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School of Hawaii State Ballet

John Landovsky formed Hawaii State Ballet in 1983. Mr. Landovsky, along with his wife and former assistant director, Gina Surles, created a ballet school that developed and trained many professional dancers and instructors over the last 39 years.


The school's curriculum is designed to provide the highest standard of excellence in classical training. Hawaii State Ballet prides itself in its highly successful teaching methods. HSB offers a program where students will learn a love for dance, build confidence and self-esteem, and for those seeking the pursuit of either a professional career or a quality ballet class, they will be able to excel at their appropriate level. Children and adults should enjoy ballet whether for exercise, to study an art form, or to pursue dance as a profession.

Our Mission

Hawaii State Ballet offers a program especially designed for students who wish to pursue a career in ballet. The program was developed around the strong belief that all students gain immeasurably from having studied the beautiful, yet demanding art form of ballet. Whether pursuing a professional career or not, students develop self-discipline, self-motivation, creativity, confidence, grace, and an appreciation for the arts that they will carry with them throughout their lives.


The continuing mission of Hawaii State Ballet is to develop well-trained dancers in Hawaii who are able to compete with other well-trained dancers, technically and artistically, anywhere in the world and to help the serious student achieve his or her goals.


JOHN LANDOVSKY was born in Riga, Latvia. Mr. Landovsky's extensive performing career has affiliated him with several dance companies on the mainland and abroad, including International Ballet Company, Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet, The Roland Petit Ballet in Paris, and Wurttenberg Stats Opera in Stuttgart, Germany. He has shared the stage with many renowned artists including Rudolph Nureyev, Henning Kronstrom, Erick Bruhn, and Helgi Thomasson. Mr. Landovsky was the choreographer for ten years at Chicago's Candlelight Dinner Theatre where he won the Joseph Jefferson Award for best choreography.


Mr. Landovsky has taught at many prestigious schools including the University of Illinois, National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, Texas Christian University, and the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. He has served as the Artistic Director of Bartlesville Civic Ballet in Oklahoma, Duluth Ballet in Minnesota, and Ballet Hawaii.


Since founding HSB, John Landovsky has had a formidable presence as a ballet teacher who is passionate about his art and about teaching students, many who now teach or perform professionally. Students of Mr. Landovsky have performed with American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet West, Nederlands Dance Theatre, and on Broadway, and have participated in numerous prestigious international ballet competitions.

GINA SURLES was born in Chicago, Illinois. Although her goal was always to become an actor, modern dance and ballet classes led to another direction. She studied ballet and modern dance with Larry Long and Richard Arve at the prestigious Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago, and at the University of Illinois studying with John Landovsky, Beverly Blossom, an original member of the Alwin Nikolais Dance Theatre, and Mary Price Boday. Modern dance styles included intensive training in the styles of Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Merce Cunningham, and Alwin Nikolais. Ms. Surles has also performed with the Illinois Dance Theatre, Beverly Blossom and Company, Duluth Ballet, and Ballet Hawaii.


Mr. Landovsky and Ms. Surles retired as director and assistant director of HSB in 2017 and now live part time in Asheville, North Carolina.

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