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Natalia Magnicaballi dances with Michael Cook during a 2018 performance of The Nutcracker at Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre.

After a spring filled with cancellations due to the pandemic, Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre is back with its annual summer outreach program that teaches intermediate and advanced dance intensives.

Again this year, a week of ballet master classes taught by principal dancer Natalia Magnicaballi will be part of the lineup.

The classes are June 15-18 at Rocky Mountain School of the Arts/Dance Theatre Studio, 2613 Sheridan Ave.

Magnicaballi has had a long relationship with the theater and academy, beginning in 2005 when she first performed the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the annual production of The Nutcracker.

For the past five years she has taught master ballet classes for RMDT’s summer intensives. In 2018, Magnicaballi retired from Ballet Arizona after more than 15 years of dancing but she continues her coaching and teaching in the United States and abroad. As a principal dancer, she also continues to work closely with Suzanne Farrell and has since the day Farrell started the company.

“There is no doubt this year will be remembered and marked in history books forever,” Magnicaballi said. “In many cases, if not most, for unhappy reasons. But then what is happiness, its true meaning? Just sat down to write these lines, knowing I will be soon visiting and working with RMSA dancers again, and I would be lying, if not admitting, the immense feeling of joy running through me. Am I blessed? I sure feel so.”

She said, to her, art is as much of a basic need as air.

“I truly believe so, based on the story of my life,” she said. “But now, seeing the impressive amount of effort and commitment the younger generations have been showing, jumping from bed to cold tile or concrete floors, executing their dance combinations in the most limited kitchen spaces, and still smiling to the computer’s camera, when doing so, and still hoping and asking for more, I realize, one more time, I’m not alone.

“I can once again confirm that dancing, as an expression, was, is and will always be one of the main resources we humans have not only to express ourselves, but to be.”

The general public, RMSA Alumni, and RMSA Academy 2B and older students may register for this week of Intensives, with the Ballet Master Classes online at rockymountaindancetheatre.org.

Magnicaballi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has been a principal dancer with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet since its conception in 1999 and with Ballet Arizona from 2002-2018. A graduate of Teatro Colón, she became a principal dancer at the age of 19 with Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino. In Europe, she joined the Italian company Aterballetto under Mauro Bigonzetti’s direction.

Her repertoire includes the lead roles in 30 Balanchine creations, the leads in the most beloved classic ballets, as well as works and premiers by Jirí Kylián, Roland Petit, Maurice Bejart, Mauro Bigonzetti, Jerome Robbins, Dwight Rhoden, Paul Mejia, Ib Andersen, Oscar Araiz, Mauricio Wainrot, Ana María Stekelman, Alberto Méndez, Christopher Wheeldon, and Alexei Ratmansky.

She has toured and performed in the main houses and arena theatres on five continents including the Paris Opera Garnier and the Mariinsky Theatre. Natalia has been featured as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” and named “Best Dancer” by The Arizona Republic.

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