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Nich­olas and Julian MacKay out­side the Bolshoi Theatre June 2013

By Graham Spicer
Gramilano.com
December 31, 2013

Dan­cing, like act­ing and singing, often runs in the fam­ily. There are count­less dan­cers whose par­ents danced: Zenaida Yanowsky (Royal Bal­let), Yury Yanowsky (Boston Bal­let) and Nadia Yanowsky (Het Nationale Bal­let) are the chil­dren of Rus­sian bal­let dan­cer Anatol Yanowsky and Span­ish bal­let dan­cer Car­men Robles. Ballet’s in their blood.

What makes the Khan-MacKay fam­ily spe­cial is that the four sib­lings – Maria Sascha, Nadia, Julian and Nich­olas — are not the chil­dren of dan­cers, nor do they come from Lon­don, Paris or New York, where trips to the bal­let can be reg­u­lar events, but are from Montana, the home of cow­boys and cattle, the Rock­ies and the Yel­low­stone National Park. Yet the fam­ily is now dis­persed around the globe train­ing and dan­cing, with Maria Sascha Khan at the Bay­erisches Staats­bal­lett in Munich, Nadia Khan with the Com­pañía Nacional de Danza in Spain, and the boys Julian MacKay and Nich­olas MacKay both train­ing at the Bolshoi Bal­let Academy. As elder sis­ter, Maria Sascha, asks, “I was born on the porch of the midwife’s log cabin, in Montana, USA. How do you get from there to an inter­na­tional career in ballet?”

Read more about Maria Sacha, Nadia, their brothers Julian and Nicholas and their parents: http://www.gramilano.com/2013/12/you-choose-it-out-of-love-dancing-with-the-khan-mackay-family/

Related Articles:

US Mom proud of sons at the Bolshoi Academy  3/2012

David Hallberg with Julian and Nicholas MacKay     11/2011

Young American Dancers at the Bolshoi Theatre  10/2011

From Bozeman to Bolshoi to the big screen  6/2011

Montana dancer performs with Bolshoi   6/2011

What is it like to be an American at the Bolshoi Academy?   6/2011

12-year-old dancer aces first year at Bolshoi Ballet Academy   6/2010

Ask the Dancers: Young Americans in Russia Respond  6/2010

Young Americans Embrace Rigors of the Bolshoi  5/2010

Julian MacKay, 12, makes history with the Bolshoi   3/2010

Love of ballet brings Berlin’s best to Bozeman   3/2010

Young Dancer to Study at Bolshoi   10/2009

Julian and Nicholas MacKay with David Hallberg right after David’s historic debut performance with the Bolshoi last Friday night

Julian and Nicholas Mackay are the youngest Americans to study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

Read these articles about Julian and Nicholas Mackay

Julian Mackay is a finalist for a Expat Youth Scholarship. Julian needs the scholarship to continue his studies  at the  Boldhoi Ballet Academy

The voting is hosted by the  Expat Youth Scholarship on Facebook. To vote, log onto your Facebook account and follow the steps below:

1. Click “Like” on top of the Expat page

2. Click the “VOTE HERE” link in the left-hand column.

3.  Scroll to the second video, called “From Bison to Bolshoi”

4. “Like” the video.

Voting ends August 31, 2011

_

By Liz Kearney
Livingston Enterprise
March 5, 2010

 

Julian MacKay makes history with the Bolshoi Ballet (PDF)

 

 

 

 

Related Articles: Young Dancer to Study at Bolshoi

Love of ballet brings Berlin’s best to Bozeman

 

 

Nich­olas and Julian MacKay out­side the Bolshoi Theatre June 2013

 

By Richard Ecke
Great Falls Tribune
November 24, 2014

 

[Bozemon, Montana, USA] – Julian MacKay of Bozeman is beginning to look a bit like a young Mikhail Baryshnikov. “I’m not so sure,” says MacKay via Skype from Moscow, as he prepared to leave the city for another performance.

Even if he shrugs off a resemblance to one of the finest male dancers ever, there’s no doubt MacKay appears to have a bright future in ballet. The 17-year-old MacKay studies at the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow, as does younger brother Nicholas. They live with their mother, accomplished photographer Teresa Khan MacKay, in a small apartment in Russia’s capital, just a few blocks away from the academy near the Moscow River, and not far from the seat of Russian government.

