Your January Roster Roundup: Dancers and Directors on the Move

January 10, 2023

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

On December 12, the National Ukrainian Ballet (Kyiv Ballet) appointed Nobuhiro Terada as its artistic director. Terada is the organization’s first Japanese artistic director and danced with the company for two decades prior to becoming its assistant artistic director in 2021.

Houston Ballet announced a slew of promotions, including Chandler Dalton to first soloist, Simone Acri and Naazir Muhammad to soloist and Jack Wolff to demi-soloist.

Scottish Ballet’s Roseanna Leney was promoted to principal following her debut of the titular role in The Snow Queen on December 15.

Roseanna Leney in The Nutracker. Photo by Andy Ross, courtesy Scottish Ballet.

Royal New Zealand Ballet announced the promotions of Damen Axtens, Madeleine Graham and Matthew Slattery to soloist.

On December 19, The Royal Swedish Ballet’s Kentaro Mitsumori and Madeline Woo were promoted to premiere dancer onstage following their performance in Tamara Rojo’s Cinderella.

Queensland Ballet artistic director Li Cunxin, AO, promoted 2022 Jette Parker Young Artists  Luca Armstrong, Edison Manuel, Amber Mitchell-Knight, Fredrick Montgomery, Joshua Ostermann and Jessica Stratton-Smith to the full company.

Farewells and New Arrivals

On December 22, American Ballet Theatre shared that 13-year company artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky will leave ABT at the end of his contract in June. He will join New York City Ballet as artist in residence in August and will create at least one work a year for the company under a five-year contract, with the first set to premiere next winter.

Onstage in front of a navy blue background and red and gold set pieces, Dawn Atkins and Stanislav Olshanskyi perform the Nutcracker grand pas de deux. Atkins wears a sparkling light green and pink pancake tutu with a gold crown, pink tights and pointe shoes. She penches in arabesque towards the audience, arms spread wide in allonge as Olshanskyi supports her holding on to her wrists. He lunges in a tendu a la seconde and wears a light green, gold-embellished jacket with a pink sash, pink tights and ballet shoes.
Dawn Atkins and Stanislav Olshanskyi in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy Miami City Ballet.

Miami City Ballet welcomed new principal Stanislav Olshanskyi, former National Opera and Ballet of Ukraine principal, on December 14.

On January 9, Royal New Zealand Ballet announced that artistic director Patricia Barker will retire in March at the end of its Tutus on Tour program. Barker, who has directed RNZB since 2017, will return to the U.S. to join the board of Seattle-based contemporary dance company Whim W’him. She has also been invited to work with the Czech National Ballet Brno, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Youth America Grand Prix in 2023. Former Australian Ballet artistic director David McAllister, AC, will serve as interim artistic director throughout RNZB’s recruitment process.

RNZB also bid farewell to artists Maggie Bryan and Vincent Fraola on December 7.

Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced that Berlin State Ballet resident guest principal artist Polina Semionova will perform Odette/Odile as a guest artist in the company’s production of Swan Lake on February 17 and 18.

Now through April, Dutch National Ballet principal Olga Smirnova joins Les Ballets de Monte Carlo as a guest principal. This month, she will appear as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, then in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Nutcracker Company pas de deux at the 50th Prix de Lausanne gala. In April, she will perform the titular role in Maillot’s La Belle.

A black and white photo shows Olga Smirnova and Jean-Christophe smiling and hugging in front of a black background.
Olga Smirnova and Jean-Christope Maillot. Photo by Alice Blangero, courtesy Les Ballets de Monte Carlo.

Atlanta Ballet artist Jacob Bush departed the company following its run of The Nutcracker. He made his final appearance as Drosselmeier on Friday, December 23.

Australian Ballet soloist Karen Nanasca took her final bow on December 22 after 14 years with the company.

Ballet Arizona welcomed five new dancers for the 2022–23 season: Leticia Endler, Erin Meranos, Luis Olivera, Trey Puckett and Cheyenne You

Orlando Ballet announced the addition of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre co-founder and choreographer Heath Gill to its artistic team. Gill begins his new role as Orlando Ballet guest ballet master and choreographer this month.

Queensland Ballet welcomed Leisel Rose to the company. It also bid farewell to artists Zhi Fang, Francisco Gomes, Keigo Muto, Samuel Packer, Edward Pope and Hayley Thompson.