Yury Yanowsky



Yury Yanowsky


Master Teacher,
Principal Dancer
of Boston Ballet
for 17 years


Ballet Intensives NYc is proud to present Yury Yanowsky, French-born Spanish dancer and contemporary choreographer whose raw, innovative, visually stunning and intellectually engaging works have drawn much attention in the last few years. Yury is the recipient of the prestigious Erik Bruhn Choreography Award. This summer Yury will be teaching Ballet and Contemporaryalong with Men’s Technique and Men’s Repertoire classes.


Yanowsky's piece Origins, presented as part of Portland Ballet's Gallery showcase (left), and LI3 (Lithium) choreographed for Boston Ballet (right)


Watch an excerpt from Yury’s ballet Smoke and Mirrors, performed by Boston Ballet. Described as a piece “with a heightened sense of mystery,” and as a “physical, kinetic ensemble work where female dancers wear corsets with handles for partners to grab for crisper turns,” Smoke and Mirrors was very well received by the public.




Yanowsky, who won the First Prize at Prix de Lausanne and silver medals at both Varna International Ballet Competition and International Ballet Competition in Jackson, FL, had a long and prolific dancing career with Boston Ballet. He called the company home and danced with them for 22 years, from 1993 to 2015. 


“In March [2015], at 42, principal dancer Yury Yanowsky gave his final performance for the company, in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, as Armand opposite the Marguerite of Kathleen Breen Combes, who is his wife. He and Breen Combes weren’t paired often, but they were mesmerizing in Lady of the Camellias,” wrote The Boston Globe after Yanowsky’s farewell performance.



Yury Yanowsky with wife Kathleen Breen Combes in his farewell performance, Boston Ballet’s rendition of Lady of the Camellias


Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen described Yury as an “emotional, good-acting, strong male dancer. […] He’s a very strong partner. I also think he has a really unique sense of contemporary dance.” 



Yanowsky in class (left) and performing Fancy Free with Sylvia Deaton in 2012 (right)



Yury’s passion for choreographing began early in his dancing career.


Over the past decade he's had the opportunity to create numerous ballets for Boston Ballet, Boston Ballet II, Carlos Acosta's Premiere's Plus, Festival Ballet Providence, Kansas City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Portland Ballet, and various international Gala Concerts.



With Kansas Ballet dancers, preparing a new piece for New Moves 2017


"When Yury first started teaching me, his choreography has truly brought me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible"

– Isabella Roman, 14 y.o. YAGP Philadelphia 2020 Grand Prix winner in Junior category 


One of Yury’s signature pieces is Sirin, named after a Russian mythological creature: half-woman, half-bird (and a distant cousin of the Greek sirens). Created for Carlos Acosta’s Premiere’s Plus, Sirin was performed by Yuri’s talented sister, the [former] Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Zenaida Yanowsky. 



Russian mythological bird Sirin (left) and Zenaida Yanowsky in Yury’s choreography Sirin (right)


Yury’s parents, Anatol Yanowsky and Carmen Robles, were both ballet dancers, from Russia and Spain respectively. They danced with Lyon Opera Ballet, and Yuri and Zenaida grew up in the theatre, along with their two younger sisters. (Their other sister, Nadia, was a Soloist with Dutch National Ballet.) “Yanowsky talent,” The Guardian explained in 2013, “is family-trained. All three trained at their parents' dance school and were formed by a background in which they were encouraged to experiment with other art forms and view ballet as part of a wider cultural world.”


“[Our parents] never pushed us to dance,” Yury clarifies. “They kept saying it’s a really tough career.” Although he studied dance, Yanowsky says he didn’t think of it as a career until he was 14.




District (below) is the beautiful piece that in 2015 won Yanowsky the Erik Bruhn Award.



Watch Yury’s process creating new choreography for his sister Zenaida, in 2017:



Yanowsky has served as Movement Consultant for American Repertory Theatre and as Movement Director for The Boston Lyric Opera.


He is a frequent teacher at Boston Ballet and Centro Coreographico Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. When not choreographing, Yury remains on the Dance Faculty at Harvard University.

He speaks fluent English, Spanish, and French and holds a degree in Coreografia y Tecnicas de interpretation de la Danza from the Academica de Ensenanzas de Musica y Artes Enscenicas (Spain, 2009).

Student praise

Isabella Roman, 14 y.o. YAGP Philadelphia 2020 Grand Prix winner in Junior category:

Yury’s choreography has truly brought me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible when he first started teaching me. His classes have helped me progress so much and I always look forward to train with Yury at the end of each week. He always has our best interest at heart and I can’t get enough of his contemporary classes.

Elene Gaganidze, 17 y.o. YAGP Philadelphia 2020 Grand Prix winner in Senior Category: 

Yury Yanowsky is such a creative teacher! His explanations are always clear and make so much sense. I have learned a lot from him. He helped me work on many nuances that needed my attention and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with such an inspiring choreographer and Master Teacher. 

Michelle Yu, 15 y.o. Ballet Intensives NYC student for 3 summers in a row: 


Yury is a great teacher and choreographer whom I love and am always excited to work with. His choreography is so creative and fun to dance, and I’m so glad I had the chance to work with him more this summer, even if we have to do it via Zoom right now. I’m always looking forward to his classes each week.