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Keenan Kampa

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What a wonderful opportunity for this lovely dancer. I have to say that I never heard her name before two weeks ago and all of a sudden she is everywhere!! I have heard that this is the first time an American dancer was asked to join the Mariinsky Ballet. Does anyone know if that is true?

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Guest The Lilac Fairy

I love Keenan! I have been following her Youtube channel for a while now and she has posted her exams from the Vaganova School, which I have found stunning. The movement in these video's express such a pure form of beauty that reminds me of Alina Somova, who I adore. The only thing is I'm surprised about it why they didn't ask her to join earlier!

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Another recent fan here... What a beautiful dancer! The Russians really know how to pick them. Hope she comes back here someday and is well supported by a touring US company so she can be seen!

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  • 3 months later...

As lovely as Ms. Kampa is (she truely is a beauty), she is not the 1st American to receive a diploma from the Vaganova Academy. I am not sure why they say she is. During the 1990s there were quite a few Americans to graduate from Vaganova Academy. I also know one who graduated in 2005. Perhaps Ms Kampa received a "red" diploma versus a "blue"?


Vanessa Zahorian, a young graduate from KAB in 1994 joined Mariinsky as a full member in 1995. She left after one year for San Francisco Ballet. Rasta Thomas, KAB 1994, also had a contract of some sort with Mariinsky in 1995.

Edited by vrsfanatic
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Hmmmm. Vanessa Zahorian's SFB bio says she served "an apprenticeship at Russia's Kirov Ballet."

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Guest The Lilac Fairy

I believe I read on her blog that she was the first to receive the diploma that is usually saved for Russian students. Also I am 100% sure that she is not the first American in the company because Anna Marie Holmes was! Or at least is what every one else around me has said.

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Anna Marie Holmes is/was Canadian at the time she performed with the Mariinsky, not from the USA. As for Ms. Zahorian, perhaps they changed the catagories over time. There were no apprentices to Mariinsky in 1995. There was a company within the Mariinsky called the "little" Mariinsky begun by Mr. Vinogradov , AD at the time, begun in 1991. I never saw the contract so perhaps you are correct however from conversations at the time with her mother, the contract was a full contract. Since it was difficult to have anyone in Mariinsky who was not Russian or married to one, the contract may have had a stipulation of some sort. Knowing the Russian politics within Vaganova and within Mariinsky, mostlikely any non-Russian (if not married to a Russian) did indeed have a different contract from a Russian.


The point I think I was trying to make is that there have been quite a few successful Americans who pre-dated Ms. Keenan to both Vaganova and Mariinsky. The politics of the time did not allow for the same diploma as the Russians. It is nice to see that things may have changed.

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Thank you for posting the bio. No horse necessary at all. No battle to win. A bio is a bio. :wink:

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  • 7 months later...

Tomorrow Keenan Kampa makes her debut as Kitri in the Mariinsky's Don Quixote!!!! :lol: I am sure that she will be wonderful. :clapping:

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