António Casalinho and Margarita Fernandes in La Esmeralda

António Casalinho and Margarita Fernandes in La Esmeralda, music by Cesare Pugni, choreography by Jules Perrot, subsequently revised by Marius Petipa, Agrippina Vaganova and Pyotr Gusev. Ballet Icons Gala 2024, London Coliseum, March 2024.

Margarita Fernandes is a Soloist with the Bavarian Ballet (Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich). Margarita is from Portugal and trained from the age of 8 at the Annarella Sanchez International Conservatory of Ballet and Dance in Leiria, which follows the Cuban methodology of training. Besides training with resident teachers, Annarella Sanchez, Alexander Santana, Enrique Perez-Cancio, Elena Cangas and Raquel Aguero, her training was supplemented by guest Cuban teachers, Lienz Chang, Caridad Martinez, Ramona de Sá, Martha Iris, Rolando Sarabia, as well as those from the Vaganova and French schools, Julio Bocca, Misha Tchopakov, David Makhateli and Yannick Boquin.

António Casalinho (born 2003) is a First Soloist with the Bavarian Ballet (Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich). António was born in Leiria, Portugal, where he completed his ballet studies from the age of 8 at the Annarella Sanchez International Conservatory of Ballet and Dance, which follows the Cuban methodology of training. He won prizes in every international competition he entered. In 2021 the Prix de Lausanne double win of First Prize and Contemporary Prize; in 2019 the Grand Prix at the Beijing International Ballet Competition; in 2018 the Special Distinction Award in the Junior Category, the Emil Dimitrov Prize for Young Talent, Promising Young Dancer and the Bounty Award for the youngest round 3 competitor; at YAGP he took the Grand Prix Award in the Junior and Senior category in 2016 and 2018. António Casalinho has been engaged as soloist at the Bayerisches Staatsballett starting with the 2021/22 season. With January 1st, 2023 Laurent Hilaire promoted him to First Soloist.

© Photos by Jack Devant Ballet Photography with kind permission of the Ballet Icons Gala, special thanks to Olga Balakleets

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