News

These 6 Major Companies Have Promoted a Slew of Dancers

New San Francisco Ballet principal Wei Wang in Helgi Tomasson's Concerto Grosso. Photo by Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

Promotions season is well underway. Earlier this spring we covered exciting changes at Boston Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet; now we're back with news from six more companies—English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Miami City Ballet, Ballet West and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. (Stay tuned throughout the summer as additional companies release their updated rosters.) Here's who's doing a happy dance.



Rina Kanehara in "The Nutcracker." Photo Courtesy ENB.

English National Ballet

American Ballet Theatre principal Jeffrey Cirio will be joining ENB as a lead principal for the 2018–19 season. Cirio had guested with the company a number of times over the past year, but now he's making his position official.

National Ballet of Canada's Francesco Gabriele Frola and Emma Hawes will join ENB as principal and first soloist respectively, while remaining members of NBoC.

ENB is also promoting from within: James Streeter is now a first soloist, and Rina Kanehara is a soloist. Henry Dowden, Sarah Kundi and Jia Zhang have been promoted to first artist, and Fernando Carratalá Coloma is now a fourth year artist of the company. New artists include Prix de Lausanne prize winners Shale Wagman, Miguel Angel Maidana and Carolyne Galval as well as Breanna Foad, Josue Moreno Lagarda, Rentaro Nakaaki, Maria Del Mar Bonet Sans, Rebecca Blenkinsopp and Ivana Buena.


Wei Wang in Val Caniparoli's "Lambarena." Photo by Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.

San Francisco Ballet

SFB recently announced 10 promotions as well as four new company members. Soloist Wei Wang was promoted to principal mid-season, immediately after a performance of Jerome Robbins' Other Dances. Since arriving at the SFB School in 2011, Wang has quickly risen through the ranks.

SFB has also promoted corps dancers Benjamin Freemantle, Wona Park, Elizabeth Powell, Henry Sidford and Lonnie Weeks to soloist, and apprentices Ethan Chudnow, Anatalia Hordov, Carmela Mayo and Swane Messaoudi to the corps de ballet. Of the dancers new to SFB, Vladislav Kozlov joins as a soloist, and Cavan Conley, Lucas Erni, and Nicolai Gorodiskii join the corps.


Skylar Campbell. Photo by Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC.

National Ballet of Canada

Earlier this week, NBoC announced that Skylar Campbell and Francesco Gabriele Frola will be promoted to principal. Cambell, a California native, recently danced in the world premiere of Frame by Frame and created the title role in Will Tuckett's brand-new Pinnochio last season. Italian-born Frola is best known for regal roles like Albrecht and Prince Florimund. NBoC also promoted Jack Bertinshaw to first soloist and Christopher Gerty, Spencer Hack and Miyoko Koyasu to second soloist. Brenna Flaherty, Hannah Galway, Larkin Miller, Teagan Richman-Taylor and Alexander Skinner join the corps de ballet from the the company's apprentice program.


Samantha Hope Galler in "Carousel Pas de Deux." Photo Courtesy MCB.

Miami City Ballet

Exciting updates at MCB include the return of principal Jeannette Delgado after a one-year leave of absence, and the promotion of Samantha Hope Galler to soloist. Galler has been with the company since 2014, and recently excelled in a number of Robbins ballets including The Cage, In the Night and more.

MCB also welcomes five new dancers into its corps: Gustavo Ribeiro joins from Kansas City Ballet, Madison McDonough from Los Angeles Ballet and Nina Fernandes from Houston Ballet. Satoki Habuchi and Petra Love are both recent graduates of Miami City Ballet School.


Katlyn Addison with Artists of Ballet West. Photo by Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

Ballet West

Ballet West has promoted six dancers for the upcoming season: Soloists Katlyn Addison and Tyler Gum will becomefirst soloists, and Chelsea Keefer and Jordan Veit will graduate from demi-soloist to soloist. Corps artists Emily Neale and Hadriel Diniz will become demi-soloists. Supplemental artist Amber Miller becomes a full-time corps artists, and David Huffmire will join the corps from Ballet West's second company.

This season also marks two retirements: Senior corps artist Elizabeth Weldon will leave the company after nine years, and first soloist Beau Pearson will step down to join the staff as a videographer and photographer.


JoAnna Schmidt in "The Nutcracker." Photo by Rich Sofranko, Courtesy PBT.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Earlier in the spring, PBT announced that the promotion of three new soloists: Masahiro Haneji, William Moore and JoAnna Schmidt. Moore and Schmidt both tried their hand at choreography in March as part of PBT's New Works program. Two beloved dancers are also leaving the company. Soloist Alexandre Silva retired at the end of the 2017–18 season, and principal Julia Erickson will give her final performance with the company in October.

The Conversation
popular
Yos Clark, of Africa's Ivory Coast. Courtesy Ballet Rising.

From his home in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, an eight-year-old boy named Yos Clark discovered ballet from the film Un, Dos, Tres, and began teaching himself to dance through videos. A teacher in France saw photos of Yos dancing online, and taught him over Skype because the studio in Abidjan was too long of a commute for him to train there on a regular basis. Apparently, the lessons paid off; last year, Yos received a scholarship to continue his training in Warrington, England.

Dancers like Clark are what propel former Dutch National Ballet principal Casey Herd recently; since leaving the company three years ago, Herd has become determined to shed light on the lesser-known stories of dancers making it around the world. Now, he and his friend and colleague Chris Weisler are creating a documentary project called Ballet Rising. Together they have been transversing the globe, searching for people embracing ballet. (Since the series is still in development, a premiere date is TBA.) Between stops, Pointe touched base with Herd over the phone to learn about the project, where his travels have taken him so far, and what his hopes are for the future of global ballet.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Training
Getty Images

I got professionally fitted and my shoes were fine in the store. Now in class, the vamp is digging into my foot in demi-pointe and the heel is sliding off. Is it the size, the width or both? —Mandi

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Svetlana Zakharova in Carmen Suite, via YouTube

If you're making your weekend plans, you may want to clear your calendar for Sunday and check your local movie listings. On May 19, Fathom Events, in partnership with Pathé Live and By Experience, is broadcasting the Bolshoi Ballet's performance of Carmen Suite and Petrushka throughout cinemas nationwide. The program will be captured live the same day from Moscow, and feature some of the Bolshoi's biggest stars.

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos
Still Courtesy Design Army

Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style. Today, the company released the new phase of its yearlong ad campaign, which includes the below film, a Wes Anderson-esque romp through the city fusing ballet with pop culture, filled with ferry boats, pom pom-wielding grannies and dim sum served in hot pink containers.

Keep reading... Show less