
Adjunct Faculty


Brett’s early education was completed in the Czech Republic of Prague where he also received his Bachelors of Arts degree while attending the National Ballet School.


Brett went on to complete a double Master of Arts degree (one in Choreography and the other as Ballet Master) at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory and Choreographic Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia under full scholarship.


Bret returned to work professionally as a dancer (Soloist) with the National Ballet Theatre in Prague. While with NBT he performed in a variety of dance roles including: “Carmen, Cinderella, Creation of the World, Don Quixote, Giselle, La Fille Mal Gardee, Merry Widow, Midsummer Night Dream, Night in Venice, Nutcracker, Pygmalion, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake”.


Brett danced as a Principal Dancer with the Mexico City Ballet Theatre for four years performing in both classical and contemporary choreography and he has also performed as a “guest artist” with the Zurich National Ballet, Australian Ballet Theatre, Polish National Ballet Theatre and the Ballet Monte Carlo, all taking place over a period of several years.


In Southern California, Brett has previously worked as an artistic director, choreographer, ballet master and dancer for the following company’s and organizations: Conejo Civic Ballet; California Philharmonic Orchestra; Ballet Ventura, Ballet Arts Academy and Ballet Academy (both located in Ventura County) and Ballet Temecula.


Brett has also had experience working with children with special needs/disabilities including Autistic and “at-risk” foster children (Red Shoes Auxiliary and Battered Children Hope (both organizations located in Ventura County) where he developed supportive and therapeutic dance and educational curriculums.


Brett is fluent in a number of languages including: Czech, Slovak, Polish, Russian, Spanish and English and he has experience working in the areas of Stage Management, Costume and Set and Lighting Design.

 

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Nadezhda (Nadya) Koscuik - Ballet MistressNadezhda (Nadya) Koscuik
Ballet Mistress

 

Nadya passed away in 2013

A special tribute page will be available soon

 

Nadya has the honor of being the only individual officially endorsed by the Vaganova Ballet School, St Petersburg, Russia to teach the authentic and complete Vaganova curriculum including all nine levels.

 

She has been teaching the Vaganova Syllabus for over 30 years receiving accolades from the Russian Ministry of Culture. Her extensive international training, performance experience, and professional contacts/relationships make her an authority in the world of Classical Ballet.

Nadya’s current projects include writing the textbook "The Vaganova Legacy" which will serve as a reference manual on The Vaganova Curriculum. The Russian Ministry of Culture has given official permission to Nadya as an international authority to complete the text book. The entire and complete Vaganova Curriculum was passed directly from Vaganova herself to Ninel Kurgapkina, to Nadya Koscuik.

 

Professional Ballet Training and Education
Initial ballet training at the age of four was gained in England at the Rambert Ballet School with Marie Rambert as the Artistic Director. Nadya then continued her ballet training in England studying not only at the Arts Educational School in London but also with Cleo Nordi, a former soloist with Anna Pavlova's ballet company, Errol Addison, Enrico Cecchetti's protégé, Alexis Rassine, former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet and partner of Dame Margot Fonteyn. Dame Beryl Grey was the artistic director of both The Arts Educational School and of The London Festival Ballet where Nadya obtained her first dancing position as an apprentice at the age of sixteen. As an advanced dance student Nadya was invited by the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Yuri Grigorovitch, to train and rehearse with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. The invitation from Yuri Grigorovitch came about due to the fact that Nadya's two cousins', Alla and Svetlana Scherebinina were both respected members of the Bolshoi Ballet. Nadya's training included study with Marina Semyonova (former pupil of Vaganova) and private coaching from Alla Scherebinina (former principal of the Bolshoi Ballet) and Asaf Messerer (Premier Danseur and Ballet Master). Thereafter Nadya was invited to St. Petersburg, Russia to train exclusively with the Kirov Ballet Company, where she studied initially for three years with both Natalya Dudinskaya (the former Artistic Director of the Kirov and prima ballerina of the Kirov) and Ninel Kurgapkina (former prima ballerina with the Kirov Ballet and current Principal Ballet Mistress of the Kirov). Nadya's association and collaboration with the Kirov Ballet Company and the Vaganova Ballet Academy continues through to the present day. Nadya has also been very fortunate to have been coached by Gennadi Selyutsky, Elena Evteyeva and Tekir Baltacheyev with her husband, Golden Koscuik, in some of the great classical pas de deux including but not limited to "Swan Lake" and "Romeo and Juliet".

