Skylar Brandt and Herman Cornejo in Swan Lake PDD

Skylar Brandt and Herman Cornejo in Swan Lake (Black Swan PDD), music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, choreography by Marius Petipa. Ballet Icons Gala 2024, London Coliseum, March 2024.

Skylar Paley Brandt (born in 1993) is an American ballet dancer, currently a Principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Skylar was born and raised in Purchase, New York. Brandt began her training at the age of six, at the Scarsdale Ballet Studio under the instruction of Diana White and Christian Claessens. In 2004 and again in 2008, Brandt participated in the Youth America Grand Prix and was awarded a silver medal both times. The following year she began attending the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT and was there for four years before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2009. She became an apprentice with the main company in 2010, and by June 2011 was in the Corps de Ballet. In August 2015, she worked her way up and was appointed a soloist in the company. She was made principal dancer in September 2020.

Herman Cornejo (born in 1981) is an Argentine-born ballet dancer and a Principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Cornejo was born in a suburb of Buenos Aires. At the age of 8 he was introduced to ballet. Cornejo enrolled in the school of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires at age 9. At 14, he began studying at the School of American Ballet on a full scholarship, and subsequently left to join Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino. At 16, he placed first at the Eighth International Moscow Competition, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the competition. In 1998, aged 17, he joined the ABT Studio Company as an apprentice. In 1999, at the ABT, Cornejo was chosen for the role of the Bronze Idol in Makarova’s production of La Bayadère in Japan. Soon after, in 2000, he was promoted to the rank of soloist, and in 2003 became a Principal Dancer.

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

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