The Founders and Artistic Directors of MCBT have already demonstrated solid, dependable, and consistent hard work which has been beneficial to our local residents. In 2017, Artem and Ekaterina received their green cards as aliens of extraordinary abilities in their professional fields.
In August of 2017, they opened Melbourne City Dance Center in Melbourne, FL, and in 2018 they founded Melbourne City Ballet Theatre, a not-for-profit year-round ballet company.
Here is a brief overview of Artem and Ekaterina’s extensive professional resumes:
Artem Yachmennikov graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was the first soloist with the world famous Bolshoi Theater in Moscow; a soloist at The Mariinsky Theater (Kirov) in St.Petersburg; and a principal dancer at the Dutch National Ballet, which is one of the most prestigious European theaters. He was also a principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet, one of the largest and oldest professional ballet companies in the United States. During his artistic career, he has danced all the leading roles in works by many of the twentieth century's master choreographers including George Balanchine, Natalia Makarova, Peter Wright, Hans van Manen, Alexei Ratmansky, Rudi van Dantzig, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Francesco Ventriglia, Patrick de Bana, Aidar Akhmetov, Helgi Tomasson, Ted Brandsen and more. He partnered with the stars of ballet world including Uliana Lopatkina, Svetlana Zakharova, Anna Tsygankova, Maria Alexandrova, Igone de Jongh, Sofiane Sylve, Tan Yuanyuan, Larisa Leznina, Ilze Liepa, Ylia Makhalina and more. Yachmennikov’s repertoire includes numerous main roles in productions of “La Bayadere”, “La Sylphide”, “Swan Lake”, “The Sleeping Beauty”, “Giselle”, “Romeo & Juliet“, “Coppelia”, “Chopiniana”, “Le Corsaire”, “Don Quixote”, “Symphony in C”, “Serenade“, “Steptext “, “Sarcasmen”, “Adagio Hammerklavier”, “Black Cake”, “Kammerballett”, “Russian Seasons”, “The Flames of Paris”, “Scheherazade”, “The Firebird”, “Cleopatra”, “Ghost Ball”, “Fourteenth”, “The Nutcracker”. He performed on the most prestigious ballet stages in the world such as Covent Garden in London, Grand Opera in Paris, Metropolitan Opera in New-York, The London Coliseum Theater, and Champs-Elysees Theater in Paris. For his artistic accomplishments, he was invited as the guest of honor to attend the official ceremony with the Queen of Netherlands, Beatrix. World famous ballerina, Natalia Makarova, a true legend of the ballet world, selected Artem for the role of Solor and personally rehearsed with him for the world renown premiere of La Bayadere at Net National Ballet. Pierr Cardin, an italian-born, French top fashion designer has created all of Artem’s costumes for the world tour with the Russian Seasons produced by another legendary ballet artist, Andris Liepa. Audiences of London, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo and other capitals of the world enjoyed the privilege of admiring this production. Artem has also been invited to perform as guest star at the Italian franchise of Dancing With The Stars.
Ekaterina Vaganova-Yachmennikova graduated from the Moscow University of Culture in promotion and production of cultural public programs. She is the great-grand daughter of the world-famous ballerina, Agrippina Vaganova, who created the well-known method of professional training for ballet dancers all around the world. Ekaterina herself is a three-time World Champion ballroom dancer, WDC European champion, multiple champion of Russia, Italy, Ukraine and Spain. She won her first World Cup at the Under 21 age category in Los Angeles, USA in 2006. She was the winner of the prestigious Festival of Dance in Cervia, Italy; the Imperial Dance Championship; and Universal Dance Competition in London, England. She has been a pro teacher on Dancing With The Stars in Italy for five seasons and choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance in Russia. She brings the highest level of ballroom experience to the Space Coast. She has several competitive ballroom students who travel from across Florida to train with her each week. These talented and fortunate dancers have already become winners of several ballroom dance competitions in the state of Florida.
Working with these two talented Artistic Directors is a Board of Directors and Company Guild dedicated to serving the community by supporting and managing the MCBT. Our Guild is 28 members strong and growing daily. As a Board of Directors we have developed a clear vision, bylaws, and action plan that will take the company well into 2030, growing every step of the way. As our company grows and develops, our Board of Directors will also. The company and its board consist of representatives from across our community, for our community. We feel extremely fortunate that Artem and Katia have chosen Melbourne as their home and have such a passionate commitment to share their experience, time, and hard work with our local dancers. Together, with your involvement and support, we will place Melbourne in the spotlight on the world map of ballet!