Roster Round-Up: Check Out These January Promotions and Career Change Announcements

January 27, 2022

January has brought a wave of dance news. In addition to the recent artistic director appointments of Tamara Rojo at San Francisco Ballet and Jodie Gates at Cincinnati Ballet, this month also brought exciting dancer promotions, retirement announcements and more. Here’s the latest.

PNB’s Noelani Pantastico Announces Her Retirement

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal Noelani Pantastico will retire after her final performances as Juliette in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, February 4–13. Pantastico, whose performance career spans 25 years, will join the faculty of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, of which she is an alumna. She will also continue her work as co-artistic director of Seattle Dance Collective, which she founded with fellow PNB principal James Yoichi Moore in 2019.

Noelani Pantastico in Balanchine’s “Emeralds.” Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Big Promotions at the Bolshoi

Earlier this month, the Bolshoi Ballet named Jacopo Tissi and Igor Tsvirko as its newest principal dancers. A native Russian, Tsvirko trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and has been with the company since 2007. Italian-born Tissi, who previously danced at Teatro alla Scala and trained at its academy, is one of the very few non-Russian dancers to rise to principal in the Bolshoi’s history. In addition, Brazilian dancer David Motta Soares has been promoted to leading soloist, and Elizaveta Kokoreva and Eva Sergeyenkova to first soloist.

Jacopo Tissi. Damir Yusupov, Courtesy Bolshoi Ballet

News at Stuttgart Ballet

Stuttgart Ballet made two big announcements earlier this month. First, ballet director Tamas Detrich named principal dancer Roman Novitzky, who is retiring later this year, as the company’s first-ever artist in residence. The position, created especially for Novitzky, will continue his current work as a company photographer, videographer, choreographer and character dancer.

In addition, Detrich promoted Agnes Su to principal following her November debut as Tatiana in John Cranko’s Onegin, effective immediately. Su, a native of California, joined the company as an apprentice in 2013 after studying at the affiliated John Cranko School. 

Newly promoted principal Agnes Su in Onegin at Stuttgart Ballet. Courtesy Stuttgart Ballet

Dancers On the Rise at English National Ballet, and One Departure

English National Ballet celebrated three onstage promotions this month. Following their leading performances in Tamara Rojo’s Raymonda, Shiori Kase was named lead principal and Emma Hawes and Aitor Arrieta principals.

Shiori Kase during her onstage promotion to lead principal at English National Ballet. Ian Gavan, Courtesy ENB

In addition, ENB announced that Maria Kochetkova, who joined as a lead principal for the company’s 2021–22 season, will be leaving the UK to continue her freelance career later this month.

Seven New Soloists and a Retirement Announcement at New York City Ballet 

On January 24, New York City Ballet announced that seven corps de ballet members had been promoted to the soloist rank. Preston Chamblee, Ashley Hod, Emily Kikta, Isabella LaFreniere, Miriam Miller, Mira Nadon and Emma Von Enck will all assume their new title with the opening of the company’s 2022 winter season on January 27. Apprentice Ruby Lister has been promoted to the corps de ballet.    

Preston Chamblee in Lauren Lovette’s Not Our Fate. Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

Meanwhile, principal dancer Teresa Reichlen has announced that she is retiring from NYCB on February 19. Reichlen joined the company’s corps de ballet in 2001, rising to principal in 2009. For her last performance, she will dance the role of Odette in Balanchine’s one-act Swan Lake. Reichlen, who gave birth to a son last year, will assume a new role as gallery director at Shrine, her husband’s art gallery in downtown New York.

Dancers Moving Up at Philadelphia Ballet

Philadelphia Ballet shared news of six company promotions. Sydney Dolan and Ashton Roxander have risen from soloist to first soloist. Jacqueline Callahan and Austin Eyler have been promoted to demi-soloist, and former apprentices Isaac Hollis and Mine Kusano have been promoted to the corps de ballet.