Twenty-two-year-old Boston Ballet dancer Keenan Kampa was invited to join the Mariinsky Ballet Company last year, having already trained with the American Ballet Theatre in New York and attended master-classes as the Kennedy Center in Washington. Keenan studied at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet for three years, graduating in 2010. This marks just the second occasion an American dancer has been invited to join a major Russian ballet company, the only previous such being David Hallberg, who is the first American Principal Dancer in the Bolshoi Theatre’s history.
The New York Times has written of Kampa as being “the first American to receive a degree from the Vaganova”.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Kampa admits that it was in Russia that she first experienced the full scope of dance and audience success – “The culture is so involved with the arts. (…) It is the most exciting place to be for ballet”.
In the January issue of ballet’s renowned Dance Magazine Keenan Kampa was listed as one of the twenty-five dancers “to watch” in 2012. The magazine compares her to the intriguing and enigmatic Mona Lisa.