Afsaneh Akhtari And Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Luncheon With Dutch National Ballet

Afsaneh Akhtari and Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) hosted a luncheon in honor of the Dutch National Ballet company principal dancers Olga Smirnova, Jakob Feyferlik, and Constantine Allen.

YAGP’s Sergey Gordeev made a warm welcoming toast thanking the hostess for her remarkable hospitality and continued, “We’re gathered today to celebrate the power of art to save lives” and explained the remarkable journey of Smirnova who in March had resigned from the Bolshoi Ballet in protest of the invasion of Ukraine. Artistic Director Ted Brandsen spoke on behalf of the Dutch National Ballet, thanking YAGP founder Larissa Saveliev for her help communicating with Olga during this historic transition.

Guests included YAGP board chair Richard Osterweil, board member Linda K. Morse, as well as the hostesses beautiful daughter Jazmin Roper, and Cheryl Bergenfeld, Janna Bullock, Liliana Cavendish, Judith M. Hoffman, Caroline Hyman, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Susan Gutfreund, Kristina Kingston, Susan Pappajohn, Carlos Picon, ABT’s first Gabe Stone Shayer, Jean Shafiroff, Benny Tabatabai, and Terry Zucker.

Youth America Grand Prix is the world’s largest global network of dance, serving as a major pipeline of talent to the world’s dance schools and companies. The mission of YAGP is to support and develop world-class dancers, ages 9-19, of all economic, ethnic and geographic backgrounds by providing scholarship auditions, performance and education opportunities, and by serving as the global connection point for dancers, connecting students, teachers, schools, dance companies, dancers and audiences.

Photo credit: 1) Gabe Stone Shayer, Olga Smirnova. 2) Terry Zucker, Claudia Hilda, Cheryl Bergenfeld. 3) Afsaneh Akhtari, Sergio Nicolosi, Patricia Silverstein. 4) Jean Shafiroff, Udo Spreitzenbarth. 5) Kristina Kingston, Stacy Kingston. 6) Kira Sacarello-Tsereteli, Miriam Kovalyov, Lola Koch. 7) Sofia Kapkova, Jakob Feyferlik, Ted Brandsen, Larissa Saveliev, Richard Osterweil, Constantine Allen. 8) Jacqueline Murphy, Rita Dronsky, Elena Sapira, Afsaneh Akhtari, Cheri Kaufman. 9) Caroline Hyman, Carlos Picon, Joan Rosasco. 10) Judith M. Hoffman, Lee Fryd. by PMC.

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