Mr. Sultanov was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. He trained at Vaganova Ballet Academy and at age 17, joined the Kirov ballet where he danced a classical repertoire. Artur has also performed with Eifman Ballet as a Soloist. In 2000 he moved to San Francisco to join Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. There, he worked closely with Mr. King on creating original contemporary ballets. In 2003 Artur joined Oregon Ballet Theatre. His principal roles at OBT include the Prince in Swan Lake, Ivan in Firebird, and the Cavalier in the Nutcracker, among others. Artur was a guest artist with Trey McIntyre Project, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and California Ballet Company where he performed the role of Romeo in their version of Romeo and Juliet. He has been featured on OPB as an emerging artist in Portland (http://www.opb.org/programs/artbeat/segments/view/200). Mr. Sultanov has worked and performed with a tribe of pigmies from Central Africa in the project called “People of the Forest”. He has appeared at numerous festivals such as the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, the Chicago Dancing Festival and Fall For Arts- the most prestigious festival of contemporary dance in New York City. Mr. Sultanov has performed on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera House, Kennedy Center, Bolshoi Ballet Theatre, and the Mariisnky Theatre in his native city of St. Petersburg. In addition to being an accomplished dancer, Mr. Sultanov has also taught extensively throughout his professional career. In the past eight years, Mr. Sultanov has taught and choreographed for the school of Oregon Ballet Theatre and Lines Contemporary Ballet School of San Francisco. His vast experience also includes holding master workshops in the Portland Metro Area, Seaside, OR, Vancouver and Tacoma, Washington. Artur Sultanov is excited to be a part of the Portland dance community and is looking forward to inspiring a new generation of dancers. In 2017, Mr. Sultanov received the Youth America Grand Prix Outstanding Teacher Award.
Vanessa Thiessen is originally from Portland, OR. She trained at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, with James Canfield, and continued on to dance for Oregon Ballet Theatre from 1995-2003. At OBT she danced leading roles in Gissele and Romeo and Juliet. After moving to San Francisco in 2003, she danced with Smuin Ballet, ODC Dance, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Opera Parallele and Tanya Bello’s Project b. In 2010, she began teaching for ODC Dance, which lead to teaching ODC master classes across the US and in Indonesia, Burma, Thailand and China. For the past 5 years, she has also been teaching ODC repertory class at San Francisco State University. After moving back to Portland this year, Vanessa now splits her time between San Francisco and Portland dancing. teaching and choreographing. Currently in SF, she dances with Post:Ballet, teaches at ODC/School and is a creative collaborator for Choreographer KT Nelson. Currently in Portland, she dances with Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble and teaches ballet, jazz and modern classes for BodyVox. Vanessa is thrilled to be joining the faculty at Sultanov Russian Ballet Academy.
Rick Gonzales, Ballet Instructor/Choreographer
Rick is a former Principle and Soloist Dancer with the Washington Ballet, The Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Nashville City Ballet and Miami Ballet Company. He has also danced on Broadway and through out Europe, in Productions of Cat’s, West Side Story, Victor Victoria and Miss Saigon to name a few.
For the past three years Rick has worked as the ballet master and resident choreographer of City Ballet of Los Angeles. His career has taken him all over the world to work as ballet master and to teach for many companies and schools all across the country as well as abroad. He teaches ballet at all levels as well as pointe class, men’s class, variations and pas de deux classes. He also coaches dancers at all levels from beginner to principles.
Riley McIntyre, Pre-Ballet/Beginning Ballet Instructor
Riley McIntyre is a graduate of the Sultanov Russian Ballet Academy. Riley has received fourteen years of ballet education and has also been trained in modern, contemporary, and jazz as well as various other forms of dance. She graduated from Westview High School with a career pathway in early childhood education. Riley is a sophomore at Portland State University, where she is majoring in political science. She has been assistant teaching and co-teaching pre ballet classes for two years and has worked as a teacher in the Little Wildcat’s Preschool for three years. Riley has a passion for teaching, dancing, education, and children and is thrilled to be welcomed to the Sultanov Russian Ballet Academy’s faculty this fall.
Alicia Cutaia earned her BFA with honors from Point Park University with a double major in Classical Ballet and Jazz. Her previous training included scholarships at Hubbard Street Dance, North Carolina Dance Theater, and River North Dance Company. She has worked with and performed pieces by many renowned choreographers, including Lauren Edson, Jamey Hampton, Ron De Jesus, Gina Patterson, Lar Lubovitch, Louis Falco, Michael Foley, Keisha Lalama-White, Joel Hall, Lou Conte, Daniel Gwirtzman, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Daniel Ezralow, Choo-San Goh, Alan Hineline, Harrison McEldowney, Kevin O’Day, Frances Patrelle, David Storey, Margo Sappington, Christian Holder and Bianca Sapetto. Ms. Cutaia previously worked as Rehearsal Director, Costume Manager and Dancer with Eisenhower Dance, Dancer with Hubbard Street Dance and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.vShe also enjoys teaching and setting choreography nationally. Her choreography has been showcased at many choreographic festivals such as the Jazz Dance World Congress “Leo’s Choreography Competitive Event”, the “Maggie Allesee New Choreography Award”, “Michigan Youth Arts Festival”, “Dance Chicago”, Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival, Kaleidoscope Dance Festival, Midwest Rad Festival and the “NSAL Mid-Michigan Chapter.” Her work “Impact” was recently set on Eisenhower Dance. Her choreography for competition studios have won many National awards. Some of Ms. Cutaia’s teaching credits include the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Oakland University, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theater of Harlem and the Eisenhower Center for Dance. A number of Ms. Cutaia’s students have been accepted on scholarship to many prestigious summer and college dance programs.