VALENTINA KOZLOVA is known to be a major innovator in the international ballet world. Her passion for dance and for the choreographers and dancers who create and perform have led her to nd new outlets for their talents. Ms. Kozlova's current endeavors are a conservatory which teaches pure classical ballet, a Federation of International Ballet Competitions -endorsed ballet competition venue, and a dance foundation which sponsors stateside and international performances. These endeavors and her past accomplishments earned Ms. Kozlova recognition by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation as a 2018 Great Immigrant/Great American for her dedication to dance. This award was given to a total of 38 distinguished immigrants who have contributed tremendously to the enrichment of American culture. The New York Times published a full page dedicated to her and the awardees on July 4, 2018.
Ms. Kozlova began a ballet conservatory in 2003 in New York City. By 2018, it had outgrown its space and was relocated to Connecticut to afford her students much larger studio space while still being close to a train to NYC. It currently trains over 130 dancers and is called VKDC the Studio (www.vkdcny.com).
Ms. Kozlova sponsored her rst international ballet competition in 2010. Since then, the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition had awarded prizes which help young dancers to achieve their professional goals and assist them in getting company contracts. To date 56 company contracts and 13 trainee positions, over 240 scholarships, 14 choreographer commissions and awards, and numerous nancial and other prizes have been bestowed on competitors. In 2017 VKIBC became a member of the Federation of International Ballet Competitions. VKIBC Competitions have been held in Europe, North and South America. The competition in 2020 will mark the 10th year of the competition and also the 40th year of Ms. Kozlova's defection to the United States. (www.vkibc.org)
The Valentina Kozlova Dance Foundation (VKDF) not only hosts the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (VKIBC), but also has sponsored many ballet performances for her school, and also galas around the world. It also has brought dancers and companies to the United States to perform. To name a few ~ K'Arts Dance Company from South Korea, Several VKIBC Semi Finals in Sao Paulo, Brazil, St. Petersburg, Russia, Mexico City, Mexico (www.valentinakozlovadancefoundation.org)
Ms. Kozlova made her Broadway debut in the leading role for the revival of "On Your Toes", learning the part from its original creators: George Abbott and George Balanchine. Her performance led Balanchine to invite her as Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet in 1983. She accepted and performed with the company until 1995, dancing the classics along with the leading roles of works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Eliot Feld and Richard Tanner. From the suggestion of Balanchine, she had also worked closely with Alexandra Danilova while Danilova was a teacher at the School of American Ballet, restaging and rehearsing Swan Lake for the school.
The list of Ms. Kozlova's guest appearances with major international ballet companies is impressive, including Spoleto, La Scala, Florence Opera House, English National Ballet, Paris Opera, Basel Ballet, Australia, Ballet de Santiago (Chile), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), and Hong Kong. She also appeared in ballet galas in Africa, Greece, England, India, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Don des Etoiles in Canada, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Her performances on video include the Pavlova Special (CBS), La Fille Mal Gardée (Philips Video, Germany), and Spartacus (VEAR Productions, Argentina).
Valentina Kozlova has appeared on television, including talk shows and entertainment programs around the world. Following Glasnost, she made a triumphant return to Moscow in 1991, with NBC News covering her performances at the Kremlin Palace. She returned to Moscow in 1992 to perform again as a guest artist. She formed Ballet: The Daring Project, a ballet company dedicated to creating new works. Ms. Kozlova also danced in "A Christmas Carol" with Tony Randall and Ben Vereen.
In 2009, Ms. Kozlova presented "One Magical Performance: The Legacy Gala" at The Joyce Theater in New York in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of her defection. Principal dancers from New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater were guest artists, performing at the spectacular event alongside students from her school
Born in Moscow, Russia, Ms. Kozlova was trained at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet School. She was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet Company in 1973 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1975. She danced all of the major classical roles with the company. In 1979, she defected to the United States while on tour with the Bolshoi. As a student, she had already performed, in Western Europe and the U.S. but had remained intrigued by what she saw. Her quest for artistic freedom and growth led her to seek a career that would offer new roles by Western contemporary choreographers while still preserving her classical background. She was immediately in demand as a guest artist internationally.