Julian and Nicholas MacKay are focusing on dancing, so the frosty relationship between the United States and Russian governments has little effect on them. They speak fluent Russian; observers often are surprised to learn the teenagers are Americans. “Being here in Moscow, I really adapted to the culture,” Julian said.

Ballet is a source of pride in a country where the Bolshoi is based, and during a holiday season in which “The Nutcracker,” a ballet by Russian Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, has been performed in many countries across the world. A Russian production of “The Nutcracker” was performed in Great Falls last week.

Julian has close Russian friends. He likes to think his good relationships with fellow dancers, and the abilities he shows on stage, count for something. “I’m really happy to represent the United States at a time like this,” Julian said.

The boys’ mother, Teresa, has noticed sanctions against Russia have driven up food prices, and sanctions also prompted several of Teresa’s American friends in Russia to pack up and leave the country. But despite such international tensions, Julian is poised to make history. “I will be the first (academy) graduate with a full Russian diploma” from the United States,” Julian said.

Living in Moscow and traveling around Europe is pricey, and Teresa said her family sincerely appreciates the sponsorship of Loren and Jill Bough of Big Sky, whose help has enabled the boys to continue to study dance in the heart of Russia.

Julian hadn’t competed for prizes at dance competitions until the summer, when he embarked on a trip that gained him notice in the dance world.

The first stop was Sochi, site of the 2012 Winter Olympic Games in Russia. Julian was one of the dancers representing the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in the Yuri Gregorovich Ballet Competition in Sochi, which takes place every two years, and he garnered a bronze medal in his age group.

“Sochi was a great experience,” Julian said. “She (his academy director) told me that she was so proud of me. For her, I was Russian.” He danced in four different genres — classical, Russian story, character and modern. Sochi was beautiful, and “the theater there is amazing,” Julian added.

Julian performed so well that he qualified for another competition in Istanbul, Turkey. “I felt like I was on this winning streak,” Julian said. But first he and his mother had to make their way to Istanbul. On the way, their train halted for four hours near the Black Sea, and the MacKays sweltered for two hours; the windows didn’t open to the outside. That delay was “not something you’d want to repeat,” Julian said in understatement. “It was just filled with Russians on vacation.”

Neither Julian nor his mother got much sleep in the dash to Turkey. “I slept for maybe an hour,” he said. So you might expect an exhausted Julian to be a flop in Istanbul. Instead, Julian stayed focused and in the zone. “I was calmer and maybe more mentally prepared,” Julian said. He performed two dances in Turkey, a classical piece and a contemporary one, in each of two rounds.

In Instanbul, Julian captured a gold medal in his group. Spectators knew Julian was representing the Bolshoi Academy, but many didn’t know his country of origin. “I don’t think at first they realized,” Julian said. “I don’t really have an accent in Russian.”

As Julian recalled, “All the Turkish people were so nice and so happy to give me the award,” he said. “I even had some fans.”

He received his prized from Vladimir Malakhov, director of the Berlin ballet company, where one of his sisters has danced. In fact, both sisters, Maria Sascha Khan and Nadia Khan, dance professionally in Europe. Talk about a dancing family.

After the thrilling results in Turkey, Julian is six months away from graduating from the academy, where he has studied for six years. He would love to continue to dance in Russia for two years after he graduates; he already has offers.

Julian has avoided serious injury; good training “is keeping me in one piece,” he said.

 

Younger brother

Julian’s younger brother, Nicholas, is no slouch, either. Nicholas has three more years to go at the academy, assuming he meets the qualifications. He will take crucial exams next month and in May to determine if he will continue.

“I have had to make my own way at the school,” said Nicholas, who has mastered the Russian language. “This year is very important to me.”

Nicholas has a male teacher these days, and if he passes his tests he will advance to the academy’s upper level next year. In the meantime, he is immersed in dance.

He recalled one role in an amusing ballet called “Wash ‘Em Clean” on the Bolshoi stage, “about a boy who doesn’t want to wash himself.”

“I was a dancing tooth, and I changed onstage into a school boy,” Nicholas said. He performed in that play two years in a row.

“He’s still very American,” his mother says.

Nicholas is hoping to take part in dancing competitions as his brother has. “In July, I went to the Royal Ballet School in London,” he said.

Nicholas said he accompanied his family on Julian’s competitions this summer, “watching him be awesome.”

 

Mom’s musings

While Teresa, Julian and Nicholas live in Moscow, Gregory MacKay holds down the fort in Bozeman.

