Christine Shevchenko is a member of the American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet. Confident and beautiful, she is described in publications time and again as having the perfect balance of strong technique coupled with natural artistry. Offstage, she has been credited with a kind and caring nature that shines through in our interview with this very sweet dancer.
Christine was born in Odessa, Ukraine where, at the age of three, she was chosen to train in rhythmic gymnastics and ballet at an Olympic School. Her family, also involved in various aspects of the performing arts in Odessa, enrolled her in ballet classes and introduced her to members of the Odessa Ballet. With a prized view from the backstage wings, she became enchanted by the magical performances and all that is ballet.
Favorite Quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you’ve imagined.” Henry David Thoreau
At the age of eight, her family immigrated to Pennsylvania and enrolled her in Pennsylvania Ballet’s Rock School. Christine did not speak any English when she began at The Rock, but quickly learned. She spent the next nine years studying with Natasha Bar, and Bojan and Stephanie Wolf Spassoff. Under their direction, in 2003, Christine became the youngest recipient of the Princess Grace Award, USA which granted her resources to attend competitions.
In 2005, she became the first American-trained dancer in 24 years to win a gold medal and Title of Laureate at the Moscow International Ballet competition. Natalia Osipova won bronze that year. That same year, she received the George Zoritch of Ballet Russes Award for Talent Recognition. In 2006, Christine received the bronze medal in the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi,
Christine danced the children’s lead in Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker for three years. She was featured in the NBC special, Degas and the Dance. In 2002 she was the youngest dancer invited to perform with International Ballet Theatre Company’s Stars of Kirov, Bolshoi and Ukrainian Ballet in Annapolis, Maryland, USA.
In 2006, she auditioned and was accepted into the American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company. After four months, Christine joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in December 2007 and the corps de ballet in June 2008.
Her repertoire with American Ballet Theatre includes Polyhymnia in Apollo, a Shade in La Bayadère, a role in Birthday Offering, Milkmaid in The Bright Stream, Lead Mazurka/Czardas in Coppélia, a flower girl in Don Quixote, Nanine in Lady of the Camellias, one of the Nutcracker’s Sisters in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, Fairy of Joy in The Sleeping Beauty, the pas de trois and the Italian Princess in Swan Lake, Ceres in Sylvia and roles in Company B, Duets, Piano Concerto #1, Seven Sonatas and Thirteen Diversions. She created roles in Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once and Private Light.
Q: Cosette in MN-How do you find balance between the technique and the passion?
A: Christine-First, be 100% sure this is the path you want to take and then give it your all. You will never find the perfect technique so work on your passion as technique is always a work in progress.
Have a question for a dancer?
We’ll ask on a future show!
We love to hear from aspiring young dancers!
We hope you enjoyed this podcast!
Please leave a review by clicking iTunes.
Once there, click the blue “View in iTunes” button,
then the page tab “Ratings and Reviews.”
Click Stitcher to leave a review there.
Your feedback would be so very much appreciated!