COVID-19 shutdowns around the world brought ballet dancer Alex Maryianowski from performing with the Paris Opera Ballet back to his hometown of Abilene, and Abilene Christian University students were the beneficiaries of that pandemic side effect, as he offered a guest workshop Tuesday in ACU’s Department of Theatre.
Maryianowski visited as a guest artist in the Advanced Ballet class taught by artist-in-residence Lily Balogh, a former member of the New York City Ballet. The workshop was also available virtually to all theatre students.
“We often bring in folks from New York and L.A., but we don’t often have the opportunity to bring someone in from the Paris Opera Ballet,” said Dawne Meeks, associate professor and chair of theatre. “This is a cool full circle since he’s from Abilene.”
Maryianowski is an Abilene native and grew up learning ballet at Ballet Abilene. He attended the Houston Ballet Academy, spent one year as an apprentice with the Houston Ballet, and then became a permanent member of the Boston Ballet. He danced there for four years before joining the Paris Opera Ballet in 2018 and hopes to return to the latter when performances resume again.