Your May Roster Roundup: Dancers and Directors on the Move

May 6, 2024

The past few weeks have brought another exciting round of dancer career news—check out the latest farewells, appointments, promotions, and more in this month’s ballet roster roundup.

Promotions and Appointments

San Francisco Ballet corps members Kamryn Baldwin, Carmela Mayo, and Joshua Jack Price have been promoted to soloist; apprentices Sofia Albers, Jacey Gailliard, and Dylan Pierzina have been promoted to the corps.

At Ballet West, David Huffmire has been promoted to principal, and Lillian Casscells and Rylee Rogers to demi-soloist. Ballet West II artists Alexis Bull, Kai Casperson, Mikayla Gyfteas, Schuyler Lian, and Lexi McCloud will join the main company corps de ballet for the 2024–25 season.

Alberta Ballet’s Aaron Anker has been promoted to principal, and Scotto Hamed-Ramos and Allison Perhach to soloist.

Five inaugural members of Birmingham Royal Ballet 2 will join the main company as artists at the end of the 2023–24 season: Jack Easton, Frieda Kaden, Maïlène Katoch, Oscar Kempsey-Fagg, and Mason King.

Daniela Cardim sits cross-legged on a chair at the front of a ballet studio, animatedly speaking to the dancers in the room, whose reflections are shown in the mirror behind her.
Daniela Cardim. Photo by Deborah Jaffe, courtesy Ballet Arizona.

Ballet Arizona has announced that choreographer and arts leader Daniela Cardim will be the company’s new artistic director, beginning July 1. Cardim will be BAZ’s fourth artistic director and the first woman to hold the position.

Former New York City Ballet soloist Claire Kretzschmar will join Ballet Hartford as its new artistic director this August. The company’s current director, Leyna Doran, will transition to the role of executive director.

English National Ballet School has announced that Lynne Charles has been appointed its new artistic director. Charles, who will begin the position this September, is the creator of the 4Pointe pointe training method and has taught at companies around the world.

On March 11, The Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward was appointed the lead ambassador of the Royal Ballet School’s Affiliate Training and Assessment Program.

Farewells, Guestings, and New Arrivals

San Francisco Ballet has announced that Dores André and Max Cauthorn will return to the company as principals at the start of the 2024–25 season. In addition, English National Ballet’s Fernando Carratalá Coloma and Victor Prigent will join SFB as soloists, and ENB’s Rebecca Blenkinsop and Archie Sullivan, Czech National Ballet’s Jakub Groot, the Joffrey Studio Company’s Lucas López, and Juliette Windey will join the corps.

Dores André jumps with her right leg brushed to the croisé devant line, her arms in a tilted "V" shape overhead.
Dores André in Christopher Wheeldon’s Bound To. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet principal Angelo Greco will join Houston Ballet as a principal at the start of its 2024–25 season.

After a hiatus of nearly three decades, London City Ballet has announced its new company roster in anticipation of its upcoming inaugural season: Ayça Anil, Álvaro Madrigal Arenilla, Isadora Bless, Jimin Kim, Nicholas Mihlar, Cira Robinson, Miranda Silveira, Joseph Taylor, Nicholas Vavrečka, Bárbara Verdasco, Alejandro Virelles, Ellie Young, and Arthur Wille. Former Royal Ballet and English National Ballet principal Alina Cojocaru will join the company as a guest artist for its September performances at Sadler’s Wells.

Ballet West welcomes Taylor Fikes and James Jobson-Larkin to its corps de ballet.

New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns will join National Ballet of Canada as a principal guest artist for the company’s run of George Balanchine’s Jewels June 15–22.

Charlotte Ballet welcomes Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Angelica Generosa and American Ballet Theatre’s Daniil Simkin ⁠as guest principals for select performances of its upcoming premiere of Ib Andersen’s Swan Lake. Generosa and Simkin will perform the roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried, respectively.

Angelo Greco flies through the air in an assemblé position. He wears white pants and a mostly white top with bright blue straps.
Angelo Greco in Stanton Welch’s Bespoke. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet.

At Boston Ballet, Deanna Pearson and Johanna Sigurdardottir will join as guest artists for Carmen; Pearson will also dance in Spring Experience.

The company has also announced the additions of Sebastian Bondar and Petra Johnson to Boston Ballet II.

Ballet Zürich first soloist Giulia Tonelli will depart the company at the end of the 2023–24 season. She’ll give her final performance with BZ in Cathy Marston’s The Cellist.

On April 6, English National Ballet said goodbye to soloist Fernando Carratalá Coloma, who took his final bow in Johan Inger’s Carmen.

After 19 years with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, soloist Yayoi Ban gave her last performance on April 28 in Carmina Burana.

Joffrey Ballet has announced the departures of the following dancers at the end of the 2023–24 season: Brooke Linford, Graham Maverick, Princess Reid, and Christine Rocas. Rocas retires after nearly 20 years with the company.

At Richmond Ballet, three dancers are retiring at the conclusion of the company’s Studio Three program: Cody Beaton, Christian Renforth, and Sabrina Sabino. Beaton and Sabino have danced with Richmond since 2007 and 2012, respectively.

Longtime Grand Rapids Ballet dancer Alexandra Meister-Upleger has announced that she will retire on May 5, at the end of the company’s In the Upper Room program.

After six years with Louisville Ballet, company dancer Minh-Tuan Nguyen is retiring from the stage at the end of the 2023–24 season.

Alberta Ballet will bid farewell to the following dancers at its season conclusion: principals Heather Dornian and Jennifer Gibson; soloist Alexandra Gibson; senior corps de ballet artists Kira Anderson, Eli Barnes, and Melissa Eguchi; and corps artist Mya Kresnyak.

Hannah Mae Cruddas does a saut de chat in "Anne of Green Gables — The Ballet." She wears a gingham dress and holds a basket overhead.
Hannah Mae Cruddas in Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet. Photo by Jim Orgill, courtesy Ballet Jörgen.

After 13 seasons with Ballet Jörgen, principal Hannah Mae Cruddas has announced her retirement. She will give her final performance as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet on May 4.

Alabama Ballet company dancers Heather Bailey and Kendall Baker have retired from the stage after 11 and 4 years with the company, respectively.

Soloist Daniel Ojeda will retire from Ballet Idaho after 13 years with the company. His final performances will be in Carmen & Walking Mad this month.

Pacific Northwest Ballet rehearsal director Otto Neubert will retire at the end of the 2023–24 season.

Awards and Recognitions

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle has announced the nominees for the 2023 National Dance Awards. The list includes Royal Ballet principals William Bracewell and Vadim Muntagirov, English National Ballet principal Francesco Gabriele Frola, and Birmingham Royal Ballet principal Brandon Lawrence for Best Male Dancer; and Royal Ballet principal Fumi Kaneko and New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck for Best Female Dancer.

Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell perform as Romeo and Juliet. In front of a black backdrop, Kaneko leans into Bracewell as he kneels on the floor, holding her waist. They smile into each others' eyes, foreheads touching.
Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell in Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy Royal Opera House.

Hong Kong Ballet won four awards at the 25th Hong Kong Dance Awards on April 20: Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer for principal Ye Feifei’s performance of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer for Soloist Yonen Takano as George Wilson in Gatsby, Outstanding Lighting and Visual Design for Sam and Her Amazing Book of Dinosaurs, and Outstanding Set and Costume Design for Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon.

Wonderbound has been named Best Theatrical Dance Group by the Denver-based publication Westword in its 2024 Best of Denver awards.