Valentina Kozlova joins Columbia Classical Ballet for the 2020-21 Season as Artistic Advisor.

Valentina Kozlova

Artistic Advisor

Columbia Classical Ballet Artistic Director Radenko Pavlovich has been close friends with Valentina for years and many of his students have won gold or silver medals at Valentina’s Annual Ballet Competition (VKIBC). With Valentina and Radenko’s creative energy and collaboration, audiences will be treated to the finest ballet in the Region. Join us as a member this fall to see why CCB Fans return year after year saying,“THIS is Ballet!”

Valentina Kozlova is a Soviet-born, Russian American ballerina and founder of Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition. In 1979, while on tour as a young principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Kozlova defected to the United States, where she became a principal dancer with New York City Ballet and later, opened her own ballet school. Perhaps best known as a lyrical and expressive ballerina, Kozlova is also re-nowned as a private coach, producing students who have gone on to garner prestigious prizes and positions in many of the world’s greatest Ballet companies.


Simone Cuttino

Resident Choreographer

Simone Cuttino, who hails from Koblenz, Germany, studied Ballet at the Academie of Dance in Cologne, Germany. Her teachers were Ursula Bormann and Peter Vondruszka. Mrs. Cuttino finished her studies at the John Cranko Ballet School in Stuttgart, Germany.

Her professional career began in Krefeld/ Monchengladbach where she performed well over 1,000 classical and modern ballets, including Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Giselle, The Three Musketeers, Rite of Spring, and The Gershwins. Her favorite solo roles include Warenka in Anna Karenina, Venus in Primavera, and the lead in Carmina Burana. As Director of the Ballet Department at Stepping Out Studio, her choreographies have won gold and platinum awards.

Mrs. Cuttino performed with Columbia Classical Ballet in the King and I, LifeChance 2000, and Madame Butterfly. She returned to the company as resident choreographer in 2006. Mrs. Cuttino has choreographed full-length productions of Oz, Nutcracker, Robin Hood, Aladdin, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood for Columbia Classical Ballet. Her Choreographies have also included pieces for the yearly Studio Series and LifeChance Gala.

Emma Stratton

Assistant to the Artistic Director

Emma, grew up in Columbia, studied with Radenko as a child, became a member of the company, and then danced with the Minnesota Ballet and Colorado Ballet where she had many primary roles. She has returned to her roots to dance with the Columbia Classical Ballet company and will be Assistant to Artistic Director, Radenko Pavlovich for the 20-21 season.

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