New dancers and local favorite featured in Columbia Classical Ballet’s LifeChance

New dancers and local favorite featured in Columbia Classical Ballet’s LifeChance

The Columbia Classical Ballet’s annual LifeChance gala performance is always a high point of the dance season, featuring guest artists with top companies from around the nation and company dancers performing classical and contemporary works.

LifeChance takes place Saturday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center.

This year, for the first time, the Classical Ballet welcomes guest dancers from the Joffrey Ballet,  including Dylan Gutierrez, just named “25 to Watch in 2014” by Dance Magazine and Jeraldine Mendoza, the first American woman to graduate with honors from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

Another first-time guest will be Boston Ballet principal dancer Lasha Khozashvili.

Returning favorites include Brooklyn Mack of the Washington Ballet, a Columbia native who got his start with the Classical Ballet. At age 12, Mack attended a LifeChance performance and shortly after began studying with Classical Ballet director Radenko Pavlovich. Mack has won silver medals at the Jackson International Ballet Competition, the Helsinki International Ballet Competition and the Korean International Dance Competition, and a gold medal at the 2012 International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.

Other favorites returning include Boston Ballet principal dancers and brother and sister Jeffrey and Lia Cirio, and Washington Ballet dancers Tamas Krizsa and Maki Onuk.

The company dancers will perform two new works created especially for them, and guest artists and company members will dance together. On the new side, Classical Ballet choreographer Simone Cuttino has created Ursa Major for 14 of the company’s male dancers set to a driving, percussive score that will be premiered at LifeChance.

Tickets, $6 to $33, are available online at or by calling (803) 251-2222. The evening also raises money for a local nonprofit.

For more information visit the Columbia Classical Ballet’s website.

Via: Columbia Classical Ballet