Ballet Jorgen's Unique Simulated Professional Company

From a media release:

Ballet Jörgen Canada offers unique training in simulated professional company
Advanced “Junior Company” is among the only programs of its kind, and is attracting international students

July 19, Toronto – Ballet Jörgen Canada is attracting dance professionals from around the world. In a unique training program, performers are entering a simulated professional company; and for many it is their first dance experience in such a competitive, rigourous environment. The program is called the Junior Company, and is
among the only ones of its kind.

The simulated company bridges the gap between training and professional work in an original format that places salaried dancers alongside talented prospectives. All of the dancers learn repertoire and create new works while taking ballet and modern classes as a professional company. The entirety of the 5-week program is oriented around intensive training to simulate the life of a professional performer. The experience is so comprehensive that dancers from around the world have auditioned to take part.

The mixture of 10 student and professional dancers who comprise the Junior Company are from Cuba, Japan, Malaysia, Atlantic Canada, Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United States. They have studied at locations like the National Ballet School, Ballet Pacifica, the National Ballet School of Cuba, Kamizawa Chikage Ballet Studio, The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, George Brown Dance, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.

Participants in the program benefit from the opportunity to secure vaunted apprenticeships with Ballet Jörgen Canada, and all are taught by the leading faculty of the professional company. Long-time Artistic Director and CEO Bengt Jörgen is creating a new work on the participants, as are Principal Dancer and Choreographer Preston McBain and the innovative and electrifying Malgorzata Nowacka. Other teachers on the faculty are Tina Fushell, Heather Berry, Anisa Tejpar, and Ballet Jörgen Canada’s recently retired prima ballerina Tara Butler.

“With many well-trained students struggling to take the step into the professional dance world, we formed the Junior Company to fully immerse talented young dancers in a professional company environment. Our goal is to give participants a chance to gain the unique experience and poise that comes from working in a professional ballet company.” – Bengt Jörgen, Artistic Director & CEO

The intensive program is running for up to 5 weeks - starting on June 27, 2011 - and culminates in a performance showcase on July 29th.

Student Participants

Gustavo Alejandro Pérez Hernández (2011-2012 Ballet Jörgen Canada Apprentice)
Place of birth: La Habana, Cuba
Trained at: The National Ballet School of Cuba

Karina Haggmeyer
Place of birth: Newport Beach, California, USA
Trained at: Ballet Pacifica, University of Utah
Gillian Hogg
Place of birth: Calgary, AB, Canada
Trained at: School of Alberta Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School (NYC), Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School

Sarah Koekkoek
Place of birth: Burlington, ON, Canada
Trained at: Royal Winnipeg Ballet School

Erika Asai
Place of birth: Japan
Trained at: Kamizawa Chikage Ballet Studio, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Alberta Ballet

Ayva Roussouw-Holland (2011-2012 Ballet Jörgen Canada Mentorship Student)
Place of birth: Victoria, BC, Canada
Trained at: Pacific Dance Centre, George Brown Dance

Kealan McLaughlin (Ballet Jörgen Canada Company Dancer: 2011-2012 Season)
Place of birth: Toronto, ON, Canada
Trained at: National Ballet School, Banff Centre of the Arts, Pacific Dance Centre

Hannah Mae Cruddas
Place of birth: Halifax, NS, Canada
Trained at: The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, The Leica Hardy School of Dance, the National Ballet School

Livan Pujada (2011-2012 Ballet Jörgen Canada Company Member)
Place of birth: Cuba
Trained at: The National Ballet School of Cuba

Rachel Chew
Place of birth: Malaysia
Trained at: Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts

(Image is of Ernst Oppler's Ballettänzerin)