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

July 7, 2023

The past few weeks have brought another exciting round of career news—check out the latest dancer farewells, appointments, promotions, and more in this month’s roster roundup.

Promotions and Appointments

Miami City Ballet’s Dawn Atkins has been promoted to principal, effective at the start of the 2023–24 season.

Christopher Gerty has been promoted to principal at National Ballet of Canada; Josh Hall, Peng-Fei Jiang, and Larkin Miller have been promoted to second soloist.

On June 27, English National Ballet released a slew of promotions: Aitor Arrieta and Emma Hawes to lead principal; Julia Conway to first soloist; Lorenzo Trossello to soloist; Ivana Bueno, Henry Dowden, Noam Durand, Rentaro Nakaaki, and Victor Prigent to junior soloist; Alice Bellini, Georgia Bould, Eireen Evrard, Giorgio Garrett, Minju Kang, Adriana Lizardi, and Eric Snyder to first artist; and Breanna Foad to eighth-year artist of the company.

Shibayama Saho, performing the role of Titania in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," does a pique arabesque onstage.
Shibayama Saho. Photo by Shikama Takashi, courtesy National Ballet of Japan.

National Ballet of Japan artistic director Yoshida Miyako announced the promotions of Shibayama Saho and Hayami Shogo to principal dancer following the company’s performance of Swan Lake on June 17.

Indianapolis Ballet’s Yoshiko Kamikusa and Jessica Miller have been promoted to principal; Jacqueline Hodek, Sierra Levin, Ahna Lipchik, and William Robinson are now soloists.

Talia Lebowitz is Grand Rapids Ballet’s newest company member.

Nevada Ballet Theatre apprentices Jack Grohmann, Paityn Lauzon, and Shelby Rambo have been promoted to the main company; NBT II dancer Julia Pasquale has been promoted to apprentice.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Max Maslen and Lachlan Monaghan have been promoted to principal; Gabriel Anderson, Rosanna Ely, Sofia Liñares, and Lucy Waine are now first artists.

At Cincinnati Ballet, Chandler Proctor has been promoted to first soloist, Julia Gundzik to new dancer, and Scott Reed to apprentice.

Victoria Morgan has been named artistic director emerita of Cincinnati Ballet; Morgan retired at the conclusion of the 2021–22 season after 25 years as artistic director.

Dawn Atkins stands in a high arabesque onstage, on flat. She wears a long, flowing white dress and a flower in her hair, which is pulled into a low bun. A male dancer poses in an extreme hinge position on his back on the floor in front of her.
Dawn Atkins and Chase Swatosh. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy Miami City Ballet.

Charlotte Ballet second company dancer Lorenzo Dunton, who joined the CB second company in August 2022, has been promoted to the main company.

Maggie-Kate Howard, Bryce Leippe, and Juliet Marinello have been promoted to Carolina Ballet’s corps de ballet.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland has announced the members of its first-ever corps de ballet: Destiny Billot, Karen Fleming, Olivia Fohsz, Jenna Fritts, Mimi Hardin, Sarah Hoffman, Madeline Jones, Mia Koshansky, Emma Lane, Rachael Spicer, Julia Walden, and Victoria Walpole.

Tristan Barron and Gabriella Vidano have been promoted to company artist at United Ballet Theatre.

Ryan Hatch, Hallie Jo Johnson, and Stephen Kessler are Utah Metropolitan Ballet’s newest principals; Hannah Vernon has been promoted to solo artist.

Texture Contemporary Ballet bids farewell to associate artistic director Kelsey Bartman, who has stepped down after a 12-year tenure.

Farewells and New Arrivals

Li Cunxin leads company class at Queensland Ballet. He wears a longsleeve blue shirt and smiles as he lifts his left arm forward, palm upward, with his other hand resting on the bar.
Li Cunxin. Photo by Ali Cameron, courtesy Queensland Ballet.

Li Cunxin, Queensland Ballet artistic director and author of Mao’s Last Dancer, will step down from leadership at QB at the completion of the 2023 season due to an ongoing heart condition. A global search for his successor will begin shortly, according to the company’s media release.

After 11 seasons with BalletX, company artist Andrea Yorita will retire from the stage. Yorita’s final performances with the company will be at its Summer Series July 12–23, in Nicolo Fonte’s Sidd: A Hero’s Journey.

