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

May 2, 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

Miami City Ballet artistic director Lourdes Lopez has promoted Chase Swatosh to principal and Jordan-Elizabeth Long to principal soloist.

Two photos side by side. On the left, Chase Swatosh does a cabbriole onstage, wearing a white button down with a black bow tie, and red slacks. He smiles toward the audience; the background is blue. On the right, Jordan-Elizabeth Long does a penché arabesque, faced profile toward the left, in a short red glimmering dress for Balanchine's "Rubies."
(Left) Chase Swatosh in Jerome Robbins’ I’m Old Fashioned. (Right) Jordan-Elizabeth Long in “Rubies” from George Balanchine’s Jewels. Photos by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy Miami City Ballet.

Ballet West announced several promotions, effective next season: Long-time BW artist Tyler Gum has been promoted to principal; Kristina Weimer and Victoria Vassos to soloist; Nicole Fannéy and Vinicius Lima to demi-soloists; and Ballet West II dancers Stella Birkinshaw, Kye Cooley, Anderson Duhan, Maren Florence, William Lynch, and Jonas Malinka-Thompson to the main company corps de ballet.

Dutch National Ballet artistic director Ted Brandsen announced the promotions of Victor Caixeta to principal and Giorgi Potskhishvili to soloist. Brandsen announced each promotion after both Caixeta and Potskhishvili made their respective debuts as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake last month.

Scottish Ballet’s recent promotions include: Rimbaud Patron and Melissa Parsons to soloist; and Amy McEntee, Anna Williams, Eado Turgeman, Harvey Littlefield, and Rishan Benjamin to first artist.

Effective August 1, Amy Seiwert will join Smuin Contemporary Ballet as associate artistic director.

Amy Seiwert choreographing her new work for Smuin Ballet and her with Celia Fushille
(L-R) Smuin artists Ricardo Dyer and Terez Dean Orr in rehearsals of French Kiss with Amy Seiwert. Photo by Chris Hardy, courtesy Smuin Ballet.

David McAllister will serve as West Australian Ballet Company’s guest artistic director after Aurélien Scannella, WAB’s artistic director of 10 years, departs at the end of the 2023 season. McAllister formerly directed the Australian Ballet and currently serves as interim artistic director of Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Noelani Pantastico is the new artistic director of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, becoming the third leader to assume the role in the institution’s 68-year history. Rose Taylor has been appointed associate artistic director, and long-time faculty member Alan Hineline takes on the new role of artistic advisor and resident choreographer.

Farewells and New Arrivals

New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin has announced her departure from the company. Pazcoguin, who has danced with NYCB for 20 years, will give her final performance in Alexei Ratmansky’s Namouna, A Grand Divertissement on May 7. Going forward, she will continue her work as an activist and co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface. She will also expand on her Broadway career on the producing team of the upcoming musical Here Lies Love.

Onstage, Georgina Pazcoguin wears a deep olive-colored leotard and pointe shoes. She does a lunging arabesque on flat, her arms in a wide first arabesque position.
Georgina Pazcoguin in Alexei Ratmansky’s Voices. Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy New York City Ballet.

Longtime San Francisco Ballet principals Dores André and Max Cauthorn will depart the company to join Ballet Zürich next season. The two gave their final performances with SFB on April 29 as Juliet and Benvolio, respectively, in Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet.

Charles-Louis Yoshiyama will also join Ballet Zürich next season. Yoshiyama joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as a principal this past January and was formerly a principal with Houston Ballet.

After five years with the company, Daphne Marcelle Lee gave her final bow with Dance Theatre of Harlem on April 23. In an Instagram post, Lee expressed her gratitude toward the company, as well as excitement for pursuing new opportunities in dance.

In a long, flowing white dress, Daphne Marcelle Lee does a piqué on pointe, her right leg lifted in croisé attitude devant. Her arms float at shoulder height, and she looks up at the sky.
Daphne Marcelle Lee in Sounds of Hazel. Photo by Jeff Cravotta, courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Brandon Ramey has retired after 14 seasons as a Ballet Memphis company artist. He and his wife, Virginia Ramey, will become co-directors of the School and Youth Ballet Memphis.

On April 15, Louisville Ballet bid farewell to retiring company artists Justin Michael Hogan, Ryo Suzuki, and Emmarose Atwood.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet second soloist Liam Caines announced that he will depart the company at the end of its 2022–23 season.

West Australian Ballet celebrated Gakuro Matsui’s return as a company principal last month. Matsui joins from Norwegian National Ballet, where he was a principal; he has spent his career dancing between both companies.

WAB also welcomes Pamela Barnes, Georgia Waite, Sophie McDonald, and Benjamin Anderson to its corps de ballet.

Ballet Idaho’s Megumi Nishimori will give her final performances with the company May 4–7 in Swan Lake.

Jasmine Perry will depart Los Angeles Ballet after nine years to join Miami City Ballet for its 2023–24 season. LAB principal Petra Conti will also take her final bow with the company this June.

Camilo Santiesteban is Indianapolis Ballet’s newest company member; he joins from National Ballet of Cuba.

Birmingham Royal Ballet artistic director Carlos Acosta will celebrate his 50th birthday by performing as a guest artist at the Royal Opera House’s Carlos at 50, July 26–30.

After over 50 years working with San Francisco Ballet as a dancer, rehearsal assistant, and resident choreographer, Val Caniparoli’s full-time tenure with the company will end in June. In an Instagram post, Caniparoli shares his gratitude toward SFB and excitement for his upcoming choreographic season, which he describes as his “most important and ambitious to date.”

In a bright studio, Val Caniparoli leads a rehearsal filled with SFB dancers in various iterations of athletic dancewear. Caniparoli wears a grey tshirt and black pants.
Val Caniparoli and San Francisco Ballet rehearse Caniparoli’s Tears. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy SFB.

Paul Vasterling took his final bow as Nashville Ballet’s artistic director on April 23, marking the end of his 25 years with the company. Current NB associate artistic director and CEO Nick Mullikin will succeed the role in June.

Ballet Arizona artistic director Ib Andersen will step down from his position after 24 years on June 30, 2024; his successor is yet to be determined. Andersen will transition to the role of artistic director emeritus.

Awards and Recognitions

The Clive & Valerie Barnes Foundation has announced the dance finalists of its annual Clive Barnes Award, which recognizes two outstanding young professionals in dance and theater: New York City Ballet corps member Victor Abreu, Complexions Contemporary Ballet artist Christian Burse, American Ballet Theatre corps member Andrew Robare, and Paul Taylor Dance Company artist Devon Louis. Winners will be named at the Awards Ceremony on May 22, held at New York City’s Florence Gould Hall.