Your December Roster Roundup: Dancers and Directors on the Move

December 7, 2023

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

On November 8, Teatro alla Scala’s Nicoletta Manni was promoted to étoile in a tradition-breaking manner when superintendent Dominique Meier announced the news onstage. The announcement followed the company’s second performance of John Cranko’s Onegin, marking the first time a company promotion was made publicly.

Nicoletta Manni does a pique arabesque onstage in a long, white, flowing dress with pink floral accents.
Nicoletta Manni. Photo by Brescia e Amisano, courtesy Teatro alla Scala.

Elizabeth Toohey will join the Stuttgart Ballet as principal ballet mistress, starting in March 2024. Toohey, who has been a guest ballet mistress for the company since last season, is a former Australian Ballet dancer and guest soloist with Norwegian National Ballet, English National Ballet, Georgian State Ballet, and others. She returned to the Australian Ballet as ballet mistress in 2017.

On November 10, former Colorado Ballet principal Yosvani Ramos announced on Instagram that he is the new artistic director of Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico, effective immediately.  Ramos joined Colorado Ballet in 2015 as a principal and retired at the end of the 2022–23 season.

Farewells, Guest Appearances, and New Arrivals

Thomas Mock performs as Albrecht in "Giselle," kneeling next to Giselle's grave and looking out at the audience forlornly.
Tomas Mock in Giselle. Photo by Tristram Kenton, courtesy The Royal Opera House.

The Royal Ballet soloist Tomas Mock gave his final performance on Saturday, December 2, in Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project. Mock, who joined the company in 2011 and was promoted to soloist in 2019, will continue his studies in statistics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

After 25 years with The National Ballet of Canada, principal Piotr Stanczyk retired from the stage on November 18. Stanczyk’s final performance was in James Kudelka’s Passion, which ran in the company’s program alongside Helen Pickett’s Emma Bovary November 11–18 in Toronto.

West Australian Ballet demi-soloist Carina Roberts has announced her plans to retire following the company’s performances of The Nutcracker. Roberts, who joined WAB in 2015 as a young artist, intends to pursue a second career as a physiotherapist.

After 17 years with Scottish Ballet, principal Bethany Kingsley-Garner will take her last bow during the company’s run of Cinders! in Edinburgh. Kingsley-Garner will continue her teaching career at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland following her retirement from the stage.

From the Royal Ballet School 2023 graduating class, several dancers joined the corps de ballets of various international companies, including: Liya Fan at National Ballet of Canada, Alexander Larsson at The Royal Danish Ballet, Milda Luckute at Semperoper Ballett Dresden, Nikolás San Gil Muñoz at National Ballet Brno, and Max Steele at Hungarian National Ballet.

The Australian Ballet has announced a slew of new dancers joining its ranks. The company’s new soloists include Victor Estévez and Mia Heathcote of Queensland Ballet and Davi Ramos of Dutch National Ballet. The Paris Opéra Ballet’s Alice McArthur joins the corps de ballet; the company also extended a belated welcome to new corps member Laura Griffiths, who joined in July.

11 photos of male and female dancers are arranged clockwise from top left: Charlton Tough, Alice McArthur, Jeremy Hargreaves, Laura Griffiths, Corey Gavan, Isabella Smith, Victor Estévez, Mia Heathcote, Davi Ramos, Yaru Xu, and Macy Threthewey. Photos by Sergey Konstantinov, Carlos Quezada, Dean Barucija, David Kelly,Bjorn Bonig, and Sasha Gouliaev, courtesy The Australian Ballet.
Clockwise from top left: Charlton Tough, Alice McArthur, Jeremy Hargreaves, Laura Griffiths, Corey Gavan, Isabella Smith, Victor Estévez, Mia Heathcote, Davi Ramos, Yaru Xu, and Macy Threthewey. Photos by Sergey Konstantinov, Carlos Quezada, Dean Barucija, David Kelly, Bjorn Bonig, and Sasha Gouliaev, courtesy The Australian Ballet.

In addition, six upcoming graduates of The Australian Ballet School will join the company’s corps de ballet next year: Corey Gavan, Jeremy Hargreaves, Isabella Smith, Charlton Tough, Macy Trethewey,and Yaru Xu.

Indianapolis Ballet welcomes Mark-David Bloodgood, formerly of St. Louis Ballet, as a soloist for the 2023–24 season.

On November 28, New York City Ballet announced a number of guest artists who will perform with the company for the remainder of its 75th-anniversary season: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alexandra Hutchinson will perform Dewdrop in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker on Friday, December 15, and Sunday, December 17; Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Ashton Edwards will dance a featured role in Justin Peck’s The Times Are Racing on Saturday, January 27, and Sunday, January 28; American Ballet Theatre principals Gillian Murphy and Aran Bell will appear in Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances during NYCB’s 2024 spring season; and Miami City Ballet’s Taylor Naturkas and Brooks Landegger will dance the second-act divertissement in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream during the final week of the spring season.

Awards and Recognitions

The Joffrey Ballet announced the winners of the 2024 Joffrey Academy’s Winning Works Choreographic Competition: Manoela Gonçalves, Jainil Mehta, Martha Nichols, Houston Thomas, and Joffrey company dancer Xavier Núñez; the latter is the recipient of the Zach Lazar Winning Works Fellowship. Each winner will choreograph an original work created for the Joffrey Academy Trainees and Studio Company, all of which will be performed in March.