Dancers Making Moves: Announcements You May Have Missed This Month

September 22, 2021

These dancers are on the move! The end of summer has brought a wave of recent news about changing career paths, including international company changes and an entrepreneurial endeavor. Check out some of the latest announcements on dancer transitions, retirements and leadership appointments.

Fall Farewells at New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet’s fall season opened this week, and it features several farewell performances. First is principal Abi Stafford, who after over 20 years with the company will give her final performance on September 26 in Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons.

Longtime NYCB principal Maria Kowroski gives her final performance on October 17. Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

Then, on October 9, principals Lauren Lovette and Ask La Cour will say their goodbyes. Lovette, who will now focus on choreography after 11 years with the company, will dance Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/The Dreamer and George Balanchine’s Serenade in the 2 pm matinee. La Cour, who has been with NYCB for 19 years, will give his farewell at the 8 pm evening performance in Balanchine’s Monumentum pro Gesualdo and Movements for Piano and Orchestra, as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux.

Principal Maria Kowroski will wrap up her over 25 years with the company on October 17. In honor of her farewell, Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti has created a new ballet featuring Kowroski that will premiere September 22, set to a piano arrangement of Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in D Minor. The program for her final performance is yet to be announced.

Sonia Rodriguez Announces Her Retirement From National Ballet of Canada

After a flourishing 32-year career with National Ballet of Canada, principal dancer Sonia Rodriguez has announced her plan to retire this spring. Rodriguez, who became a principal with the company in 2000, will give her farewell performance as Blanche DuBois in John Neumeier’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire, March 2–6, 2022.

New Dancers at Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet has announced six new dancers in their main company, including Michaela DePrince, who joins as a second soloist after seven seasons with Dutch National Ballet, and soloist Ángel García Molinero, formerly of Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza. Primrose Kern, SeokJoo Kim, Schuyler Wijsen and Nastia Alexandrova join as company artists.

In this black and white photo, ballerina Michaela DePrince performs a sissone fermé and holds her hands just under her chin. She wears a sleeveless dress with a white top and patterned skirt.
Michaela DePrince joins Boston Ballet this season as a second soloist. Daniel Robert Silva, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Joffrey Ballet Welcomes New Company Members

Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet has added four new dancers to its roster: Brian Bennett, coming from Oregon Ballet Theatre; Miranda Silveira, a former dancer with Compañía Nacional de Danza and San Francisco Ballet; Blake Kessler, who joins after dancing with Cincinnati Ballet; and Yuchan Kim, who was promoted from the Joffrey Studio Company.

Seth Orza Says Farewell to PNB, Launches New Dance Shoe Company

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal Seth Orza recently announced his retirement after 13 years with the company. He danced at NYCB for eight years prior to joining PNB. He is now CEO and founder of his new company, ORZA, which designs innovative dance shoes. Orza first started working on his idea in 2010, eventually developing a patent. The company’s first product, ORZA PRO-ONE, incorporates shock-absorbing technology and is set to launch this winter.

Rolando Sarabia Becomes Artistic Director of Roanoke Ballet Theatre

Rolando Sarabia, a longtime leading dancer with The Washington Ballet, has become the artistic director of Virginia’s Roanoke Ballet Theatre. The Cuban-born Sarabia has maintained an ongoing relationship with the company as guest performer, guest teacher and artistic consultant and stepped into full artistic leadership at the start of the 2021–22 season.

Lauren Fadeley Veyette Named Academy Principal of Kansas City Ballet School

Kansas City Ballet artistic director Devon Carney recently announced the appointment of Lauren Fadeley Veyette as an academy principal of the Kansas City Ballet School. Fadeley Veyette, who just retired from her principal soloist position at Miami City Ballet, began her new post on August 30 and will also be the KCB Academy’s Youth America Grand Prix coordinator.

Kate Honea executes a grand jeté en avant in attitude during an onstage performance. She wears a pink and rose colored costume with a long tutu, velvet bodice and floral headpiece.
Kate Honea in Sir Anthony Tudor’s Gala Performance at Sarasota Ballet. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Society

Sarasota Ballet’s Kate Honea Appointed Artistic Director of Colorado Ballet Society

After 19 seasons, Sarasota Ballet principal Kate Walsh Honea has announced her departure from the company to take on a new post: artistic director of the Colorado Ballet Society in Colorado Springs. Throughout her career with Sarasota Ballet, Walsh Honea has been a guest artist and instructor with CBS. Her husband, Dex Honea, will serve as the academy’s executive director.

ABT’s Brittany De Grofft Named Artistic Director of Tucson Regional Ballet

Following her decade-long career with American Ballet Theatre, Tucson-native Brittany De Grofft has become the artistic director of Tucson Regional Ballet and Academy of Ballet, where she herself trained. Her husband, former ABT dancer Patrick Ogle, also joins TRB as a guest instructor.