While dancers switching companies is nothing new, the ballet companies themselves rarely change. That's why we're especially excited to see two new American companies on the horizon for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
South Carolina-based American National Ballet (ANB) plans to make its debut first, with its inaugural season taking place this fall, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Though ANB is still holding auditions (both in-person and through video), they've announced Sara Michelle Murawski as their first principal dancer and company member. Since ANB was created with the intention of highlighting diversity, it makes perfect sense that they wanted to bring in Murawski, who was let go from the Pennsylvania Ballet this past season for being too tall.
"The founding ideas of ANB appeal to me so deeply [because] they want to change the way artists are treated," Sara told us. "They believe diversity is beautiful, and I suddenly realized that it will be my first opportunity to be in a company in my home country where my height might not work against me, but is being embraced instead."
Helmed by artistic director Octavio Martin, who formerly danced with the National Ballet of Cuba, ANB's site has promised that the company intends to have both an orchestra and pre-professional program, too. "I'm elated to be a part of this from the very beginning," Sara said, adding that ANB will be bringing in guest artists.
The second new company we're keeping our eyes on is Indianapolis Ballet, which is set to make its debut at the Toby Theatre at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in early 2018. Following their Moving Forward Capital Campaign, founding artistic director Victoria Lyras said that the company intends to put on main-stage productions in keeping with the school's classical ballet training. "We are unique in our commitment to the George Balanchine legacy and to Indianapolis," Lyras said in a press release. "The professional company's dancers, staff and board members will continue to be part of the Central Indiana community and engage with the public to provide 'diversity of access' to classical ballet."
Though they haven't determined their dancers yet, Indianapolis Ballet will announce auditions on their site this coming June, which will be open to dancers across the country as well as from the Indianapolis School of Ballet.