Photo by Renata Pavam
Sascha Radetsky has just been named the new director of the ABT/NYU Master's Degree Program in Ballet Pedagogy. He's taking over for founding director Raymond Lukens (whose partner, Franco De Vita, is also retiring from American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School this spring). The three-semester Master of Arts program trains ballet dancers to become teachers in the ABT curriculum, covering everything from theory to biomechanics, musicality to dance history.
Radetsky has done an increasing amount of teaching himself since retiring from the stage (in between gigs like "Flesh and Bone"), training both students and professionals at major institutions including Broadway Dance Center, ABT and Youth America Grand Prix. "I didn’t retire from performing and immediately think, Okay I want to teach. But opportunities presented themselves, and I started to enjoy teaching more and more," he said over the phone yesterday. "I think we bear a certain responsibility as professionals to pass on whatever we’ve learned along the way."
Sascha Radetsky teaches ABT company class. Photo via Marcelo Gomes instagram @marcelua
Radetsky will both oversee the program, and be its primary instructor. "But I answer to Kevin McKenzie," Radetsky clarifies, "so I’ll be helping him realize his vision and hopefully have the teachers reflect ABT's aesthetic and sensibilities." He will begin by sitting in on Lukens' classes, and will slowly take on more responsibilities over the course of the semester. "Raymond Lukens has built a terrific program, and he's got a wealth of knowledge," says Radetsky, who will also be spending a lot of time over the next few months researching and watching ballets at the New York Performing Arts Library, visiting other schools, and picking his friends', colleagues' and former teachers’ brains. He says, "It’s all kinda happened quickly, but I’m quickly forming a game plan."