Roster Round-Up: Promotions and Career Moves You May Have Missed This Month

May 25, 2022

May has been an exciting month for career news, from newly minted principals to international moves. Check out the latest in promotions and new hires.

Paris Opéra Ballet

On April 23, Paris Opéra Ballet premier danseur François Alu was promoted to étoile, the company’s highest rank. Aurélie Dupont, the ballet’s director of dance, and Paris Opéra director Alexander Neef presented Alu with the honor onstage following his performance of Solor in La Bayadère. Alu has climbed the company ranks since graduating from the POB School and joining the corps in 2010.

Fraçois Alu as Solor in Rudolf Nureyev’s La Bayadère. Photo by Julien Benhamou, courtesy Paris Opéra Ballet.

New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet announced the promotion of Chun Wai Chan to principal dancer on May 20, the first Chinese dancer to hold that rank at NYCB. Chan joined the company as a soloist in August 2021 after dancing at Houston Ballet as a principal. He will close the season debuting as Titania’s Cavalier in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Royal Ballet

Royal Ballet artistic director Kevin O’Hare announced the promotions of William Bracewell and Reece Clarke to principal dancer, effective at the beginning of the 2022–23 season. Both dancers trained at The Royal Ballet School prior to beginning their professional careers. Clarke joined the company immediately upon graduation, and Bracewell joined as a soloist in 2017 after dancing with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Reece Clarke as Albrecht in “Giselle.” Photo by Alice Pennefather, courtesy ROH.

The Australian Ballet

Australian Ballet artistic director David Hallberg promoted 10 dancers earlier this month, at times emotional as he made the announcements during a company meeting. Jill Ogai, Nathan Brook, Imogen Chapman and Rina Nemoto have risen to senior artist; Mason Lovegrove, Lucien Xu and Luke Marchant to soloist; and George-Murray Nightingale, Aya Watanabe and Katherine Sonnekus to coryphée.

The company also welcomes three new dancers for its 2022–23 season. English National Ballet lead principal Joseph Caley, who has previously guested with the company, will join AB as a principal in August. Former Mariinsky Ballet artist Maxim Zenin and current School of American Ballet student Henry Berlin join as corps members.

Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet celebrates a slew of promotions this month: Marίa Álvarez and Haley Schwan have risen to soloist; Daniel Durrett and Nina Matiashvili to second soloist; and Henry Griffin, Kyra Muttilainen and Alainah Grace Reidy to artist of the company. Cassidy Cail and Pierre de Korsak join Boston Ballet II.

Haley Schwan and Patrick Yocum in Jiří Kylián’s “Bella Figura.” Photo by Liza Voll, courtesy of Boston Ballet.

Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet artistic director Lourdes Lopez promoted five company members this month: Dawn Atkins and Samantha Hope Galler to principal soloists, and Taylor Naturkas, Adrienne Carter and Ariel Rose to soloist. Atkins joined MCB as a soloist in 2021 after dancing with Boston Ballet; Galler has risen through the company ranks since joining the corps in 2014.

Sarasota Ballet

Sarasota Ballet has announced that Argentinian artists Macarena Gimenez and Maximiliano Iglesias will join the company as principal dancers for its 2022–23 season. Gimenez and Maximiliano depart their principal positions at Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires to join the company.

Ballet West

Ballet West announced the promotions of Amy Potter and Jordan Veit to principal; Chelsea Keefer to first soloist; David Huffmire to soloist; and Dominic Ballard, Olivia Gusti, Kazlyn Nielsen, Jake Preece and Kristina Weimer to demi-soloist. From Ballet West II, Jacob Hancock and Rylee Rogers join the main company as new artists, and Tatiana Stevenson and Loren Walton have been named apprentices. Micheal Bushman, Luca Freudenberg, Victor Galeana, Schuyler Lian, Lexi McCloud, Julia Outmesguine and Kaeli Ware will join Ballet West II next season.

In addition, Brian Waldrep, formerly of Nashville Ballet, Houston Ballet and National Ballet of Uruguay, joins as a soloist for the 2022–23 season.

Cincinnati Ballet

Cincinnati Ballet celebrates promotions and two new dancers this month. Complexions Contemporary Ballet dancer Simon Plant and Ballet Hispánico dancer Lenai Alexis Wilkerson will join the company for its 2022–23 season. Nikita Boris has been promoted to corps de ballet, and apprentices Catherine Lasak and Jhaelin McQuay have been promoted to new dancer, the company’s entry corps level.

Lenai Alexis Wilkerson joins Cincinnati Ballet next season. Photo by Christopher Duggan, courtesy Cincinnati Ballet.

Grand Rapids Ballet

Grand Rapids Ballet has announced the promotion of Claudia Rhett to company member. Rhett joined GRB as an apprentice after graduating from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in 2020. Trainee Avery Held has been promoted to apprentice.

City Ballet of San Diego

City Ballet of San Diego shared that apprentices Sophie Robertson, Elaine Miller and Erin Burt have been promoted to company artists. They will make their main-company debuts in the 2022–23 season.

Ballet Arkansas

Ballet Arkansas has hired seven new dancers for the 2022–23 season: company dancers Sage Feldges, Celeste Lopez-Keranen, Andrew Przybyłowicz and Keith Newman, apprentices David J Cummings and Layla Terrell, and trainee Andrew Parson.