Melissa Gelfin De-Poli began her ballet training with Lisa Collins Vidnovic at Metropolitan Ballet Academy and continued with Barbara Sandonato and Andrea Long-Naidu at Barbara Sandonato School of Ballet. She joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in 2009, under the direction of Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens, and was awarded a National Training Scholarship with ABT. Prior to dancing with Cincinnati Ballet, Gelfin De-Poli danced for Orlando Ballet II and Orlando Ballet Company from 2011-2014 and was a finalist in the 2014 Jackson International Ballet Competition. Gelfin De-Poli joined Cincinnati Ballet as a New Dancer for the 2014-2015 Season and was promoted to Corps De Ballet in February of 2015. She was promoted to Senior Soloist in 2017 and Principal Dancer in 2018. As a dancer with Cincinnati Ballet, Gelfin De-Poli’s repertoire includes classical and contemporary works by Septime Webre, Yuri Possikov, Victoria Morgan, Val Caniparoli, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Nicolo Fonte, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Adam Hougland, and Ma Cong. She has danced Principal roles in Septime Webre’s ALICE (in Wonderland) and The Wizard of Oz, Victoria Morgan’s The Nutcracker, King Arthur’s Camelot and Romeo and Juliet, Kirk Peterson’s Coppélia and Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Rubies and Serenade, Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty and originated roles in Penny Saunders Nannerl, Myles Thatcher’s Anamoly, Andrea Schermoly’s Swivet and several works by Jennifer Archibald. Gelfin De-Poli most recently debuted her world premier Clockwise in Cincinnati Ballet’s 2019 The Kaplan New Works Series and choreographed and performed a solo work in the inaugural 2018 Female Choreographic Initiative Festival hosted by Houston Ballet. During the summer months, Gelfin De-Poli performs and tours with Moving Arts Company.
It is one of the most iconic roles in all of classical ballet — Odette/Odile or White/Black Swan from Swan Lake. The role requires both technical mastery and emotional range. These two personalities are the polar opposites of good and evil. Principal Dancers Sirui Liu and Melissa Gelfin sat down to talk about what it’s […]