For ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ a Chicago school puts on a full-length ballet, with teen dancers as the princess

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In the summer of 2016, Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik formed A&A Ballet. The husband and wife team, originally from Russia, had just lost their positions as directors at the Joffrey Academy and Studio Company. According to Kremnev, the Joffrey Ballet opted to restructure the student division and pre-professional programs, eliminating both their positions in the process. A few months later, the couple launched a summer intensive to generate income, promoting their workshops on Facebook. And over three years, A&A has developed into a thriving studio with an elite pre-professional conservatory and a youth performance company.