Video of Lantratov
Watch Russian ballet master give a class to students at the Statesboro Shool of Dance. Click on link:
The Statesboro School of Dance was filled Thursday with students practicing various ballet techniques and positions in afternoon classes. A typical afternoon inside the studio on South Zetterower Avenue - except for who was leading the instruction.
Russian ballet star Valery Lantratov conducted two master ballet classes for students at the school, offering his unique perspective and talents for the dancers to absorb.
"What a tremendous opportunity and honor has been afforded us to have Mr. Lantratov lead these classes," said Shay Morgan, owner of the Statesboro School of Dance. "We are very grateful."
Lantratov was born in Moscow and rose to the top of the ballet world in his native country. In 1997, Russian president Boris Yeltsin named him "People's Artist of Russia," the nation's highest artistic honor. He has danced with ballet companies in the United States and around the world.
In 1993, Lantratov founded the Russian National Ballet Foundation to promote classical Russian Ballet and to offer ballet education.
Morgan said Lantratov's foundation contacted her and asked if the school would like Lantratov to come teach some classes. Morgan, of course, accepted the offer.
Dressed in black, Lantratov led the dancers though many drills and demonstrated several ballet techniques.
Offering constant encouragement to the girls with plenty of "Very goods" and "Looks good," Lantratov paid particular to head, arm and leg position of each dancer. The exercises were fast-paced and each student paid close attention to his instructions.
Lantratov said he has taught hundreds of classes and he loves teaching young dancers.
"It is a very good age," he said. "They are excited and they listen. I was impressed with the group. They are serious. They want to learn."
After the first class, Lantratov thanked the students. He received a few hugs and signed a few autographs.
"Ballet is beautiful and it's my work to share that," Lantratov said.