Performance Highlights
Natalya Dudinskaya of the Kirov Ballet gave Nadya the opportunity to dance "Myrthe" from the ballet "Giselle" in St Petersburg, Russia at the age of twenty-two. Ninel Kurgapkina, Principal Ballet Mistress of the Kirov Ballet has coached Nadya in many different principal roles for international performance including: "Sleeping Beauty", "Giselle", "Les Sylphides", "Swan Lake", and "Madame Butterfly", a world premier. Many international and domestic ballet companies have invited Nadya to appear as a guest artist and to stage productions of well known ballets including: "Paquita", "Swan Lake", "Les Sylphides", and "La Bayadere, Kingdom of the Shades". Nadya was commissioned to stage a "site specific" ballet for Expo 86 about an ancient Native Indian legend. Additional highlights include a Taiwan tour "Stars of the Soviet Ballet" as a guest artist with Leonid Kozlov, Artistic Director and principal dancer. Leonid Kozlov was a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and during the second half of Mr Kozlov's career he was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. Nadya danced the Lavrovsky "Romeo and Juliet" balcony pas de deux with Kozlov, and Nadya also danced in his staging of the ballet "Walpurgis Night". She has danced as a principal dancer with a number of ballet companies around the world including: Covent Garden Opera Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Theatre Ballet of San Francisco, Idaho Junior Ballet and Festival Ballet Nikic Monte Carlo, where Nadya first met and worked with her friend the great Rudolf Nureyev. Nadya still regularly performs principal roles with her husband and colleague Golden Koscuik. Their repertoire includes: "Swan Lake", "Romeo and Juliet", "Les Sylphides", "Nutcracker", "Madame Butterfly", "La Traviata", "Orfeo and Euridice" and "The lady of the Camelias". Nadya and Golden Koscuik have appeared together as guest artists in Vancouver, Canada, Muenster, Germany, Thousand Oaks, California, at the Orange County Imagination Celebration and have successfully produced numerous productions throughout the Los Angeles area.

Television and Theatre Credits
Nadya was coached by Alexis Rassine in Kitri's variation from Don Quixote, Act 3, Odette's variation from Swan Lake, Act 2, Lilac Fairy variation from Sleeping Beauty, Act 3, for the BBC, London. Nadya also appeared on Television in the Middle East dancing, the Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty. While Nadya was residing in Vancouver, British Columbia she appeared on CBC Radio as a principal actress playing the role of Olga, the wife of Picasso. Nadya was invited by Canadian actor and Director, Leon Pownall, to choreograph and dance in Mr Pownall's production of "Oh what a lovely War", which met with rave reviews. Most recently, Nadya has had the privilege of instructing Actors, Penelope Cruz and Brittany Murphy, however, from 1973-76 while working in England for a number of classical theatre companies Nadya had the opportunity of instructing actors in advanced movement skills, including: Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Diana Rigg, Frank Finley, Nicholas Clay, Nigel Terry, David Bradley Michael Hordern, Anna Cataret, Peter Woodward, Neil Fitzwiliam, and Alan Bates

