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Nikoloz Makhateli was principal dancer of the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Georgia, USSR for 26 years, having been the protege of Vakhtang Chabukiani. From 1970-75, he studied at the Tbilisi State College of Theatrical Arts receiving his master's degree in ballet instruction and choreography. Mr. Makhateli was then appointed ballet master of Maurice Bejart's MUDRA Afrique. In 1983, he was named an Honored Artist of the Georgian Republic, and in 2000 received the Georgian Republic's "Order of the Mark of Distinction." For nine years, he was the chairman of the Choreography Department of The Fine Arts College of Georgia, USSR. After immigrating to the United States, he was ballet instructor at the New Orleans Center of the Arts and the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington D.C., before taking the artistic directorship of Michigan Ballet Academy (MBA) in Grand Rapids. Mr. Makhateli is the father of former Royal Ballet principal, David Makhateli and Dutch National Ballet principal, Maia Makhateli, both having received their training from their father.



Radford University (RU) of Virginia, USA, has the distinction of being the only university to have a fully based Vaganova Methodology training program, instigated by Inessa Plekhanova in 2006. Ms. Plekhanova was born in Russia and graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, receiving her Masters of Fine Arts. In her career as a dancer, she has been a member of the Estonia National Ballet and Colorado Ballet, performing solo and principal roles in all of the major classical repertoire as well as dancing in numerous works of George Balanchine and other noted choreographers of the 20th century. Inessa Plekhanova was the director of the Academy of Colorado Ballet and Colorado Ballet II from 1999-2005. Ms. Plekhanova is the director of Radford University Department of Dance, Ballet Program, and the artistic director of the RU Ballet Theatre. JGP is pleased to welcome the return of Inessa Plekhanova as a guest, and thanks her for her continued generosity in giving many young contestants the chance to enter Radford University's Summer Intensive Program.
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