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Continuing a Legacy, Artistic Director Elena Manakhova

Elena was a Guest Artist with Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre in 1997-2001, and became Artistic Director for ESBT in 2001. During her tenure as director, she has added to the repertory at ESBT through her stagings of Sleeping Beauty, Chopiniana (also known as Les Sylphides), Paquita, and original works of "Bolero" (to Ravel's score) and Alice in Wonderland. 

Born in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Elena Manakhova began her ballet training at the age of six in Chelyabinsk. After studying with Balentina Khabereu at the Art School, Elena attended the world famous Kirov Ballet Academy and Vaganova Academy and was one of the dancers in the 249th graduating class of the Academy. After graduating, she became principal dancer for the Donestsk Ballet Theater. In 1987 she received the Medal of Honor at the Ukranian International Ballet competition. Later, she became prima ballerina with National Ballet of the Republic of Komi.

In 1993, Elena came to America and danced with the International Ballet Company in New Jersey where she worked and trained under Alla Osipenko (Russian Prima Ballerina - Kirov Ballet) and Irina Kolpakova (Russian Prima Ballerina - Kirov Ballet). Elena also became a member of the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware where she danced works by Robert La Fosse, Daniel Baudendistel, Leslie Browne, and Lev Assoulak.

Her career has brought her many performances as prima ballerina in the following ballets: Swan Lake - Odette, Odile, Nutcracker - Clara, Sugar Plum, Arabian, Snow, and Spanish, Giselle - Giselle, Myrta, Chopiniana - 7th Waltz, Mazurkas, Prelude, La SylphideCarmen Suite- Carmen, Le Corsaire - Pas d'Esclave, Don Quixote- Kitri, Mercedes, Dying SwanCoppelia - Swanilda, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty- Fairies, Esmeralda- Esmeralda, and many others.


Elena holds her Master's Degree in Teacher of Classical Ballet, Vaganova Style, and Choreography from Cheyabinsk State Pedagogical University in Russia.

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