Rasta Thomas to Judge BalletNova’s Young Choreographer’s Competition


Bad Boy of Dance Rasta Thomas To Judge BalletNova Young Choreographers Competition

Falls Church, VA:  BalletNova is proud to welcome “Bad Boys of Dance” dancer/choreographer Rasta Thomas as a judge for its 2nd Annual Young Choreographers Competition. He is the founding director of “Bad Boys of Dance” (BBD) whose mission is to push the boundaries of dancing and deliver exciting dance shows.

BalletNova’s Young Choreographers Competition (BNYCC) is geared toward serious dancers between ages 14 and 18 years old and aims to provide young dancer/choreographers with an opportunity to stretch artistically by developing their art beyond performing; to showcase their work; and offer performance opportunities for local young dancers.

Mr. Thomas is known for his fresh, dynamic and innovative approach to presenting dance.  Currently touring the world with their hit shows, Rock the Ballet and Tap Stars, BBD “strives to free ballet from its prissy aura… Bad Boys of Dance are proclaiming loud and clear that ballet is sexy, spectacular, and yes, very masculine” (The New Yorker).

Rasta Thomas studied at the world-renowned Kirov Academy in Washington D.C.  As a teenager he captured the attention of the dance world by earning the Special Jury Prize from the 1994 Paris International Dance Competition, winning the Gold Medal in the Junior Men’s Division at the 1996 Varna International Ballet Competition, and the Gold Medal in the Senior Men’s Division at the Jackson International Ballet Competition.

In 1995, he became a member of Le Jeune Ballet de France and in 1997, was invited to be a Principal Dancer with the Hartford Ballet. In 2001 Rasta was the first American to become a member of the Kirov Ballet (now the Maryinsky Ballet) in St. Petersburg, Russia and then in 2003 he joined Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Subsequently Mr. Thomas guested with American Ballet Theatre, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, National Ballet of China, Joffrey Ballet, Lines Contemporary Ballet, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  He has danced diverse roles from “Albrecht” in Giselle, “Basilio” in Don Quixote, “Ali” in Le Corsaire, to works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Debbie Allen, Ulysses Dove and Jerry Mitchell. He has also performed at the Academy Awards, at the White House for the President of the United States, at Harlem’s famous “Apollo Theater,” in an international ad campaign for the Gap, starred on Broadway in Twyla Tharp’s hit musical “Movin Out,” and appeared in the feature film, “One Last Dance”, starring Patrick Swayze.

Mr. Thomas joins a slate of internationally recognized judges including Carolyn Carattini, Royal Academy of Dance, and Christine Dunham, former principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, who will choose five finalists.

The public will be invited to vote for their favorite young choreographer via Facebook, with the popular vote counting 20% toward the total score.  Finalists perform live at the BalletNova Spring Gala on Saturday, March 16, 2013 where the winners will be announced.

The competition is open to residents of Northern Virginia – Fairfax, Arlington, Loudon and Prince William Counties, the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax. Deadline for submissions is February 17, 2013.

For more BNYCC information and applications, contact info@BalletNova, or go to the website at www.BalletNova.org.

For further information on Mr. Thomas go to http://www.rastathomas.com.

For press inquiries – cwarren@balletnova.org.

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