Declared by the New York Times as “America’s quintessential American ballerina,” Susan Jaffe led a renowned career as principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) for 22 years. She performed on the international stage with the Royal Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, La Scala Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet and the English National Ballet. Her versatility as a dancer brought acclaimed interpretations to ballet classics like Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as to the dramatic works of Agnes de Mille, Antony Tudor, John Cranko, Ronald Hynd and Kenneth MacMillian. She also worked with and danced the works of many prominent choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Lar Lubovitch, Nacho Duato, Glen Tetley, James Kudelka, Roland Petit, David Parsons, Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham, Ronald Hynd, Frederick Ashton, Ulysses Dove and Lynn Taylor Corbett.
After retiring from the stage in 2002, Susan served as an advisor to the chairman of the board of ABT until 2007, and became an ABT Rehearsal Director in 2010. Two years later, she was appointed Dean of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in Winston-Salem, NC – a position she held for eight years. During her tenure at UNCSA, Susan implemented a syllabus based on the ABT National Training Curriculum and established the Choreographic Institute of UNCSA. Additionally, she envisioned and fully funded $1.6 million in endowed named scholarships, such as The Gillian Murphy Scholarship of UNCSA and the Melissa Hayden Scholarship. A choreographer herself, Susan has created works for American Ballet Theatre’s gala, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Grand Rapid Ballet’s Move Media, Company C Contemporary Ballet, Configurations Dance Theatre and Youth American Grand Prix Gala, among others.
Mr. Annegarn became ballet master after retiring as a Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal dancer in 2003. Mr. Annegarn received his advanced training from the Royal Ballet School in London and toured with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Company before joining the London City Ballet in 1984. He was promoted to principal dancer two years later. A highly-acclaimed performer with both impeccable classical technique and powerful dramatic ability, Mr. Annegarn has also been a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. His repertoire included Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, George Balanchine’s Apollo and Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land. Mr. Annegarn is married to former PBT principal dancer Erin Halloran and together they are the proud parents of their sons Aiden, Leo and Ronan.
Marianna Tcherkassky, born of Russian and Japanese descent, was brought up in Kensington, Maryland, where she began her training with her mother, Lillian Oka Tcherkassky. She continued her studies on full scholarship at Mary Day’s Washington School of Ballet and then the School of American Ballet in New York. She joined American Ballet Theatre in 1970, became a soloist in 1972 and was elevated to principal dancer in 1976 after making her debut in the title role of Giselle opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ms. Tcherkassky excelled in the romantic, classic ballets and was reviewed by Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times as “one of the greatest Giselles that American ballet produced.” Since retiring from the stage in 1996, she has taught and coached dancers and served as a judge for the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida. In 1997, she received a Golden Ring Award honoring artistic excellence from the Asian-American Arts Foundation in San Francisco. In 1999, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from the University of Cincinnati and, in the spring of 2017, was honored to have her personal Act I Giselle costume on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. She is married to PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr.
Ms. Grundvig began her ballet training in her hometown of Davis, California, and with Marguerite Phares in Sacramento, California. Additionally, she spent summers on scholarship with San Francisco Ballet School. At the age of 17, Ms. Grundvig joined the North Carolina Dance Theatre. She continued her performing career as a soloist with both the Tulsa Ballet and the Boston Ballet. She has taught at the Boston Ballet, Margo Marshall School of Ballet, and the University of Oklahoma. She has guest taught at many schools, both nationally and internationally, in addition to touring nationally to audition students for the annual summer programs of Boston Ballet and PBT School. Ms. Grundvig directed the ballet department of the Washington Academy of Performing Arts in Seattle prior to being appointed co-director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School in August 2005. Since starting at PBT, Ms. Grundvig has been part of a leadership team that has increased overall annual enrollment by 79 percent.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Vickrey was trained in Seattle, Denver, New York, and San Francisco before joining the San Francisco Ballet Company. He was the first male student to receive a Ford Foundation Scholarship to that school. He later joined that company, rising to the rank of principal dancer in just a few short years. From there he joined the Joffrey Ballet, and then the Harkness Ballet, touring not only the United States, but the Soviet Union, the Near East, South America and Japan. He has directed several companies in the United States and for the past 23 years he has served as the artistic administrator of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as well as assistant to the artistic director.
Principal Pianist/Music Administrator
A native of Belgium, Yoland Collin began his musical training at the Académie de Musique in Hannut where he later served as a piano instructor and accompanist. In 1998, Mr. Collin graduated from the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège with a Diplôme Supérieur in Piano and Premiers Prix in Chamber Music, Accompaniment, Solfège and Harmony. In 1991, he was awarded Premier Lauréat of the “Concours National du Crédit Communal de Belgique”competition. Mr. Collin relocated to Pittsburgh, his wife’s hometown, and joined the PBT School Staff in November 1998. In 2003, he was promoted to the position of company pianist. Mr. Collin also serves as the principal pianist for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra.