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Guest Artists


International Ballet is proud to showcase professional talent alongside the work of our pre-professional developing Artists.

October 26-29, 2023

IB Theatre - 2172 River Road, Greer


Sam Chester

Guest Dancer, Sam Chester, started ballet at the age of 12 with the School of Carolina Ballet Theatre (now Dance Arts Greenville) and danced for 10 seasons as a professional company member with Carolina Ballet Theatre. With CBT he performed soloist and principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Petrushka, Don Quixote, Diana & Acteon, Le Corsaire, The Nutrcracker, Paquita and more. He performed contemporary works such as Cirque du ballet, Strings, Just About, C to C: Classical to Contemporary, Tango Fusion, Alonzo King’s MAP and also worked with Dwight Roden in Beetlejuice. During the summers of 2006, 2007, and 2008, Sam was sponsored by the United States Embassy to perform at the 3rd, 4th, and 5th GALA INTERNACIONAL  DE  DANZA  in  Montevideo,  Uruguay.  Sam  received  high  acclaim  for the performances. He has also been invited to be a guest artist throughout the US and abroad. He has performed with SBC in their productions of Rockballet, The Nutcracker, Paquita, Romeo + Juliet, Le Corsaire, Les Sylphide, Cinderella, and Swan Lake. Recently Sam performed as a guest artist his 5th time in Fujinomia, Japan, dancing such pas de deuxs as Peasant Pas from Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty Grand Pas de deux, Flames of Paris, Don Quixote and Le Corsaire. Also in his career, Sam was invited to Caracas, Venezuela, as a Principal guest dancer with Teresa Carreño Teatro. There he performed with the company in Carmen and also went on tour and danced the Le Corsaire pas de deux. He also was the lead dancer in the Opera, La Traviata. Sam performs regularly with International Ballet, including as Hier Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker.

Craig Price

Musical Guest and Bass-Baritone Craig Philip Price, a native of Gilbert, South Carolina, holds degrees in Voice Performance from Furman University and Manhattan School of Music, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina.  He has been seen with opera companies across the United States including Central City Opera, Opera Saratoga, FBN Productions, Kentucky Opera, the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and Charlottesville Opera.  In concert, he has sung with the Greenville Chorale, the Herring Chamber Ensemble, Carolina Master Chorale, the Florence Masterworks Choir, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the Owensboro Symphony and Varna International.  He is also a frequent recitalist including his performance which launched the Bach Ascending concert series in Savannah, Georgia in early 2020. He currently resides in Greenville, SC where he teaches on the voice faculty at Furman University, is Director of Marketing for Greenville Chorale, and a member of the music faculty at Senior Action Greenville.  

December 8-10, 2023

Peace Concert Hall - 300 E. Broad St., Greenville

The Nutcracker

Ekaterina Nechayeva

Principal Guest Artist Ekaterina Nechayeva began her formal training at the International Ballet Academy in Greenville, South Carolina. Ekaterina has trained under many of IBA’s faculty, starting with Lena Foster and then continuing to train with Vlada Kysselova, Hennadii Bespechnyi, Irina Ushakova, and Victoria Yanchuk. While training at IBA, she placed Top 12 at the YAGP regionals in Atlanta, Georgia and Tampa, Florida. In 2014 Ekaterina started studying in Perm, Russia, at the Perm State Choreographic College (Perm Ballet School) where she graduated with a diploma with honors and danced Swanilda in the full-length ballet Coppelia. From 2017-2021 Ekaterina worked as a soloist at the Moscow State Academic Theatre of Classical Ballet of Kasatkina and Vasilev where she danced in ballets such as The Nutcracker (Marie), Cinderella (Cinderella), Swan Lake (Pas de trois, Little swans), Don Quixote (Cupid), Romeo and Juliet (Nelly the Maid), Sleeping Beauty (Princess Florine, Fairies, Little Red Riding Hood, White Cat), Giselle (Peasant Pas de Deux), Creation of the World, Rite of Spring, and others. In May 2019 Ekaterina placed second at the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida. As of September 2021 Ekaterina is a soloist with the Chelyabinsk Opera and Ballet Theatre where she has danced lead roles in The Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, Anyuta, and others ballets. Ekaterina has toured all over the world including Europe, Morocco, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, China, and Turkey. She has also participated in gala performances where she has danced pas de deuxs such as Carnival of Venice.

Brooklyn Mack

Principal Guest Artist Brooklyn Mack of Elgin, South Carolina is an International Principal Guest Artist, currently dancing with English National Ballet. He began his dance training at age 12 with the Pavlovich Dance School  under Radenko Pavlovich and Milena Leben before receiving a scholarship to study at the Kirov Academy of Ballet. While at the Kirov he trained primarily under the auspices of Anatoli Kucheruk and Vladimir Djouloukhadze. After graduating from Kirov, Mr. Mack then apprenticed with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and later joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company. Mr. Mack spent three seasons as a principal dancer with Orlando Ballet before becoming principal dancer of The Washington Ballet where he danced for 9 seasons. Mr. Mack has danced a wide array of choreography, spanning many different styles between classical, neoclassical, contemporary, abstract, and modern works throughout his career.

Some of his notable awards include the Senior Silver Medal at the 2006 Jackson International Ballet Competition in Mississippi; the 2007 Princess Grace Fellowship Award; The Senior Silver Medal at the 2009 Helsinki IBC; the Marius Liepa Prize at the 2011 Boston IBC; the Silver Medal at the 2011 Korean International Dance Competition; the Gold Medal at the 2012 Boston International Ballet Competition; winner of the 2012 Istanbul Grand Prix; and the gold medal at the 2012 International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. 


Mr. Mack has also been featured on ABC, NBC, NPR, Ebony Magazine, listed in theGrio’s Top 100 (2014), and was named as a top “25 [dancers] to watch” by Dance Magazine (2012). 

Mr. Mack is highly in demand as a guest Principal dancer the world over. In 2016, Mr. Mack made his debut on three of the world's greatest stages; at Covent Garden's largest theatre; the London Coliseum, The historic Bolshoi in Moscow, as well as the illustrious and historic Paris Opera ballet's Palais Garnier stage. In 2017, Mr. Mack debuted in the Republic of Georgia at the Tbilisi Opera House. In 2018, Mr. Mack made his debut in the role of Solor during his debut on the Ukrainian National Opera's stage with the Ukrainian National Ballet in La Bayadere. In June of 2019 Mr. Mack made his debut on the Metropolitan Opera House Stage at Lincoln Center, NYC as a Principal Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre. Most recently, Mr Mack was Principal Guest Artist with English National Ballet for half of their 2019-2020 season, dancing various works in their repertoire including Ben in Wheeldon's Cinderella, Prince in Wayne Eagling's Nutcracker, William Forsythe's Playlist, exceprts of Coppelia and Etudes, as well as reprising his leading roles in Le Corsaire. 

Mr. Mack became the Interim Artistic Director of Columbia Classical Ballet November 11, 2021.

Denys Simon

Guest Artist Denys Simon was born in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. He attended the Kiev Municipal Ukrainian Academy of Dance, where he graduated in 2010. He worked for the Dnepropetrovsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre then became a soloist at the Russian Classical Ballet Theatre under the direction of Vladimir Troschenko. In 2012 he joined the Imperial Russian Ballet Company. Mr. Simon is a graduate of International Ballet's exchange program with the Kiev Ukranian Academy of Dance. Denys has performed several times as a celebrated featured guest artist in International Ballet productions. He is known for his Russian Trepak in The Nutcracker, Gopak, and show stopping appearances in other folk dances. This year we are delighted to have Denys as the International Ballet Professional Artist in Residence.​

Tevfik Vatansever

Guest Artist Tevfik Bayram Vatansever, born in Williamsburg, Virginia, began his dance training at the age of fifteen with the Hilton Head Dance Theatre, under the direction of John and Karena Brock-Carlyle. He finalized his pre-professional training by invitation of Stanislav Issaev at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. 


Tevfik’s passion and ability for dance was further honed by dance masters from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Moscow Classical Ballet, Istanbul State Ballet and Opera, and Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre. Notable roles; Rumplestiltskin in Michael and Olga Wise's original production, performed at Charleston’s Piccolo Spoletto Festival, Peter Pan in Lazlo Berdo's original production Peter Pan the Ballet, Genie in Hernan Justo’s Arabian Nights, with the Carolina Ballet Theatre, Emeralds in Balanchine's Jewels under the direction of Stacy Calvert, at the University of South Carolina.


In conjunction with his ballet career, Tevfik Vatansever obtained a degree in business economics, a directive study in cultural industries, and a masters in international business from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. He also earned a masters in international management from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. Vatansever is currently serving as Director of Dance for the Turkish-American Art Society of New York. 

When not on stage, Tevfik serves as a freelance guest teacher for universities, pre-professional schools, and regional dance companies in the United States, as well as internationally with Yoko Kasai Ballet Studio in Fujinomiya, Japan.

Sam Chester
Craig Price
Ekaterina Nechayeva
Brooklyn Mack
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