Ballet Master, Choreographer
Artistic Director, Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida
Born in Russia in 1954. His career started at the age of 11 at the Choreographic School of Voronezh. After working as a ballet dancer at the Opera House of Ufa and at the Opera House of Odessa, he studied at the “Gitis State Institute of Arts in Moscow” where he graduated as Ballet Master and Master Choreographer with the highest honors in 1986. He held the position of Academic and Artistic Director at the “Choreographic School of Frounze”, in the former Soviet Union.
In 1987, he worked as Ballet Master and Regiseur for the Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas and Ballet Nacional de Caracas, directed by Vicente Nebrada, where he worked for more than ten years, teaching and coaching the principal dancers of the Company for their soloist classical roles. During his extensive career as a Choreographer and Ballet Master, Issaev has had the opportunity to work with many prestigious dancers and directors such as Papa Beriozoff for Don Quixote, having Julio Bocca and Eleonora Cassano as soloists; Alla Sizova, Alla Osipenko, Tatiana Terekhova and Irina Kolpakova. He has also been invited as a guest Ballet Master by several companies such as Le Jeune Ballet de France, Ballet Nacional de España, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, Orlando Ballet among others. Until August of 2002 he held the position of Ballet Master at the Miami City Ballet School. As a Choreographer, he has mounted several ballets in Russia, the United States, Puerto Rico, Peru, Japan and Venezuela. Mr. Issaev was the recipient of the “New Choreographer Award” for his piece “El Encuentro” at the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Competition in Palm Desert, California. In June of 2005 Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico presented the premiere of Issaev’s work “Doctor Ouch!“, a ballet in two acts based on the story of Korney Chukovskiy with great success.
In 2004, Vladimir Issaev staged “Shostakovich Suites” for the Voronezh Choreographic School in Russia. An invitation from Prima Ballerina Altanay Assylmuratova, director of the Vaganova - Kirov School of Ballet in Saint Petersburg followed to stage a Ballet for the graduating students joining the Maryinsky (Kirov) Ballet Company. This choreography premiered in March of 2006 at the Maryinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Due to its success this choreographic work was presented again in June of 2006. In 2007, Mr. Issaev re-staged his very popular ballet “Chipollino” for Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico.
Vladimir Issaev belongs to the Artistic Advisory Council for the Classical Dance Alliance. Issaev is recipient of the Honorable Merit Diploma from the Terpsihora Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts of Dance of Saint Petersburg, Russia, in recognition for his outstanding performance enhancing the art of classical ballet on the Vaganova Style in the United States. He has also been awarded with the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts award as the most influential Ballet teacher.
Mr. Issaev was awarded 2009 Best Arts Educator of the State of Florida by the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. He has been Artistic Director of the International Ballet Competition in Caracas, Venezuela; Artistic Director of the Russian Ballet of South Africa and International Ballet Competition in Lima, Peru. In January of 2011 his ballet Stone Flower was premiered in Nagoya, Japan with tremendous success and the greatest reviews. In 2013, two new ballets were premiered in Japan during the Aichi Trienale Festival and presented by the Michiko Matsumoto Ballet: Polovetsian Dances and the premiere of Firebird. In 2014 and 2015 Mr. Issaev has been invited to present his dancers and choreographies in Poland, Germany, Peru and most recently he had the honor to teach Master Classes at the Beijing Ballet Academy.
Mr. Issaev is considered one of the top ballet masters and choreographers worldwide.
Ballet Master, Choreographer
Artistic Director, Miami Youth Ballet
Dancer, Director, Choreographer, was the recipient of the Silver Medal at the first Jackson International Ballet Competition in 1979. In 1981 he was the first dancer from the western hemisphere to win the prestigious Gold Medal at Moscow’s International Ballet Competition, launching an international career that would take him to over 50 countries around the world as one of his generations’ premier dancers.
He was a principal dancer with the International Ballet of Caracas, Bavarian State Opera Ballet, Deutsche Oper am Rhein-Dusseldorf, Miami City Ballet and Ballet du Nord. He has performed as a guest artist with companies such as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Nagoya Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet (1984 Olympic Games ), Hungarian State Opera, Latvian National Opera (Honorary guest for the 1st Dance Festival of the Baltics), Teatro Massimo di Palermo and in star galas at Wolftrap, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Bolshoi Theater, Munich’s Olympic Stadium and Spoletto Festival in Italy among others. Video credits include, (Bavaria Studios Star Gala), (Los Angeles Ballet, Pas de Deux) and (Dancing for Gold, ”Moscow International Ballet Competition”). Mr. Pikieris has enjoyed enormous success throughout Europe and received various critic awards for his performances in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet and Eugene Onegin as well as in a diverse classical and contemporary repertoire.
In 1986 Artistic Director Edward Villella invited him to join a new company; Miami City Ballet. As a founding principal dancer he astounded with his power and passion on stage and was instrumental in the initial success of the company. During this time, he danced most of the ballets in that company’s extensive Balanchine repertoire. He will be mostly remembered for his interpretations of The Prodigal Son, Apollo and Tarantella among others. As a choreographer he has created several works for companies such as the Bavarian State Opera Ballet, Ballet Centrum Berlin, Ballet du Nord, Ballet Metropolitano de Medellin, Juegos del Arte Dance Ensemble, Maximum Dance Company, Ballet de Monterrey, Incolballet, Miami Youth Ballet and various Colleges around the U.S.A. These works include, “Dischordia”, ”Still Waters”, “Mephisto”, ”Imagined Notions”, “Gargoyles”, “Danzón”, “Volver”, “Espejismos” and "The Four Seasons" (Sun Post Winner- Best Dance Concert of the 2002-2003 Season). He has also choreographed the dance sequences in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Before Night Falls for the Florida Grand Opera.
Mr. Pikieris has also created a number of works in collaboration with David Palmer, including “The Rite of Spring”, (SunPost Winner- Best Original Work of the 2002-2003 Season) "Spectrum", “Adiemus”, “Carnival of the Animals” and “The Elements” for Maximum Dance Company and most recently “Summer of Love” for Rochester City Ballet of New York.
Mr. Pikieris has been Artistic Director for Ballet du Nord in France and founded and directed Maximum Dance Company in Miami from 1996 to 2005, with David Palmer. He’s also worked as Program Director for Miami City Ballet's Contemporary Dance Series 2006 and 2007. He has served as National Dance Panel Chair for YoungArts and as president of the jury for the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida. In recognition for his outstanding contribution to the arts, Dade County and the City of Miami have proclaimed consecutively, Nov 15th and 16th, 2002 as Yanis Pikieris Day. He is also the recipient of the State of Florida Choreographic Fellowship and the New World School of the Arts Achievement Award. Mr. Pikieris also serves as Executive Director of the Nebrada Foundation, whose mission is to oversee the licensing and production of works by the late choreographer Vicente Nebrada. In more recent times he has worked as guest ballet master, repetiteur and choreographer, with companies such as Ballet Teresa Carreño-Caracas, Ballet de Santiago-Chile, Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón-Argentina, Ballet Nacional del SODRE-Uruguay, Ballet Hispánico of New York, Ballet Philippines-Manila, Ballet de Monterrey-Mexico, Ballet Clásico y Contemporáneo de Asunción-Paraguay, Ballet Estable del Teatro Argentino-La Plata, Milwaukee Ballet, Western Ballet- California, Ballet Municipal de Rio de Janeiro-Brasil and Ballet Nacional de Cuba. He currently directs the Miami Youth Ballet and continues to travel as a freelance master teacher and choreographer.