Roster Round-Up: Keep Up to Date on Summer Career News
Summer is coming to a close, and before companies launch into their new seasons, many are finalizing their rosters with new arrivals, departures and guest artists. Find out the latest news in this month’s roster round-up.
Promotions, Joiners and Leavers at The Royal Ballet
On July 7, The Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare announced a slew of roster changes in the company. Joseph Sissens has been promoted to first soloist, with Annette Buvoli, Ashley Dean, Leticia Dias, Mariko Sasaki, Lukas B. Brændsrød, Leo Dixon, David Donnelly and Téo Dubreuil as soloists. Sophie Allnatt, Isabel Lubach, Sae Maeda, Julia Roscoe, Charlotte Tonkinson, Joonhyuk Jun, Joshua Junker, Taisuke Nakao and Giacomo Rovero are now first artists. Marco Masciari joins as a company artist following his completion of the 2020–21 Prix de Lausanne dancer position; Darrion Sellman takes on the Prix de Lausanne dancer role for the 2022–23 season.
Five graduates from The Royal Ballet School also join the company’s Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme, which provides recent graduates a year’s contract to perform alongside the corps de ballet: Alicia Rose Couvrette, Martin Diaz, Luc Foskett, Scarlett Harvey and Ella Newton Severgnini.
Soloist Paul Kay leaves the company after 19 years to become Artistic Manager for Intensive Courses and Auditions with The Royal Ballet School. First soloist Tierney Heap retires after 10 years to pursue a career in nutrition, and Joseph Aumeer leaves after four to join the Royal Danish Ballet. Twenty-seven-year principal répétiteur Lesley Collier also retires from her full-time role working with the company and school.
Fresh Faces at Miami City Ballet
Ukrainian artist Yuliia (Julia) Moskalenko will join Miami City Ballet for the 2022–23 season as a principal. A native of Kyiv, Moskalenko comes from the National Opera of Ukraine, where she was a principal, leaving her homeland after Russia invaded Ukraine. Moskalenko shared her gratitude for MCB artistic director Lourdes Lopez in an Instagram post, “Lourdes gave me safety and a future.”
Additionally, four new dancers will join the corps de ballet: Alexander Kaden, from the Vienna State Ballet, freelancer Isadora Valero, formerly of the National Ballet of Portugal, Brooks Landegger, from Boston Ballet II, and Miami City Ballet School graduate Kaelah Poulos-Hopkins.
Filipino American choreographer Durante Verzola will join the Miami City Ballet School this fall as a faculty member and school choreographer. Lopez has also commissioned a new work from Verzola for the main company next season.
Ballet Tucson Announces New Dancers and Leadership
Former Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Margaret Mullin has taken the helm as Ballet Tucson’s new artistic director, announced June 21. The company’s longtime associate artistic director, Chieko Imada, also takes on a new role as resident choreographer.
In addition, married couple Danielle and Liang Fu leave Kansas City Ballet after eight years to take on dual roles as Ballet Tucson principal dancers and co-directors of the School of Ballet Tucson.
A New Company Artist at Alberta Ballet
Zachary Boresow will join Alberta Ballet for the 2022–23 season. Boresow began his training at the Kansas City Ballet School and joined Kansas City Ballet as an apprentice in 2019.
Julian MacKay to Join Bavarian State Ballet
Julian MacKay will join Bavarian State Ballet as a principal in September following his unexpected departure from San Francisco Ballet this past April, where he had been a principal for two years. He has also danced professionally as an international guest star, as well as at The Royal Ballet and the Mikhailovsky Theater. At age 17, MacKay was the first American to graduate with a full Russian diploma from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.
Birmingham Royal Ballet Promotions, Departures and Arrivals
Director Carlos Acosta announced several promotions at Birmingham Royal Ballet in early July. Miki Mizutani and Yaoqian Shang begin the 2022–23 season as new principals, having danced with the company since 2012 and 2013, respectively. Additionally, Beatrice Parma, Yu Kurihara, Max Maslen and Lachlan Monaghan were promoted to first soloist.
BRB will also welcome many new faces next season. Former Northern Ballet leading soloist Riku Ito joins as a soloist. Seven new artists also join the ranks: Oscar Kempsey-Fagg, Madison Penney, Mason King, Frieda Kaden and Jack Easton from the Royal Ballet School; Maïlène Katoch from the Paris Opéra Ballet School; and Hannah Martin after a year as a BRB apprentice. Olivia Chang-Clarke joins as an apprentice from the Elmhurst Ballet School.
Departing the company are artists Anna Ciriano and Josue Gomez-Sarria,, and Alexander Yap, who is joiningHong Kong Ballet as a soloist.
Hamburg Ballet Farewells
Leslie Heylmann retires from Hamburg Ballet after 14 years with the company, 10 as a principal dancer. She gave her final performance as Louise in The Nutcracker on July 3 and moved on to her new role as assistant to the managing coordinator for the school.
Soloists Marc Jubete and Atte Kilpinen, along with ensemble dancers Georgina Hills, Yungu Kang, Miguel Wansing Lorrio, Pietro Pelleri, Mia Petrovic, Chiara Ruaro and Aleksa Zikic, will also depart. Aspirant Ayumi Kato will join the National Youth Ballet of Germany.
Promotions and a New Dancer at Oklahoma City Ballet
Long-time soloist Autumn Klein was promoted to principal after 10 years with Oklahoma City Ballet. Former soloist Benjamin Tucker will also transition to the new role of principal character artist and associate rehearsal director.
Anna Tateda joins the corps de ballet after dancing in the second company for the 2021–22 season. Flannery Werner is promoted to apprentice after a year in the second company.
In addition, Roylan Ramos Hechavarria joins as principal from Ballet Opera of Lyon. Hechavarria has previously danced with Ballet of Camagüey as a soloist, Ballet of Cairo Opera House and Tanz Company Innsbruck.
Orlando Ballet’s Young Stars and New Members
Orlando Ballet promoted several dancers from its second company this summer: Kate Gardinier and Francis Mihm are now full-company dancers, with Charlie Mellor and David West as apprentices. Former OB apprentice Olivia McAlpine and the Royal Ballet Upper School graduate Thomas Gerhardt also join as full-company dancers.
Two other new artists also join the full company this season: Erin Atkinson joins from English National Ballet, and Alberto Peñalver from Ballet Arizona.
Audrey Malek Joins Pacific Northwest Ballet
After The Washington Ballet announced former TWB Studio Company member Audrey Malek’s promotion to the main company last month, Malek shared in an Instagram post that she will now be joining the Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet for the 2022–23 season. Malek danced with TWB as a trainee and second company member.
United Ballet Theater Promotions and New Dancer
United Ballet Theater apprentice Teresa Bowden was promoted to company artist for her second year with UBT. In addition, former company trainee Gabriella Vidano and new dancer Tristan Barron will join UBT as apprentices for the upcoming season.