Teaching Credits
When Nadya was first training as a dancer in St Petersburg, Russia she had the great privilege to not only take company class taught by Natalya Dudinskaya but also to instruct a few company classes and those in attendance were: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yuri Solovyov, Alla Sizova, Irina Kolpakova, Alla Osipenko, Gabriella Komleva. The overwhelming impression was that all of the dancers in the Kirov Ballet Company at that time were both incredibly proficient technically and artistically liberated to dance the roles to perfection. Nadya also discovered that as she personally became acquainted with the pure Vaganova method that she was learning at the Kirov she herself felt the incredible surge of pure joy in the physical sensation of executing each movement with technical ease, confidence, artistic freedom and technical proficiency. The teaching experience which Nadya gained while studying in St Petersburg, Russia was invaluable as it sowed the seeds for her driving passion to share and pass on the great Vaganova legacy as she was quick to realize that the authentic Vaganova training in its entirety was not available in the west and that the training would be invaluable to western dancers as it was well nigh free from injury when it was correctly taught and would provide any dancer who studied it a long and productive career in dance. This fact has motivated Nadya to write her book on the Vaganova legacy and the training so that she could help dancers who aspire to a career in dance to achieve their goal and feel great while performing and dance without the risk of injury.

Nadya operated her first ballet school and company in Vancouver, Canada from 1980-1992. While in Vancouver she also instructed private dance students at the Goh Ballet Academy over a period of twelve years. Many of her students went on to compete at the Jackson, Mississippi, Prix de Lausanne and Varna ballet competitions. Several of her students were accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet, England and The Croatian National Ballet. In 1992, Nadya opened her current school, now known as Masterpiece Dance Theatre, with personal friend and colleague Rudolf Nureyev as the Founding Honorary Patron. Ninel Kurgapkina is also a Patroness of Masterpiece Dance Theatre.

Among a few of her teaching credits include: Harvard Westlake School, Los Angeles; LA School of Gymnastics; University of Southern California, USC (School of Theatre); Peridance Center, New York; Sacramento Theatre Ballet; Israeli Classical Ballet; and the Conference for CORPS de Ballet International Inc. held at Pacific Northwest Ballet Company. She is the Co-founder of the West Coast Classical Ballet Society, a non profit organization based in Southern California. She is married to her husband-colleague Golden Koscuik with whom she operates the company and school.

DETAILED CREDITS:
• The J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA. (Summer 2006, Choreographer, Family Festival/Degas)
• "Amahl and the Night Visitors", Grace Lutheran Church, Culver City, CA. (December 2006, Choreographer, Performer)
• Peace Through Music and Dance Benefit, Pasadena, CA. (September 2007, Co-producer, Choreographer, Performer)
• "Visions of Swan Lake", West Hollywood, CA. (Masterpiece Dance Theatre production, Choreographer, Performer)
• Los Angeles Opera, Music Center Plaza (Special Event Choreographer, "Fedora")
• Geffen Playhouse (Producer of an independent dance production with dancers from St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia)
• Dance Coach to Timothy Goeble, (2001-2002, Olympic Bronze Medalist)
• Dance Theatre of Munster, Germany (Principal Dancer/Ballet Master, 1989-1991, Artistic Director, Pieter van der Sloot)
• American Youth Symphony Orchestra (Guest Choreographer/Performer)
• Torrance Symphony (Guest Choreographer/Performer)
• Adjudicator for two international ballet competitions (Normandy, France, "Jacques Ibert" and Osaka, Japan, Masako Ohya)
• James Armstrong Theatre, Torrance, CA., "Legends of Dance Awards" (Producer)
• James Armstrong Theatre, Torrance, CA. "Mythodance" (Producer, Choreographer, Performer)
• Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Learning Center for Arts Excellence (Ballet Master)
• Verona Lyric Opera/Ballet Company, Italy (asst. to Choreographer Pieter van der Sloot (Opera, "Aida")
• Lora Donna Venchi School of Ballet, Verona, Italy (Guest Ballet Master)
• University of Southern California-USC (2000-2001, Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Theatre Arts)
• University of California at Los Angeles-UCLA (Dance Instructor, Summer Program)
• Orange County Performing Arts Center, Imagination Celebration (1994/95, Performer and Instructor)
• Vice President of the West Coast Classical Ballet Society (1995-2007, a non profit organization)

 

 

 

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