Anna Korotysheva, is a second generation ballet dancer who, following in the footsteps of her mom, studied at the world-renowned Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg, graduating at the top of her class in 1987 and went on to experience a successful career as a member of the ballet company of the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre. Today, Anna is a Ballet Mistress and Choreographer, passing on her treasured knowledge and experience to her students for whom she choreographs classical, modern and original productions
Elizabeth Kaye is a New York Times best-selling author, dance writer and ballet historian who has lectured on dance, dancers, and ballet history at venues ranging from the Metropolitan Opera House and the Guggenheim Museum to the Kennedy Center, Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Music Center in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth has collaborated with our organization on several projects including the Ballet & Identity talk series, which she conducted in August 2020 with Zippora Karz, a former soloist with the New York City Ballet and in September 2020 with Leslie Carothers, a former principal dancer with Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and former Director of the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
George Birkadze graduated with honors from the prestigious Moscow Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Upon graduating from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, he furthered his studies as a Pedagogy in Dance. In 2002, Birkadze began creating works for world renowned dancer Angel Corella, for whom he would continue to create works in years to come. Currently, Birkadze teaches at the esteemed Boston Ballet.
As a world-renowned ballet dancer and choreographer, George Birkadze brings grace and power to the stage with every move. The same can be said of his second pursuit: mixed martial arts. With black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Judo and Kyokushin karate, Birkadze bridges the worlds of martial arts and ballet to prove that all dancers are fighters, and all fighters are dancers (see 2-min video below).
George is collaborating with TFG on the Ballet & Identity© project to create a program for youth where both systems, classical ballet and martial arts, can be combined for the purpose of building a strong Identity.
The Black Belt Ballet Dancer is a short video about George Birkadze, which was published on Feb 6, 2018 on Youtube by Great Big Story in partnership with Reebok ,
Jiu-Jitsu: Turning Anger into Confidence: How does BJJ relate to identity?
TFG collaborator, 30-year Jiu-Jitsu black belt and master instructor Gerson Sanginitto and founder of Gerson Sanginitto BJJ school said the following in his interview (Jiu-Jitsu: Turning Anger into Confidence) with one of TFG’s Founders:
Another TFG collaborator, George Birkadze, a black belt in BJJ and professional ballet dancer, states that ballet helps him to be better in martial arts. He believes that combining classical ballet and BJJ would greatly help our youth to form a strong Identity.