Video conferencing with Skype helps. “They talk to their Dad on average a couple times a day,” Teresa said. “We miss our dogs.” She speaks a small amount of Russian.

If the boys continue to excel at dance, and finances hold out, Teresa and the boys may remain in Russia for up to three years. But it can be lonely at times. “You don’t think that at 50 you’re going to move to Russia and leave your husband at home,” she said. “I really miss Montana and living there.”

Meanwhile, Julian is attracting notice: “The Russian press has written about him,” she said. Teresa said he has gained the nickname “Apollo,” and one female Russian dance critic witnessed his first performance in a solo role and mused “that she hoped (Julian) didn’t leave Russia.”

Julian got hooked on dance at age four in Washington, D.C., watching a ballet in which his sister performed.

“You do see ballet families,” Teresa she said, although neither parent danced.

What’s common among dancers who succeed is a drive to excel, she said.

“That is one of the characteristics: wanting to do it better,” Teresa Khan MacKay said.

 

Copyright 2014 Great Falls Tribune

 

 

Read more about Nicholas and Julian:

Young American at the Bolshoi: Julian MacKay wins Sochi and Istanbul medals (external link)  7-13-14

Dancing with the Khan-MacKay family 12/31/13

US Mom proud of sons at the Bolshoi Academy  3/2012

David Hallberg with Julian and Nicholas MacKay     11/2011

Young American Dancers at the Bolshoi Theatre  10/2011

From Bozeman to Bolshoi to the big screen  6/2011

Montana dancer performs with Bolshoi   6/2011

What is it like to be an American at the Bolshoi Academy?   6/2011

12-year-old dancer aces first year at Bolshoi Ballet Academy   6/2010

Ask the Dancers: Young Americans in Russia Respond  6/2010

Young Americans Embrace Rigors of the Bolshoi  5/2010

Julian MacKay, 12, makes history with the Bolshoi   3/2010

Love of ballet brings Berlin’s best to Bozeman   3/2010

Young Dancer to Study at Bolshoi   10/2009

 

By the Boys and Ballet Crew

Rule #1: Too much pink makes a boy nauseous.

Rule #2: The girls’ bathroom is not a changing room

Rule #3: Hair styles and manicures are not good topics of discussion when there are boys in the room.

Rule #5: Boys play with dangerous toys.

ballet students

nutcracker, news and observer 2008

Owen Keith (middle) rehearses the Nutcracker fight scene as a member of the cavalry for Pacific Northwest Ballet 2010

Julian Mackay Pre-competitive NY Finals 2009 (12)

New Mexico Ballet Company’s 2013 production of The Nutcracker

Rule #4: Do not dress your boys like this….unless you want them to run.

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           8a90d_68d6ed9d  Karen Forbes School of Dance boys-0

Rule #5: Boys are….

Peter Weil, 14,  as the Prince  - Behind the Scences at he Pennsylvania Ballet's Nutcracker 2011-02

Neglia Ballet Artists Nutcraker 2009

Marat Daukayev Ballet Theatre Spring Performance, Edgar Khachaturov 2011-02

Cole McMason, then 9, in last year's Studio West's Nutcracker

Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet Theater’s ‘The Nutcracker 2012

Ballet West Academy 2010 Spring Performance 03

The mischievous little mouse (Justin Souriau-Levine, 10) holds the nutcracker doll in ABT's Nutcracker 2010  pirate_and_gypsy

Peter Pan   86e85_e1cf    RBS 2009

London Children's Ballet's Rumpelstiltskin 2011b   Portland Ballet - La Boutique Fantasque (Pinochio)2009-01

86413_db8a   Mikhael Kinley-Safronoff 08

  Tanner Bleck, 14, danced in Next Generation Ballet's Summer Fantasy 2012  tumblr_049

7ddf9_25ce3a05  Rowan Lightfoot and Troy Tipple are taking to the stage with the English Youth Ballet 2013

0_8a914_894fd174_XXXLb  Goblin from Centralia Ballet Academy's The Sorcer's Apprentice 2012

Julian MacKay 2013     Lachlan Martin on What is Ballet

Rule #6 Girls are….

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Americans, Julian and Nicholas MacKay are attending the Bolshoi Ballet School. Their mother, Terresa MacKay, was recently interviewed by Prime Time Russia. She tells about their experience in Russia.

Related Articles: Julian and Nicholas MacKay

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