Artistic Director Michael Patterson of the Patterson School of Ballet located in Erie, PennsylvaniaArtistic Director Michael Patterson of the Patterson School of Ballet located in Erie, PennsylvaniaArtistic Director Michael Patterson of the Patterson School of Ballet located in Erie, PennsylvaniaArtistic Director Michael Patterson of the Patterson School of Ballet located in Erie, PennsylvaniaArtistic Director Michael Patterson of the Patterson School of Ballet located in Erie, Pennsylvania
Michael Patterson has become a sought-after master teacher following his successful career with the Pennsylvania Ballet. He has served as faculty at many dance schools and Universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Mercyhurst University, Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance, Mercyhurst North East Dance Institute, Eglevsky Ballet, Barbara Sandonato School of Ballet, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
Michael Patterson studied under the direction of Sharon Filone and continued his training with Marcia Dale Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet before joining Pennsylvania Ballet.
During his professional career with the Pennsylvania Ballet Mr. Patterson danced many Principal roles in works including George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Agon. He also danced Principal roles in Trey McIntyre’s Blue Until June, Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, and Lew Christensen’s Con Amore. Other highlights include the creation of the work Cellophane for Mr. Patterson by Brian Sanders, which was featured in the benefit performance, Shut Up & Dance. While a member of Pennsylvania Ballet Mr. Patterson had the opportunity to work with and perform Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival in collaboration with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio where the Lord Provost honored the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Mr. Patterson has been a guest artist with the Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance, Barbara Sandonato School of Ballet, Barnard College, Mercyhurst University, and Ballet Austin.
Barbara Sandonato trained in the School of American Ballet under George Balanchine in New York City. When the Pennsylvania Ballet formed in 1962, she left New York and was the first dancer to join Barbara Weisberger in her new company. She remained principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet until 1977 except for a one year stint with the National Ballet of Canada where, as a principal, she performed with Rudolf Nureyev. She has made guest appearances with numerous companies including Wisconsin Ballet, Boston Ballet and the Eglevsky Ballet. She and her late husband Alexei Yudenich won a bronze medal at the Fifth International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.
Ms. Sandonato’s dance roles have ranged from the traditional bravura showpieces to the ballets of the Romantic realm, and from the exquisite but often relentless demands of a Balanchine ballet to the works of modernists like Limon and Butler. Among many roles, Ms. Sandonato has danced the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and principal roles in Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony, Symphony in C, Concerto Barocco, Allegro Brilliante and Serenade. She also danced Aurora in Nureyev’s production of Sleeping Beauty and in Fokine’s Les Sylphides and William Dollar’s The Duel.
Throughout her career, Ms Sandonato has been a nationally esteemed master teacher. She was one of the founding instructors of the former School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Most recently, she served as guest teacher at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. She has served as artist-in-residence and adjunct professor of ballet at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, as well as teaching at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Steps on Broadway, Ballet Academy East, University of the Arts, and numerous other university-level and grade-level schools throughout the country. Many of Ms. Sandonato’s former students are now in professional dancing careers, including her daughter Gabriella Yudenich, who was a soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet.