Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Laszlo Berdo Hired as Artistic Director for Eglevsky Ballet
Central, Pa. (February 1, 2013)– Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary announced today that CPYB faculty member Laszlo Berdo has accepted the full-time position of Artistic Director for Eglevsky Ballet, Long Island. Mr. Berdo, a former Boston Ballet principal dancer, will assume his position with Eglevsky in July 2013.
“I personally want to thank Laszlo for the contributions he has made to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet during the past 10 years,” said Miss Weary in her announcement. “He is a gifted instructor and brings tremendous creativity to his choreography. We are all proud of him as he takes this next step in his career. Congratulations to Eglevsky on this wonderful appointment. We wish you and Laszlo all the best.”
Laszlo Berdo joined CPYB as a full-time faculty member in 2003, having taught at Boston Conservatory and Harvard University. He trained as a dancer with National Academy of Arts in Champagne/Urbana, Illinois, and danced professionally with Ballet Austin, Louisville Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and Boston Ballet. Mr. Berdo began choreographing in 1993, creating works for Boston Ballet, Boston Conservatory, the Norwegian National Ballet, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. His works have been staged at the Finnish National Ballet, Helsinki, and the Eglevsky Ballet, among others. He teaches internationally for several companies and summer intensives, including Jacob’s Pillow Dance. Mr. Berdo has served as program director of CPYB’s choreographic initiatives, ChoreoPlan and FirstSteps.
Established in 1961 by André Eglevsky, the late New York City Ballet principal dancer, the Eglevsky Ballet is dedicated to enriching Long Island and its surrounding communities through the presentation and training of ballet in the classical tradition of its founder to the highest standards.
"As I turn the page on my journey, I leave behind many memories,” said Mr. Berdo. “The talent and dedication of the students of CPYB cannot be matched anywhere. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to be part of their journey through life. Though I must say goodbye, part of my heart will remain behind. I look forward to seeing my kids succeed in whatever they choose to do, and I will miss each and every one of them! I am equally thankful to have worked with Marcia these last 10 years. The ability to be a driving force behind an organization is thrilling. Eglevsky Ballet is providing me this opportunity and I look forward to the challenges.”
About Laszlo Berdo
Laszlo Berdo was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he began dancing at the age of five. At age 11, his mother gave him a pair of tights and threw him into an audition for a local Nutcracker production. Initial resistance turned into a life-long passion as Berdo performed onstage for the first time.
Berdo later intensified his studies at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois. Upon graduation he first joined Ballet Austin and then the Louisville Ballet under Alun Jones and Helen Starr. He was later hired by Ivan Nagy first as a guest artist then later as a soloist with the Cincinnati Ballet. Berdo joined the Boston Ballet in 1990 as a corps de ballet member under Bruce Marks. He was promoted to soloist in 1993 and became a principal dancer in 1995. As a principal, he has danced numerous roles in ballets by Cranko, McMillan, Balanchine, Bournonville, Hynd and Stevenson. Berdo also excelled in contemporary works by Tharp, Taylor, Feld, Butler and York. Berdo is honored to be the first to perform the lead role in Cranko’s Eugene Onegin in the United States.
He began choreographing in 1993, creating the pas de deux Eternal Being which later was performed for a Boston Ballet gala. In 1997, Berdo was commissioned to create a new work for Boston Ballet. Four Hands premiered in March of 1998 and was performed in many venues such as the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, and at a summer festival in Biarritz, France. In 1999 Berdo created Below Down Under which premiered at the Schubert Theatre in February 1999. In March of 2001 he createdSanctuary for the Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo. He choreographed Bass Elements for the Boston Conservatory and participated in ChoreoPlan 2001 in which he created Concertante for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
Berdo staged Four Hands for the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki which premiered in October 2002. From 2000 to 2003 he was a faculty member for the Boston Conservatory and Harvard University. In 2003 he joined the faculty of CPYB full time. In 2008 Berdo choreographed Snow White, premiered Peter Pan in 2009, restaged Swan Lake in 2011, and premiered Carnival of the Animals in 2011. He was commissioned to present The Nutcracker for the Eglevsky Ballet, which premiered in December 2010. Berdo teaches in the United States and Europe for ballet companies, summer intensives and colleges.
About Eglevsky Ballet
The Eglevsky Ballet was founded in 1961 by André Eglevsky, the late New York City Ballet principal dancer often considered the leading male dancer of his generation. After Eglevsky’s death in 1977, the company went on to be led by noted directors including Edward Villella, Michael Vernon, and Ali Pourfarrokh.
The Eglevsky Ballet is governed by a seven-member board of directors headed by Janine Racanelli, who is managing director of JPMorgan Private Bank. The launch of the Eglevsky Ballet Training Program is central to the board’s mission to revitalize the company, a plan developed under the guidance of Kennedy Center’s arts management consultants, among them, Robert Lindgren of the
University of North Carolina School of Arts. Under this plan, the board has pledged the recruitment of world-class dance talent, for the company and for the school.
To learn more about Eglevsky Ballet, visit eglevskyballet.org.
About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Since 1955 Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet has grown from a small, local dance studio into a sprawling facility with 10 studios in Carlisle. In 2012, CPYB began holding classes in Camp Hill at the Grace Milliman Pollock Performing Arts Center. More than 21,000 students have passed through the esteemed institution. Currently, more than 70 alumni occupy positions in highly regarded ballet companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, to name only a few.
Under the guidance of CPYB Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, CPYB provides exceptional dance training for dancers in beginning levels through pre-professional, and enhances the cultural climate of the central Pennsylvania region through ballet performances. In addition to the Primary and Pre-Professional divisions, CPYB’s Preschool Division offers Mommy & Me, Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet and Pre-Tap classes for children ages two to six. The school’s Open Program for the community offers classes and workshops for teens and adults in various dance disciplines such as Hip Hop, Pilates, tap and ballet.
Ms. Weary began producing full-length ballets in the 1960s at the local Carlisle high school auditorium with a handful of loyal dance enthusiasts. Today more than 13,500 patrons annually enjoy the beauty of classical ballet. As the Resident Ballet Company of Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, CPYB’s season includes both classical and neo-classical performances in the fall, winter, spring, and in June. CPYB is honored as the only pre-professional company in the country licensed to perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™.
Unrivaled among ballet schools not affiliated with a major professional company, CPYB continually produces dancers for the top companies in the world. Others have continued on in dance-related fields such as ballet teaching and arts administration.
Joseph Carman, dance critic for The New York Times, wrote, “London, Paris, St. Petersburg, and New York are well known for their first-rate ballet academies, training many of the best dancers in the classical form. Add to that list Carlisle, PA, a town with fewer than 20,000 people and a modest economy driven by state government jobs and the defense industry.... Marcia Dale Weary and her Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet have produced dancers well known in the ballet world.” CPYB was featured on the cover of Dance Teacher magazine. In the article, titled Marcia’s Magic, Kristin Lewis wrote, “She [Weary] produces students who have the whole package—attention to detail, early technical development and a broad socialization into the arts. It seems a given that companies nationwide will continue to be stocked with her dancers for many years to come.”
To learn more about Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, visit CPYB.org.