Resident Guest Ballet Faculty and Dance Scholar
Mara Mandradjieff began her ballet training in Pittsburgh, PA, where she performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Serenade, Valse Fantaisie, and Garland Waltz. Her summers were spent training at various programs such as the Chautauqua Institute, Miami City Ballet, and four summers at The School of American Ballet. Mara went on to dance professionally with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Columbus Dance Theatre, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Dance Canvas, City Gate Dance Theater Company, and The Georgia Ballet, where she performed principal roles in The Nutcracker and George Balanchine’s Who Cares.
Turning towards academics, Mara received her bachelors summa cum laude at the University of Pittsburgh in English Literature with a minor in Dance. She later finished her Masters in Education at the University of Pittsburgh and is a certificated high school teacher. Once graduated, Mara remained at the University of Pittsburgh as a choreographer and part-time faculty member, in addition to her involvement with Point Park University.
Currently, Mara is a Ph.D. Candidate in Dance at Texas Woman’s University, where her research focuses on ballet. She teaches as a part-time professor at Emory University and Kennesaw State University. Through these universities, Mara has choreographed contemporary ballets and performance art pieces. She has presented ballet research nationally and internationally with publications in Text and Performance Quarterly and a forthcoming collaborative piece in Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. Mara also runs the nonprofit Lume Foundation: an organization that uses dance to engage and inspire individuals at healthcare facilities. Over the years, Lume has performed for children’s hospitals and senior centers; it strives to promote the joyfulness of dance.
Mara Mandradjieff is excited to share her knowledge of ballet with the DCC students: From a practical and artistic level in the studio and on stage, to a scholarly level with explanation of ballet history and dance academia opportunities, and as a certified Pilates instructor, to an anatomical and somatic level for a deeper understanding of body awareness.