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Barbara Sandonato

Position:Artistic Advisor

Barbara Sandonato trained in the School of the American Ballet under George Balanchine in New York City. When the Pennsylvania Ballet formed in 1962 she left New York and was the first dancer to join Barbara Weisberger in her new company. She remained principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet until 1977 except for a one year stint with the National Ballet of Canada where she performed with Rudolph Nureyev. She has made guest appearances with numerous companies including Wisconsin Ballet, Boston Ballet and Eglevsky Ballet. She and her late husband Alexei Yudenich won a bronze medal at the Fifth International Ballet Competition in Varna Bulgaria.

Ms. Sandonato dance roles have ranged from the traditional bravura showpieces to the ballets of romantic realm and from the exquisite but often relentless demands of a Balanchine ballet to the works of modernists like Limon and Butler. Among many roles Ms. Sandonato has danced the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and principal roles in Balanchine Scotch Symphony, Symphony in C, Concerto Barocco, Allegro Brillante and Serenade. She also danced Aurora in Nureyev's production of Sleeping Beauty. and Fokine's Les Sylphide and William Dollar's The Duel.

Throughout her career Ms. Sandonato has been a nationally esteemed master teacher. She is one of the founding instructors of the former School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Most recently she served as a guest teacher at the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University. She has served as artist-in-residence and adjunct professor of ballet at Barnard College of Columbia University in NYC as well as teaching at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Steps of Broadway, Ballet Academy East, University of the arts and numerous other university level and grade level schools throughout the country.

Many of Ms. Sandonato former students are now is professional dance careers including her daughter Gabriella Yudenich Baltrunshunas who was a Soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company.

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