Keenan Kampa

Mariinsky/Kirov Ballet
Faculty member for the GRB Summer Intensive 2014


A native of the Washington DC area, Keenan began her early dance training under the direction of Julia Cziller Redick, at the Reston Conservatory Ballet. Starting at age 14 Keenan attended summer ballet programs, and was offered full time study at prestigious dance schools such as American Ballet Theatre’s JKO, and Boston Ballet. Keenan chose to remain home and continue her studies with Mrs. Redick at the Conservatory. Because of this more traditional route Keenan was able to study ballet, focus on her education, and perform in many Musical Theatre productions with Gonzaga College High School. In 2006 Keenan was awarded a gold medal in the USA National Youth Ballet competition, and won the Russian Pointe Model Search award. Keenan was a semi-finalist at the Prix de Lausanne International ballet competition in Switzerland in 2007. That same year she was a participant in the Kennedy Center’s Master Class Series, and attended a class taught by Ballet Master Gennady Selutsky from the Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky Theatre) in St. Petersburg, Russia. At the end of the class, Keenan was shocked when she was pulled aside by Mr. Selutsky, and asked if she would come and study at the world famous Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet was established in 1738. Graduates include many of the world’s most famous dancers, who Keenan had idolized as a child, growing up watching old Kirov ballet movies with Mrs. Redick. Keenan attended the academy from 2007 – 2010. She studied under the artistic direction of Altynai Asylmuratova, and professor Tatiana Udalenkova. Keenan traveled with the Vaganova Academy to Italy to perform the lead role of Masha in the Nutcracker, and again in Russia at the Mariinsky Theatre as the first foreigner to dance this role. For the graduation performance Keenan danced Gayane and Le Corrsaire pas de duex. For the graduating class awards Keenan tied with two Russian girls for the title of “Miss Vaganova.” Upon graduation Keenan received the unprecedented honor of being awarded a full Russian Diploma, as opposed to the less prestigious diploma reserved for foreign students. After graduation Keenan returned to the United States and danced two years with the Boston Ballet, under the artistic direction of Mikko Nissinen. At the end of the first year at Boston, Keenan traveled back in St. Petersburg Russia to visit friends and rehearse with her former Vaganova partner, for an upcoming Gala. At their private rehearsal, Keenan’s dancing was viewed by Ballet Master Gennady Selutsky and the Yuri Fateyev the Artistic Director of Mariinsky Theatre. At the end of her rehearsal, and without a formal audition, Keenan was asked to be the first American to join the Mariinsky Theatre. Keenan was under contract for another year with Boston, so plans were made that at the completion of that contract, June 2012, that she would begin with the Mariinsky at the rank of Coryphee.


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