I can't even imagine the adrenaline that must have been pumping through Taylor Stanley's veins during New York City Ballet's performance last night. Minutes before the NYCB soloist jumped in for an injured Gonzalo Garcia in Hallelujah Junction, ballet master in chief Peter Martins promoted him to principal dancer backstage. According to an article in the New York Times, it was a spontaneous decision on Martins' part. Stanley's promotion is effective immediately.
Still, this announcement doesn't come as a surprise. Stanley has been garnering attention ever since he joined the company in 2009. He's a favorite of resident choreographer Justin Peck, having danced in every one of his premieres at NYCB (including the lead in February's The Most Incredible Thing). A beautifully lyrical and instinctive mover, he's one of those dancers you simply can't take your eyes off of. We certainly couldn't, which is why we chose him for our August/September cover story last year.
Want to get to know NYCB's new principal a little better? Here's a look at Stanley's thoughts on dancing one of his signature roles, George Balanchine's Square Dance.