Your December Roster Roundup: Dancers and Directors On the Move

December 9, 2022

This month has brought another exciting round of career news—check out the latest farewells, appointments, promotions and more in this month’s roster roundup.

Promotions and Appointments

Former longtime principal dancer Victoria Hulland has returned to The Sarasota Ballet with a new full-time position: artistic assistant to the directors. Hulland joined the company’s corps de ballet in 2007, and was promoted to principal two years later; this is her first position on the artistic staff.

Victoria Hulland stands on pointe in sous-sus in front of a light blueish-gray backdrop, looking at the camera with a slight smile. Her short blonde hair is down and wavy, and she wears a black tank-sleeve leotard, a mid-length gray flowing skirt, pink tights and pointe shoes. Her arms rest gently at her sides.
Victoria Hulland. Photo by Matthew Holler, courtesy The Sarasota Ballet.

Sarah Lane has joined American Repertory Ballet as a guest rehearsal director for the 2022–23 season.

Following the company’s opening-night performance of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon on September 28, Queensland Ballet artistic director Li Cunxin, AO, announced onstage the promotions of Mia Heathcote and Patricio Revé to principal.

Semperoper Dresden Ballet has appointed company principal and ballet master Marcelo Gomes to artistic manager for the 2023–24 season. Gomes will take over the company’s artistic responsibilities until the position of artistic director (now vacant following Aaron S. Watkin’s move to English National Ballet) is filled in the 2024–25 season.

The Washington Ballet’s former studio company members Rachel Rohrich and Noura Sander have been promoted to the main company.

Farewells and New Arrivals

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo artist April Ball gave her final performance in the company’s November tour of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s The Taming of the Shrew in Tokyo. Ball’s 28-year career included 18 seasons with Les Ballets, eight with Boston Ballet (two as principal) and one as a soloist with the Susanne Farrell Ballet. She was also Pointe’s very first cover star!

Paris Opéra Ballet étoile François Alu, who was promoted to POB’s top rank in April,announced his departure from the company in an Instagram post on November 23. He tours his solo production, Completely Thrown, across France this month through June 2023.

Richmond Ballet welcomes Kyiv City Ballet principal Kristina Kadashevych as a guest artist in the company’s December and February productions, including Stoner Winslett’s The Nutcracker (December 9–23) and Firebird with Serenade (February 17–19).  

Kristina Kadashevych and Aleksey Babayev rehearse a pas de deux in a bright studio with props in the background. Kadashevych wears a leotard and white practice tutu with pink ballet tights and pointe shoes, and she poses in an arabesque penche toward the audience. Babeyev supports her and wears a blue shirt with black ballet tights and flats.
Kristina Kadashevych and Aleksey Babayev in rehearsal for Stoner Winslett’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Sarah Ferguson, courtesy Richmond Ballet.

Sarah Lane joins Houston Ballet as a guest artist in The Nutcracker this month, running now through December 27. She also appeared as Odette/Odile in the company’s Tokyo tour of Swan Lake in October and will revive the role in the Houston production in June 2023.

Ballet Hispánico welcomed its newest company member, apprentice Isabella Vergara.

Eight new dancers joined Wonderbound this season: Nicole Bui, Danielle Lieberman, Nathan Mariano, Aidan O’Leary, Emily Poli, Richard Romero, Logan Velasquez and Deniz Erkan Sancak.

Awards and Honors

Dutch National Ballet principal Olga Smirnova was voted 2022 Dancer of the Year by Dance Europe, announced November 25. Smirnova was chosen by readers from a list of 12 global nominees compiled by editors from the magazine and other international publications.

Olga Smirnova poses in attitude croise derriere on pointe, her arms in elonge. She wears an elegant cerulean tutu and a minimalist tiara.
Olga Smirnova in Raymonda. Photo by Altin Kaftira, courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

ABT soloist and choreographer Gabe Stone Shayer has been named one of Forbes’ 2022 30 Under 30 in art and style. Forbes cites Shayer’s blending of ballet, music and fashion as part of a “new curation” of pop culture. 

American Ballet Theatre named Léa Fleytoux as the 2022 recipient of the annual Margaret King Moore Dancer Award, which honors an outstanding woman in the ABT corps. Fleytoux joined the corps in 2019 from the ABT Studio Company following her graduation from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

The Dutch nonprofit Dancers Fund ’79, which supports young and retired dance artists, announced former Dutch National Ballet principal Jozef Varga as the winner of its 2022 Merit Award. Varga concluded his 15-year career with DNB last summer and was presented with the award at the Dutch Ballet Gala on November 14.