2018 Wien Awards

The School of American Ballet is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2018 Mae L. Wien Award:

Andrei Kramarevsky

Naomi Corti
Julianne Kinasiewicz
Davide Riccardo

From left: Kay Mazzo, Julianne Kinasiewicz, Naomi Corti, Davide Riccardo
and Jonathan Stafford

ANDREI KRAMAREVSKY, affectionately known to his students and colleagues as “Krammy,” has influenced generations of students over his 42 years as a member of SAB’s faculty. Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, Mr. Kramarevsky began his dance training at the academy of the Bolshoi Ballet at age 9. During WWII, he moved to Kirgistan and joined the local ballet theater, Frunze, when he was just 12. He rose to the rank of soloist, and in 1945 returned to Moscow to resume his training at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography. In 1949, Kramarevsky joined the Bolshoi Ballet and was promoted to principal dancer in 1959. During 18 years with the Bolshoi, he toured the world and performed numerous featured roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Fountains of Bakhchisarai. In 1967, Kramarevsky joined Moscow Concert, teaching classes and taking on acting, singing and dancing roles. By the time he departed in 1975 he had held the titles of ballet master and director. In 1975, Mr. Kramarevsky left the Soviet Union for Italy and taught at dance schools in Rome and Napoli before receiving permission to move to the U.S. Almost immediately upon arriving in February 1976, he was invited by SAB to guest teach a class. The next day, he was asked to return to teach a company class at New York City Ballet. George Balanchine observed the class and offered him a job at SAB on the spot. His teaching immediately filled an important niche in SAB’s curriculum, contrasting with the approaches of acclaimed teachers such as Stanley Williams and Richard Rapp in its emphasis on bravura male technique. Mr. Kramarevsky also frequently taught NYCB company classes and performed for many decades as Drosselmeier in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® as well as other character roles with NYCB. Over his many years at SAB, Mr. Kramarevsky has taught intermediate and advanced technique, partnering and character classes to scores of students who consider him to be an important and beloved influence on their development as dancers. In 2003, Kramarevsky was named to SAB's Mae L. Wien Faculty Chair, following Alexandra Danilova and Antonina Tumkovsky in receiving this honor for distinguished faculty. His outstanding service to SAB was previously recognized with the Mae L. Wien award in 1995.
NAOMI CORTI was born in Luxembourg and lived in her father’s hometown of Menton, France, as a toddler. Eager for her granddaughter to pursue ballet, Patricia Corti enrolled Naomi at l’Ecole de danse Marie-France Ceschel when she was 2. The Cortis moved to California when Naomi was 4 years old, and at age 9 she resumed her dance training at California Dance Theatre in Westlake Village under the direction of Kim Maselli. CDT faculty member Jean Lubin played a pivotal role in Naomi’s development, often transporting her to dance classes while Naomi’s mother waged a successful battle with thyroid cancer. Encouraged by Ms. Lubin, Naomi successfully auditioned for SAB’s Summer Course at the age of 13. She enrolled the same year in the School’s Winter Term and over the past four years has progressed from the B2 Intermediate class to the most advanced girls “D” class. She participated as a dancer in SAB’s Student Choreography Workshop in 2016 and 2017 and in the recent spring session of the New York Choreographic Institute. For the past two years she has been a Children’s Division teaching assistant and has held a student leadership position in SAB’s on-site Residence Hall, serving as one of four Community Development Assistants. Now 17, she will graduate in June from Professional Performing Arts School and plans to enroll part-time at Columbia University this fall while continuing her pursuit of ballet. Naomi performed in Hallelujah Junction, Scotch Symphony and Scènes de Ballet in the 2017 Workshop. This year she will dance the soloist role in La Source along with parts in In Creases and Western Symphony.
JULIANNE KINASIEWICZ, 18, started ballet at the age of 5, following in the footsteps of her mother and aunt, both of whom had trained seriously as youngsters. As a child she commuted from her home in Portage, Indiana, to the Ruth Page School of Dance in Chicago, where she trained with Dolores Lipinsky Long, Birute Barodicaite, and Patricia Klekovic. She performed the role of Clara in the school’s production of The Nutcracker when she was 12 and 13, and also starred as Peter in Peter and the Wolf. Julianne set her sights upon SAB after taking an audition class in Chicago with Kay Mazzo in 2013. She attended SAB’s 2013 and 2014 Summer Courses and at the age of 14 was invited to enroll in the Winter Term starting in the B2 Intermediate class. She has danced in SAB’s Student Choreography Workshops (2016/17), the New York Choreographic Institute (2018), SAB’s free community performances (2016), and in NYCB’s public school lecdems (2016/17). For the past two years Julianne has been an enthusiastic Children’s Division teaching assistant—this year alone she is assisting teachers in Girls IIA, Girls IIB and Boys IB. Her strong interest in teaching led to her selection earlier in 2018 as one of three advanced students to participate in the School’s special student teaching program. Julianne will graduate from Professional Children’s School in June. She performed in Scènes de Ballet at the 2017 Workshop, and this year she will dance a principal role in Western Symphony and appear in the ensemble of In Creases.
DAVIDE RICCARDO, 18, began his classical ballet training at the Emma Prioli School in Sicily at the age of 5 after his mother observed him mimicking a dance program in front of the family television. At 12 he left his home in Messina to train at the Rome Opera Ballet School. Inspired by photos and videos of choreography by George Balanchine, Davide traveled to the U.S. to audition for the School of American Ballet at the age of 16. He was invited to enroll as a full time student in September 2015 and has been a member of SAB’s Advanced Men’s class for the past three years. Davide danced in four sessions of New York Choreographic Institute and in SAB’s 2016 and 2017 Student Choreography Workshops. He also choreographed a new work to music by Philip Glass as part of the 2017 workshop. Davide is a 2016 graduate of Professional Children’s School. He performed featured roles in SAB’s 2016 Workshop Performances (Les Gentilhommes, The Four Temperaments) and two principal roles in the 2017 Workshop (Scotch Symphony, Scènes de Ballet). He also performed a principal part in Scènes de Ballet as part of NYCB’s 2017 winter season. This year, Davide will perform a principal role in Western Symphony and dance in the ensemble of In Creases. His talents were recognized with a prestigious Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award in March.

Photos Rosalie O'Connor (group) and Erin Baiano (Kramarevsky)