Boitsov students, guest artists to perform
By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post
The community is invited to enjoy a live ballet performance by students of the Boitsov Classical Ballet School, set for 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 23 at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place.
The school, currently located in a storefront studio at 6102 S. Archer, is owned and operated by Madame Elizabeth Boitsov, an internationally acclaimed Russian ballet teacher who began training in the art when she was a small child, more than 60 years ago.
“I am excited about this event,” Madame Elizabeth said. “We continue to have a great opportunity to bring dance to many children in the Midway area. I am optimistic about our future, and I hope people of all ages join us.”
In addition to the Boitsov students, there are expected to be dancers from the Bray Ballet in Wisconsin, as well as other individual dancers of acclaim.
The school teaches the Vaganova Technique of Russian classical ballet. “This technique is practiced around the world,” according to a statement on the Boitsov website. “It is the highest standard by which a professional ballet dancer is trained.”
The school accepts girls and boys as young as age 4 and teaches them all the way to adulthood, with an eye on them having careers as professional dancers.
While most will not choose a career as a dancer, the lessons learned at Boitsov go far beyond the stage.
“The benefits acquired from the program are not only important in ballet, but can be very beneficial for students to apply to life in general,” Madame Elizabeth says on her website. “Boitsov Classical Ballet School's program helps students to develop discipline, personal power, self-awareness, body awareness, self-confidence, and to develop the love and passion to achieve whatever endeavors and dreams their heart desires.”
She left the old Soviet Union in the 1970s, teaching ballet in Poland and later Sweden, before coming to the U.S. and eventually setting up shop in Chicago in early 1980.
With her husband, Vladamir, she founded her school in the South Loop, along with a ballet company. Both thrived and drew critical acclaim until Vladamir died from lung cancer in 2000. The company shut down, but Madame Elizabeth maintained the school.
In 2013, she closed its downtown location and relocated to Garfield Ridge—a move she called “a dream” she and her husband shared, to make classical ballet more accessible to communities not normally exposed to it. She lives in Garfield Ridge.
The school’s move was made possible through assistance from the Greater Southwest Development Corporation, which in recent years has helped her organize her school from the business end. DevCorp operations director Tina James called the school “a gem” that all Southwest Siders should be proud to have.
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