Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida Welcomes Mary Carmen Catoya

Sep 2015

The Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Carmen Catoya as principal dancer for the 2015-2016’s season.

This appointment represents a reencounter for Catoya and Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida’s artistic director, Vladimir Issaev, who had worked together when she first started as a young ballerina at the Ballet Nacional de Caracas. “I’m excited, thrilled and thankful”, said Catoya. “As an artist, a dancer, I always thought that working again with the teachers you worked with at a young age is wonderful, and now I have that opportunity.”

Issaev met Catoya while he was working with Vicente Nebrada and she was a talented 14 years old dancer. “I trained her for the Jackson Competition (USA International Ballet Competition) and then we worked together different pieces from Ballet Teresa Carreño’s repertoire. She even danced one of my choreographies as a young dancer.”

Later, they worked together again at Miami City Ballet and Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. He also staged “Suites Shostakovich”, “Le Printemps” and El Encuentro for her. For this last piece, danced by Catoya, Issaev was recipient of the “New Choreographer Award” in the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Competition in Palm Desert, California.

This is a new phase for Catoya and Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. “Wherever you are, you have something to learn and you have to give the best of you. So I’m going to learn as much as I can and share what I know”, Catoya said. “I’m closing a cycle of great experiences and opening a new one in which I’ll give the best of me. It will be like reliving an early phase of me as ballerina, but with the experience I now have.”

According to Issaev, this is a very special moment for Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida because the addition of such an international star will reflect on the company’s work, they will have an excellent soloist and the public will appreciate it. So will rest of the dancers who are happy to have her among them since they know her and look up to her.

The South Florida audience will enjoy the virtuosity of Catoya during the opening the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida’s new season in October. She will dance her unique version of Don Quixote and two other works: one of the great Cuban choreographer Alberto Mendez who is staging a solo for her and two men; and one from the classical repertoire rarely seen in the United States, “Laurencia” by Vakhtang Chabukiani to music by Alexander Crain, based on Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejuna.

Known for being extraordinarily versatile, Catoya’s repertoire includes works of George Balanchine, Vicente Nebrada, Dennis Nahat and Vladimir Issaev. In her 16 years as one the principal dancers of Miami City Ballet, she went on to dance the lead roles in some of the most technically challenging roles in the company’s repertory, including Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial, Ballo della Regina, Theme and Variations, Symphony in C, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, as well as the coveted title roles in Coppelia and Giselle.

Born in Venezuela, Mary Carmen Catoya began her training at the age of six in Caracas and began her professional career at the age of 13. She danced with the Youth Ballet of Venezuela, the Contemporary Ballet of Caracas, the Cleveland Ballet and as a principal with the Ballet Nacional de Caracas, where she was coached and trained by Ballet Master Vladimir Issaev.

Mary Carmen has also been coached and trained by remarkable artists such as Jose Pares, Vicente Nebrada, Rafael Portillo, Zane Wilson, Karelia Moreno, Elena Madan Vera at the Ballet Nacional de Caracas, Dennis Nahat at Cleveland Ballet, Ileana Lopez, Violette Verdy, Jean Pierre Frohlich, Maria Cagliari, Mary Ashley and Edward Villella at Miami City Ballet.

For more information on Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida please call 305-948-4777 or go onto the website

Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida
Ph: 305.948.4777


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