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. After retiring from the stage in 2002, Ms. Jaffe served as an advisor to the chairman of the board of ABT until 2007 and became Ballet Mistress 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 where she implemented a syllabus based on the ABT National Training Curriculum and established the Choreographic Institute of UNCSA. A choreographer herself, Jaffe has created works for ABT, 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. Her dexterity with choreography allowed her to bring her own interpretations to ballet classics as well as take on dramatic works of Agnes de Mille, Antony Tudor, John Cranko 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.
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.
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.