Roster Round-Up: Career Announcements You May Have Missed in March

March 28, 2022

This month has brought exciting new promotions, retirements and leadership changes. Read on to learn the latest!

Jillian Vanstone and Sonia Rodriguez Say Goodbye at National Ballet of Canada

Jillian Vanstone and Harrison James in Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. Photo by Karolina Kuras, courtesy NBoC

Longtime National Ballet of Canada principals Jillian Vanstone and Sonia Rodriguez retired from the stage earlier this month. Rodriguez, who danced with the company for 32 years, appeared as Blanche DuBois in John Neumeier’s A Streetcar Named Desire for her farewell performances March 2, 4 and 5. Vanstone took the final bow on March 12, ending her 22-year career with NBoC with Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain.

Lauren Lovette Appointed Paul Taylor Dance Company’s First Resident Choreographer

Lauren Lovette wears a light-colored T-shirt with an unbuttoned blouse over it and blue jeans. She touches her chin with her right hand and smiles at someone off camera, and places her left hand on her hip.
Lauren Lovette. Photo by Erina Baiano, Courtesy Paul Taylor Dance Company

Paul Taylor Dance Company announced the appointment of former New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette as its first resident choreographer. The five-year position, effective immediately, kicked off with Lovette’s world premiere for the company at the City Center Dance Festival on March 24.

Sarah Van Patten to Retire From San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Ballet announced that principal Sarah Van Patten will retire this season after 20 years with the company. She plans to pursue further leadership opportunities within the arts. Van Patten, who joined SFB as a soloist at age 17, will give her farewell performance on Saturday, April 16. She’ll dance a selection of her most celebrated roles, including the pas de deux from George Balanchine’s “Diamonds,” Yuri Possokhov’s Gabrielle Chanel and Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo and Juliet, as well as an excerpt from Danielle Rowe’s Wooden Dimes.

Three Promotions at New York City Ballet

Harrison Ball in Jerome Robbins’ Andantino. Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy NYCB

New York City Ballet promoted three male soloists to principal dancer this month, effective immediately. Harrison Ball, Jovani Furlan and Peter Walker will make their first appearances as principals in the company’s upcoming spring season, April 19–May 29.

Birmingham Royal Ballet Names Two to Principal Dancer

Birmingham Royal Ballet has shared that first soloists Miki Mizutani and Yaoqian Shang have been promoted to principal dancer. Mizutani joined BRB in 2012, and Shang has been a company member since 2013.

Ja’ Malik Named Artistic Director of Madison Ballet

Ja'Malik is shown from the chest up, leaning against a surface with his head in his left hand. He ewars a blue shirt and beaded bracelets on his left wrist, and he smiles towards the camera.
Ja’Malik. Photo by Dennis Johnston, courtesy Madison Ballet

Wisconsin’s Madison Ballet has announced that choreographer Ja’ Malik will become the company’s next artistic director, starting in this July. Ja’ Malik, who also founded the Harlem-based company Ballet Boy Productions in 2018, will premiere Guitar Concerto in Madison Ballet’s Turning Pointe program March 25–April 3. 

Dancers on the Rise at Ballet San Antonio

Ballet San Antonio announced three new promotions following its recent production of Don Quixote. Corps members Andrea Huynh, Brenna Mulligan and Benjamin Rose have all been promoted to soloist.