Your November Ballet Roster Roundup: Dancers and Directors on the Move

November 6, 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

Prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri will direct the Vienna State Ballet beginning September 1, 2025. Vienna State Opera director Bogdan Roščić and Volksoper Vienna director Lotte de Beer announced Ferri’s appointment on October 24. Ferri will succeed Martin Schläpfer, who requested not to extend his contract at the end of his term on August 31, 2025.

Edwaard Liang poses for a black and white portrait shot, showing him from the hips-up. He smiles wearing a dark button-down, his hands in his pants pockets.
Edwaard Liang. Photo by Chiun-Kai Shih, courtesy The Washington Ballet.

On October 24, The Washington Ballet announced that Edwaard Liang has been appointed its new artistic director, effective immediately. Liang, who currently directs BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio, will continue his leadership there through the end of the 2023–24 season. He will be the fourth artistic director in TWB’s history and the first person of color to head the organization. BalletMet will launch an international search for Liang’s successor and plans to appoint a new director by next summer.

On October 15, New York City Ballet announced the promotions of Gilbert Bolden III and Davide Riccardo to soloist, and of Owen Flacke, Allegra Inch, and Noah McAuslin to corps de ballet.

The 2023 American Ballet Theatre apprentices are Madison Brown, Finnian Carmeci, Kyra Coco, Takumi Miyake, Sylvie Squires, and Alejandro Valera Outlaw. They will join ABT’s main company following its fall tour.

Pacific Northwest Ballet artistic director Peter Boal and associate artistic director Kiyon Ross announced the following promotions on November 3, just before the curtain opened on the company’s Love & Loss program: Sarah Gabrielle-Ryan to principal, and Clara Ruf Maldonado and Kuu Sakuragi to soloist.

Gilbert Bolden III with Olivia MacKinnon fly through the air in George Balanchine’s Western Symphony. They are jumping in a low cou de pied derriere position, their arms in an extended fourth. They wear stylized western ballet costumes.
Gilbert Bolden III with Olivia MacKinnon in George Balanchine’s Western Symphony. Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy New York City Ballet.

On October 21, Miami City Ballet’s Samantha Hope Galler was promoted to principal after her performance as the Russian Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade.

Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Carly Wheaton was promoted to principal on October 6, following her performance as Odette/Odile on opening night of Christopher Stowell’s Swan Lake.

At Queensland Ballet, Alexander Idaszak was promoted to principal and Chiara Gonzalez to senior soloist after their respective debuts in Derek Deane’s Strictly Gershwin.

Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan poses in a stylizes sous-sus wearing a mauve leotard and a long, flowing floral print skirt.
Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan. Photo by Jayme Thornton for Pointe.

Following her debut as Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet on October 22, Stuttgart Ballet’s Mackenzie Brown was promoted to principal.

The Sarasota Ballet’s Anna Pellegrino and Daniel Pratt have been promoted to first soloist, Evan Gorbell to soloist, and Willa Frantz to coryphée.

On October 10, The Sarasota Ballet announced the appointment of choreographer Jessica Lang to artist in residence as part of a three-year agreement. The company will perform Lang’s 2012 Lyric Pieces this April.

Emmanuel López Martinez has been promoted to Alberta Ballet’s corps de ballet from the second company.

Carly Wheaton and Brian Simcoe in rehearsal for <i>Swan Lake</i>. Wheaton wears a long-sleeved navy leotard and white practice tutu.
Carly Wheaton and Brian Simcoe in rehearsal for Swan Lake. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert, courtesy Oregon Ballet Theater.

Ballet Tucson artistic director Margaret Mullin announced on September 28 that company apprentices Brooke Amundrud, Sky Byrd, Kayla DeGaray, and Spencer Waldeck have been promoted to corps de ballet.

At City Ballet of San Diego, principal Ariana Gonzalez has been named the company’s associate artistic director; former company member Natalie Test has been appointed the first-ever principal of The City Ballet School; and apprentice Madalynn Scheffel has been promoted to company member.

Award-winning choreographer Stephanie Lake will join The Australian Ballet in January 2024 as resident choreographer.

On October 31, San Francisco Ballet announced the appointment of Grace Maduell Holmes as director of the San Francisco Ballet School. Holmes, who danced with SFB for 12 years, most recently served as director of Kansas City Ballet School starting in 2014.

Lucy Green and Alexander Idaszak perform a sensual pas de deux in "Dangerous Liasons." Idaszak wears a cream and gold suit, and Green a blue petticoat.
Lucy Green and Alexander Idaszak in Dangerous Liaisons. Photo by David Kelly, courtesy Queensland Ballet.

Farewells and New Arrivals

Amber Scott falls forward gracefully in a stylized coupe attitiude position on pointe. her right arm bends gently toward her chin, her left floating to the side. She wears a navy leotard and white practice tutu.
Amber Scott. Photo courtesy The Australian Ballet.

On September 30, The Australian Ballet said farewell to longtime principal Amber Scott, who retired from the stage after a 22-year career with the company.

Fellow Australian Ballet principal Amy Harris will also retire this month. She will give her last performances as Marguerite during the company’s Sydney performances of Marguerite and Armand.

After seven years with Royal New Zealand Ballet, principal Sara Garbowski has announced that she will take her final bow in December. 

On November 2, Semperoper Ballett corps member Rebecca Haw announced that she will retire from the stage on July 6, 2024, after an 11-year performing career. Haw plans to expand her work in “other aspects of the industry,” as reported in a release from CODA, the classical ballet agency she founded in January 2022. 

Alberta Ballet soloist Yoshiya Sakurai has retired from the stage following the company’s production of The Sleeping Beauty this month. Sakurai, who has been with the company for eight years, has now taken on the role of rehearsal director.

Alberta Ballet has welcomed corps members Rhys Hudson and Leona Takada.

Ballet Black senior artist Sayaka Ichikawa will retire after 12 years with the company. She will give her final performance on November 19, when BB closes its autumn tour at the Royal Opera House.

Megan Chiu, of Madison Ballet, and Bhungane Mehlomakulu, formerly of Cape Town City Ballet, are Ballet Black’s newest company members. They join as junior artists.

Lilliana Hagerman and Lamin Pereira, formerly of the Finnish National Ballet, have joined the corps de ballet of Dresden’s Semperoper Ballett.

A close-up of Yoshiya Sakura as Albrecht in "Giselle." He poses with his hand over his heart in a black tunic, surrounded by wilis.
Yoshiya Sakurai in Giselle. Photo by Juan Pablo Castillo, courtesy Alberta Ballet.

After six years with City Ballet of San Diego, Tiffany Arroyo has announced her retirement from the company. CBoSD welcomes new company member Jared Brouillette.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet says hello to new company artist Maël Amatoul, who attended the LINES pre-professional summer program this past June.

Mario Gonzalez, previously of Los Angeles Dance Project, Visceral Dance Chicago, and American Repertory Ballet, is Charlotte Ballet’s newest company dancer.

Awards and Recognitions

Nashville Ballet has been recognized in Nashville Scene’s 2023 Best of Nashville, voted by readers as Best Performing Arts Group. The publication’s staff writers and contributors voted Paul Vasterling’s world-premiere Anthology won Best New Ballet.