January 23, 2021   

Columbia Classical Ballet Company is dedicated to providing South Carolina audiences with the experience of classical ballet performed by recognized ballet stars of today. The Company recruits the talented performers from around the world and brings them to our community. Additionally, Columbia Classical Ballet actively supports our community through an extensive outreach program. The hallmark of this outreach program is the annual production of LifeChance: Gala of the Stars, raising awareness of children and families in danger. LifeChance is an alliance of internationally renowned artists joining with Columbia Classical Ballet to perform one night of spectacular entertainment to salute a different charitable organization each year.
It was our honor to salute Camp Cole for LifeChance 2020.  Camp Cole is a camp and retreat in the SC Midlands community for children and adults with serious illness, disabilities, and other challenges which was created so that everyone can experience the joys of camp.  It inspires people to share challenges and to embrace one another.
LifeChance has received attention from former Governor David Beasley and current Governor Henry McMaster. It is through the support of our great City and County that Columbia Classical Ballet is able to offer this exceptional quality of Dance. To the Hospitality Tax Committee and DeeDee Fanning, we thank you for all the extra hours you give to us. To the Accommodations Tax Committee, the Hospitality Tax Committee of Richland County and especially to James Hayes and Tyler Kirk, thank you for your continued guidance.
Individual Tickets are available online via the Koger Center for the Arts. In order to save processing fees, you may purchase tickets directly from the Koger Center Box Office located at 806 Park Street, (rear of the Koger Center) Please call 803.251.2222 for more information.
For more information about Membership and Season Tickets, call 803.252.9112 or click here.

Past Guest Artists


Lia Cirio, Principal, Boston Ballet

Lia Cirio began her training at Swarthmore Ballet Theater with Lori Ardis. She went on to train at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary and Darla Hoover, where she also studied privately with Theresa Crawford and Rafael Grigorian. At age 16 Cirio was awarded the top scholarship and Founders’ Award presented by Barbara Weisberger at the Regional Dance America Festival. The same year, she was invited by Mikko Nissinen to join Boston Ballet II, and was Boston Ballet’s Princess Grace nominee for 2004. She was promoted to Boston Ballet’s corps de ballet in 2004, to second soloist in 2006, and to soloist in 2007. After a year with the Trey McIntyre Project, she returned to Boston Ballet and was named a principal dancer in 2010.  See her full bio here.

Paul Craig, Principal, Boston Ballet

Paul Craig of Manistee, Michigan started his training with Deb Knight at the Conservatory of Dance with Jefferson Baum at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He was invited to train at the Virginia School of the Arts with Petrus Bosman and Tyrone Brooks. After graduating, he spent a year in Boston Ballet School as a trainee before being hired into Boston Ballet II and was promoted into the corps the following year. Craig has performed in numerous galas and schools around the U.S. including Jacob’s Pillow Dance festival, World Ballet Competition, and Cape Cod Dance Festival. In the off-season, he performs with the Cirio Collective and teaches in ballet schools around the country. See his full bio here.

Kathleen Breen Combs, Principal, Boston Ballet

Kathleen Breen Combs was born in Rockville Centre, New York. She has been hailed by the New York Times as a "ballerina of colossal scale and boldness." She has been a professional dancer for 15 years and a principal dancer with Boston Ballet since 2009. Breen Combs is known for her diverse repertoire which includes the major classical story ballets, as well as works by Balanchine, Cranko, Kylian, Forsythe, Wheeldon, McGregor and Elo to name a few. In 2012, she was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse Award for her portrayal of Juliet in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet and Titania in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and was invited to dance at the Bolshoi Theater. Throughout her career, Breen Combs has danced in numerous international galas. See her full bio here.

 John Lam, Principal, Boston Ballet

John Lam was born in Marin County, California. Born from immigrant parents from Vietnam, Lam found his passion for life in dance at age 4. Training at Marin Ballet, Lam formed vital relationships that would mold his career and was coached by renowned Svetlana Afanasieva, Cynthia Lucas, and Mikko Nissenen. In 2000, Lam began his tenure with Canada's National Ballet School under the directorship of Mavis Staines. Coached by famous Sergiu Stefanschi, Lam developed a foundation that would launch his career in 2003 with the invitation from Mikko Nissenen to join Boston Ballet.  See his full bio here.