National Ballet of Canada principal character artists Stephanie Hutchison and Alejandra Perez-Gomez have retired. The company celebrated each of them onstage after their performances as Lady Capulet in Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet on June 23 and 25, respectively. Hutchison has also been appointed NBoC rehearsal director, effective at the start of the 2023–24 season.

Australian Ballet principal Adam Bull retired on June 24 after 21 years with the company. He gave his final performance in Alice Topp’s Paragon at the Melbourne State Theatre during the company’s Identity program.

On June 5, Boston Ballet soloist Addie Tapp announced her retirement from the stage, a day after her final performance with the company. Tapp graduated from Northeastern University in May as part of the BB/NU Bachelor’s Degree program.

After five seasons at Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Tatiana Melendez gave her last performance with the company on June 18 at Los Angeles’ Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. She will join Cincinnati Ballet’s corps de ballet.

A collage of two photos side-by-side. On the left, Andrea Yorita poses powerfully in a contorted attitude devant, her long hair flying as she stares down the camera. On the right, Simon Plant lifts Tatiana Melendez in an arched split; they are lit with dark colored lights.
(Left) Andrea Yorita. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy BalletX. (Right) Tatiana Melendez and Simon Plant in Dwight Rhoden’s WOKE. Photo by Steven Pisano, courtesy Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Semperoper Ballett’s Sangeun Lee and Gareth Haw will join English National Ballet for its 2023–24 season. Lee joins as a lead principal and Haw as a first soloist.

Charlotte Ballet has announced the retirements of company dancers Sarah Hayes Harkins, Sarah Lapointe, and Amelia Sturt-Dilley. Hayes Harkins departs after 15 seasons with the company, and Lapointe and Sturt-Dilley after eight.

Sarah Steele will retire from the stage after five seasons with The Washington Ballet. In an Instagram post, Steele shared that she will go on to continue her undergraduate studies at Harvard University.

Oregon Ballet Theatre soloist Christopher Kaiser took his final bow in the company’s Made in Portland performance on June 11. Kaiser will begin a master’s in dance at the University of Washington this fall.

OBT also welcomes San Francisco Ballet’s John-Paul Simoens as a soloist; Lauren Flower and Benjamin Simoens as company artists, and Ruby Mae Lefebvre as an apprentice to its 2023–24 roster.

Yasiel Hodelin Bello joins Birmingham Royal Ballet as a soloist; Olivia Chang Clarke joins as a company artist.

Adam Bull, shown hips-up, stands dramatically against a dark background and clutches a piece of white tulle to his chest.
Adam Bull. Photo by Kate Longley, courtesy The Australian Ballet.

After five years with The Sarasota Ballet, junior principal Richard House will join Semperoper Ballett for its 2023–24 season. 

Grand Rapids Ballet welcomes new dancers Isabella Salas and Rena Takahashi.

American Repertory Ballet bids farewell to company dancer Shaye Firer after 13 years with the organization.

Royal New Zealand Ballet celebrated company dancer Teagan Tank’s retirement following the company’s final performance of Andrea Schermoly’s world premiere Romeo & Juliet.

Smuin Ballet welcomes new artists Gabrielle Collins and Sarah Jordan for its 2023–24 season.

Nevada Ballet Theatre has welcomed Cameron Kesten, Zachary Kushubar, and Gabriel Ramirez to its main company; Madeline Diehl and Laura Rask join as apprentices.

Claire Glavin joins Indianapolis Ballet as a corps member.

Utah Metropolitan Ballet principal Jennifer Christie has retired after seven seasons with the company.

Awards and Recognitions

National Ballet of Canada principals Harrison James and Svetlana Lunkina are the 2022–23 recipients of the David Tory Award. Corps members Albjon Gjorllaku and Emma Ouellet have received this year’s Patron Award of Merit.

NBoC rehearsal director and principal coach Rex Harrington will be inducted into the Dance Collection Danse Hall of Fame on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at DCD’s annual Encore! Dance Hall of Fame event in Toronto.

Breanna Foad and Paige Bestington stand together onstage in front of the English National Ballet company, in full costume, as they each hold a bouquet of flowers and smile.
Breanna Foad and Paige Bestington. Photo by Photography by ASH, courtesy English National Ballet.

At English National Ballet, company artist Breanna Foad was named the winner of its 2023 Corps de Ballet Award; Paige Bestington received the People’s Choice Award.

Ballet Fantastique’s American Christmas Carol: A Ballet Movie has been nominated for a National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences Northwest Regional Emmy in Entertainment.