Your March Roster Roundup: Dancers and Directors on the Move

February 27, 2023

The past few weeks have 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

Following the company’s final performance of The Sleeping Beauty on February 26, New York City Ballet artistic director Jonathan Stafford and associate artistic director Wendy Whelan announced the promotions of Emilie Gerrity, Isabella LaFreniere, Roman Mejia and Mira Nadon to principal. Nadon makes history as the first Asian American female principal in NYCB’s history.

After the company’s performance of its Modern Masters program on February 11, Miami City Ballet artistic director Lourdes Lopez promoted Dawn Atkins Hilty to principal, Damian Zamorano to principal soloist and Nicole Stalker and Cameron Catazaro to soloist.

On an ornately decorated stage, a female ballerina in a light green and pink pancake tutu performs a pique arabesque. She radiates joy and confidence.
Dawn Atkins Hilty in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy Miami City Ballet.

Director Carlos Acosta promoted Birmingham Royal Ballet artists Lachlan Monaghan and Max Maslen to principal following their respective performances as Siegfried in Swan Lake on February 17.

Colorado Ballet’s Patrick Mihm has been promoted from apprentice to corps de ballet member.

The Australian Ballet welcomed Australian Ballet School alum Amy Ronnfeldt to the company for its 2023 season.

Post:ballet resident choreographer and company artist Moscelyne ParkeHarrison has been appointed the company’s first associate artistic director. She will continue to dance and choreograph for the company in addition to carrying out her new position.

Elmhurst Ballet School, in Birmingham, England, announced the appointment of Wayne McGregor, CBE, as president, succeeding Sir David Eastwood. The school will maintain its ongoing relationship with Studio Wayne McGregor, which began in 2019, as students work with company artists and learn selected repertoire.

Farewells and New Arrivals

Marco Goecke will no longer serve as ballet director at Hanover State Opera. At a news conference, HSO artistic director Laura Berman stated that Goecke’s departure was “by mutual agreement” following an assault on February 11 in which the choreographer smeared dog feces on dance critic Wiebke Hüster’s face.

The Royal Winnipeg Balletboard of directors has announced that artistic director and CEO André Lewis will step down in the spring of 2025, culminating his 50-year association with the company from student to dancer and director.

San Francisco Ballet School and Trainee Program director Patrick Armand will conclude his tenure at the end of the 2023 school year. Going forward, he will continue his affiliation with SFB as school artistic associate.

After 16 years at the helm, Alabama Ballet artistic director and CEO Tracey Alvey will retire at the conclusion of the 2022–23 season, following the company’s production of Coppélia.

On a dark stage, two dancers perform a pas de deux together. The woman wears a light peach flowy dress and stands on pointe in a low arabesque, arched back against her partner as she extends her left arm back as if to cradle his head. The man, in a dark green military top and black tights, stands behind her in tendu as he supports her and gently holds her arabesque leg.
Laura Morera and Ryoichi Hirano in Winter Dreams. Photo by Alice Pennefather, courtesy The Royal Ballet.

The Royal Ballet principal Laura Morera will conclude her 27-year career at the end of the company’s 2022–23 season. She will give her farewell performance on the Royal Opera House stage in Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia Act III on June 17th; her final performances will be in Frederick Ashton’s A Month in the Country, on June 25 and July 8, during the company’s tour to Japan. Morera will go on to stage and coach repertoire for TRB.

TRB principal Ryoichi Hirano will perform the titular role in Northern Ballet’s production of The Great Gatsby as a guest artist March 9, 11, 17 and 18 in Leeds, with additional dates in London to be announced. He will dance alongside NB first soloist Saeka Shirai.

Longtime Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal Amanda Cochrane has announced her retirement following 14 years with the company. Due to an ankle injury, she will not be giving a final performance.

National Ballet of Canada principal Piotr Stanczyk has announced his retirement after 25 years with the company. He will give his final performances in November during the company’s 2023–24 fall season.

In front of a light gray background, a male dancer in nude jazz pants and ballet shoes jumps in a stylized pas de chat position with his arms extended in a wide "v" overhead. He looks down on the right diagonal.
Piotr Stanczyk. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic, courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

NBoC artistic director Hope Muir has also announced that principal character artist Rebekah Rimsay will retire at the end of the 2022–23 season. After 33 years with the company, she will perform one of her signature roles, the Stepmother in James Kudelka’s Cinderella, on March 19.

After a decade with Birmingham Royal Ballet, first artist Alys Shee will leave the company to return to her native Canada. Shee formerly danced with American Ballet Theatre II and as a soloist with National Ballet of Canada.

New York City Ballet principal Chun Wai Chan returns to Houston Ballet as a guest artist to perform the role of Romeo in Stanton Welch’s Romeo and Juliet March 3–5. Performing alongside the former HB principal will be principal Melody Mennite, as Juliet.

Melody Mennite and Chun Wai Chan in Stanton Welch’s Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, courtesy Houston Ballet.

BalletMet company dancer Karen Wing has announced her retirement. She will take her final bow following the company’s performance of A Celebration of New Works March 10–18.

After 13 seasons with the company, Festival Ballet Providence’s Kirsten Evans gave her final performance as a full-time company dancer on February 19. She will continue to dance after relocating to New York City and will periodically work with FBP going forward.

Awards and Recognitions

The Kennedy Center’s Reframing the Narrative: Blacks in Ballet program, which took place last June, has won a silver Anthem Award in the categories of Film, Video, Television or Show; Education, Art & Culture; and Awareness & Media (nonprofit). The awards also recognized the significance of the event recordings, including the performance of Donald Byrd’s From Other Suns. The cast included 12 Black international guest artists: Portia Adams, Precious Adams, Katlyn Addison, Joshua Bodden, Corey Bourbonniere, Jenelle Figgins, Pointe January/February 2023 digital cover star Claudia Monja, Ashley Murphy-Wilson, Gian Carlo Perez, Jonathan Philbert, Miranda Silveira and Raquel Smith.

From left: Claudia Monja, Gian Carlo Perez, Miranda Silveira, Portia Adams and Corey Bourbonniere in Donald Byrd’s From Other Suns. Photo by Shoccara Marus, courtesy The Kennedy Center.

Louisville Ballet has named Robyn Mineko Williams as the winner of the company’s 2023 Dysart Award, an annual recognition that honors innovative choreographers at the cusp of their careers.