Last week, Ballet West announced that first soloists Katlyn Addison and Hadriel Diniz have been promoted to principal artist. The news marks a historic moment for the company.
Addison, who is Canadian, will be the first Black principal dancer in Ballet West's 58-year history. She joined BW in 2011 and has been steadily climbing the ranks since. In addition to a growing list of featured roles, she has also pursued choreography, creating several works for both Ballet West and University of Utah's dance department. In 2019, Addison participated in an artist exchange with Scottish Ballet, dancing the title role in that company's production of The Snow Queen. "She has dedicated her whole life to this art form, and methodically worked hard to get to this point, and she deserves this promotion," artistic director Adam Sklute has said in a statement on Ballet West's website. "I know she will continue to soar."
Hadriel Diniz in George Balanchine's Prodigal Son
Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West
Diniz, who will be the company's first Brazilian principal, joined BW in 2015 after finishing his training on full scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School. He's risen quickly through the ranks since, most recently performing the leading role in George Balanchine's Prodigal Son. Sklute praised Diniz's bravura technique. "He is also a consummate partner," Sklute continued, adding that he and Addison are "clear leaders."
Ballet West principal dancer Arolyn WIlliams, shown here in Giselle, has announced her retirement.
Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West
The company also announced that several dancers would be retiring, including Katherine Lawrence and Arolyn Williams, two of its longtime ballerinas. Both dancers joined Ballet West in 2004 and have danced as principals since 2011 and 2013, respectively. Lawrence will give her farewell performance in Balanchine's "Emeralds" on Saturday, April 17. Williams, who gave her final performance in Onegin in 2019, has recently had a baby. First soloist Alexander MacFarlan; soloists Katie Critchlow and Emily Neale (Pointe's Summer 2020 cover star); demi-soloist Lindsay Bond; and corps members Jordan Richardson and Lucas Horns will also retire at the end of the season.
In other roster news, three former BW dancers are returning: Amy Potter, who joins as a soloist, and Kazlyn Nielsen and Anisa Sinteral, who will join the corps de ballet. Ballet West II dancers Jazz Khai Bynum, Isabella Martinez Corridon, Robert Fowler, Connor Hammond and Claire Wilson have been promoted to the main company. Congratulations and best wishes to all!