Rolando Sarabia, Washington Ballet

Rolando Sarabia is a Cuban ballet dancer of international acclaim who has danced with companies throughout the world including the Cuban National Ballet, Houston Ballet and Miami City Ballet. He danced with American Ballet Theatre as a guest artist in 2011. Sarabia is often compared to the young Mikhail Baryshnikov and has been called the “Cuban Nijinsky” by The New York Times. He was trained by his father, Alicia Alonso, Lázaro Carreño and Magaly Suarez at the National Ballet School in Havana. He has performed with renowned dancers including Maya Plisetskaya, Patrick Dupont, Farouk Ruzimatov, Alicia Alonso and Tamara Rojo among others. Sarabia is the recipient of the Prix Benois de la Danse, Concours International de Danse de Paris, Varna International Ballet Competition, Gold Medal USA International Ballet Competition, Gold Medal 1998 International Ballet Competition and Grand Prix 1998 International Encounter of Ballet Academies among others. See his full bio here.  

Tamako Miyazaki, Washington Ballet 

Tamako Miyazaki of Tokyo, Japan, is in her fifth season with The Washington Ballet after dancing with Columbia Classical Ballet. Prior to that, Miyazaki was a member of The Washington Ballet Studio Company for two seasons. She has studied at Kaneta Kono Ballet Academy, Michiko Aoyama Ballet Studio and the Reiko Otsuka Ballet Studio. Her many awards include: first place in the Youth America Grand Prix finals in 2002, the silver medal at USA International Competition Jackson Mississippi in 2014, second place at the YAGP regionals in Toyko in 2004 and second place in the All Japan Ballet Union Competition and YAGP finals in 2006. See her full bio here.

 Danica Paulos, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Danica Paulos (Huntington Beach, CA) began her dance training at Orange County Dance Center and continued studying at world renowned institutions such as The Juilliard School, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Kirov Academy of Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Yuri Grigoriev School of Ballet, and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Ms. Paulos graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School in New York and trained at The Ailey School as a scholarship student. Ms. Paulos is a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Level 1 YoungArts finalist award winner. In addition to originating several roles and being featured in the Company’s repertory, Ms. Paulos is also very passionate about her role as photographer for the Company’s Instagram account, sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of an Ailey dancer. She has modeled and been featured in Elle Magazine, Double Magazine, Refinery29, and graced the cover of Dance Magazine where she was named “25 to Watch” in 2015. She was a member of Ailey II prior to joining the Company in 2014.See her full bio here.

Manuel Vignoulle, M/Motions

Manuel Vignoulle, French choreographer based in New York, studied at The Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse de Paris and went on to work with different French contemporary companies including Claude Brumachon, Corinne Lanselle and Bernardo Montet. He was a dance artist with both Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève (Switzerland) and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York) where he worked with inspiring choreographers such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Andonis Foniadalkis. Hofesh Shechter, Cisco Aznar, Ohad Naharin, Jo Strongen, Didy Veldman, Carolyn Carlson, Benjamin Millepied, Alexander Eckman, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Malou Airaudo and Benoit-Swan Pouffer among others. Manuel’s work, performed in France, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and USA, has been commissioned by Ailey II, Whim W’Him, Satellite Collective, 10 Hairy Legs, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Peridance Contemporary Ballet Company, Steps Repertoire Ensemble, Periapsis Music & Dance, The Ailey School, Rutgers University, Springboard and Antigel Festival. Read more about Manuel and his company M/Motions here.

Matteo Fiorani, M/Motions

Originally from Italy, Matteo started his dance training in Modena at the age of thirteen. He has won many competitions and received acknowledgments for his dancing. In 2012 he joined the local company MdDanza under the coordination of Veronica Sassi. At the age of eighteen, choreographer Enzo Celli invited him to join the Botega Company for the production of Giselle. During the summer of 2015 he took part in the prestigious iBStage-International summer program. In September 2016, he joined the Certificate Program at Peridance Capezio Center and became a company apprentice in January 2017. See his full bio here.

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