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Jan McNulty

Press Release: Birmingham Royal Ballet - Promotions, Joiners, Leavers

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End of season announcements 2016/2017

At the end of the 2016/2017 season, Birmingham Royal Ballet is able to announce the following:
 
Tzu-Chao Chou is promoted from First Soloist to Principal.
Delia Mathews is promoted from First Soloist to Principal.
 
Arancha Baselga is promoted from Soloist to First Soloist.
Yasuo Atsuji is promoted from Soloist to First Soloist.
 
Miki Mizutani is promoted from First Artist to Soloist.
 
Laura Day is promoted from Artist to First Artist.
Alys Shee is promoted from Artist to First Artist.
 
The following dancers join the company:
 
Elisabetta Formento will join as an Artist from Estonian National Ballet.
Lynsey Sutherland will join as an Artist from Polish National Ballet.
Haoliang Feng, graduate of the Royal Ballet School, will join as an Artist.
Augustus Payne, graduate of the Royal Ballet School, will join as an Artist.
Harry Wright, graduate of the Royal Ballet School, will join as an Artist.
Brogan McKelvey, graduate of Elmhurst Ballet School, will join as an Artist.
Hamish Scott, graduate of Elmhurst Ballet School, will join as an Artist.
Claudia Nicholson, graduate of Royal Ballet School, will join as an Apprentice.
Jade Wallace, graduate of Elmhurst Ballet School, will join as an Apprentice.
 
The following dancers leave the company:
 
After a wonderful twelve year career with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Principal dancer Joseph Caley will be leaving the Company to join English National Ballet as a principal.
 
Principal Jamie Bond leaves Birmingham Royal Ballet after fourteen years. Jamie is retiring from ballet to pursue a career in performance enhancement training for professional athletes.
 
First Artist Lewis Turner leaves Birmingham Royal Ballet after seven years to join Staatsballett Berlin in the corps de ballet.  
 
Artist Alexander Bird also joins Staatsballett Berlin in the corps de ballet after dancing with the Company for three years.
 
Artist Emily Smith leaves Birmingham Royal Ballet after six years to pursue performance opportunities elsewhere. 
 
Artist Johanne Monfret leaves Birmingham Royal Ballet after completing a year-long apprenticeship.
 
As previously announced, William Bracewell leaves Birmingham Royal Ballet after seven years. William is joining the Royal Ballet as a Soloist.  
 

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Huge congrats to Delia and Tzu-Chao very well deserved promotion to principals. Congrats to everyone else as well. 

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Many congratulations to all who have been promoted.  However, I am surprised and disappointed that Brandon Lawrence has been passed over and remains a soloist.  IMHO he should now be a First Soloist, no question.  I hope his partnership with Delia will be allowed to continue.   

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Congratulations to all the promotees.  I'm especially thrilled for Delia & Arancha.

 

Sim, I would have put Brandon straight up to principal!

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Me too Jan, but being realistic he should have definitely gone up one rank.  This has really annoyed me!

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May I join the chorus of disappointment about Brandon.Can we now keep him ? Also, a fear that Jenna may leave to join her husband to be in London. Otherwise happy about promotions and pleased to see Hsmish joining the company. Saw him in Five Tangoes at Shrewsbury and it was a seamless performance. He reminds me of Robert Parker. His hero apparently. Now there's a surprise !

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I understand that both Chi Cao and Cesar Morales are approaching 40 so we may have a buses like situation when we lose 2 more male principals in the next couple of years.  We really do need to hang on to Brandon as he will be sorely missed if we lose him.

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39 minutes ago, George C said:

 Also, a fear that Jenna may leave to join her husband to be in London. 

 

You're speaking in code as far as I'm concerned, George C.

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I'm in agreement regarding Brandon Lawrence, really surprised he was not on the promotion list, what were/are they thinking? We need him and Delia together!! 

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8 hours ago, Tony Newcombe said:

With the departure of Caley, Bond and Bracewell, I'm sure he will be dancing many Principal roles next year

 

If that is truly the case ... all the more reason to make the extraordinary Mr. Lawrence a principal.  He is, unquestionably in my book, a prince among dancers.  

 

How much more did/does he have to do to prove himself I wonder?  Some might suggest in the recent past he has - almost woefully in some instances - been underused at BRB.  

 

For me, his performance in The Moor's Pavane was truly masterful ... and Wink wrought a thrilling mastery of the art form; one displaying a unique voice.  He and Delia Mathews are a thrilling partnership.  

 

I pray he is cherished ... If not he would be doing himself and this country's balletic arts a disservice if he stayed at BRB.  As Bruce suggested in the glorious DanceTabs this young man is WORLD CLASS in his potential ... No question.   Such does not ... and never has ... nor ever will ... grow on Trees.

 

Edited by Bruce Wall

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7 hours ago, Kat09 said:

Congratulations to the joiners from Elmhurst :)

I agree, it is great to see some graduates from our vocational schools taken into companies in the UK, it doesn't happen often enough.

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9 hours ago, Tony Newcombe said:

With the departure of Caley, Bond and Bracewell, I'm sure he will be dancing many Principal roles next year

This may be so, Tony, but he has already danced several Principal roles which to me means he has earned at least First Soloist status.  For me, the only way that this glaring oversight can be fairly rectified would be to promote Brandon straight to Principal at the end of next season, especially if he dances more Principal roles during the season.  

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I too hope that Brandon Lawrence continues to develop and to prosper in terms of rank. BRB's upper male echelons are looking a bit empty without him.

 

I am surprised that neither Yaoquin Shang nor Lachlan Monaghan have been promoted but I have to confess that I am not as well acquainted with the world of BRB as I am with the RB and ENB.

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Brandon, Lachlan and Yaoqian (who skipped a rank and went straight to soloist) were all promoted last year.  Hopefully they will all be promoted next year too.

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I think the company is making a huge miscalculation wrt Brandon Lawrence. All dancers are on different trajectories and sometimes talent comes along that needs accelerating through big time. Significant dancers are leaving Birmingham in search of both better rep and access to modern/talented choreographers and while Brandon might get more roles within the limited confines of Bintley's approach to ballet, not to show him how much he is appreciated by the company is just bonkers. I conclude that the company isn't too worried about seeing him go.

 

I had a lot of respect for Wayne Eagling's decision to back Vadim Muntagirov from fresh out of school. And ENB and their fans did well out it - as did Vadim. But there came a time when his talent was such that to reach his full potential he needed to move on. There is a natural assumption that you bash on the Royal Ballet door, but it's a much bigger ballet world and there are fabulous companies in Europe and the USA. Just look at SFB's approach to new work/rep and the choreographers it works with - and weep. There are lots of options for incredible talent.

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I agree, Bruce, and am flabbergasted that someone who is the AD of a world-class company is making such a big artistic mistake.

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Awesome for the upper school grads! The apprentice scheme seems to be a thing that more and more companies are doing. I'm sure there are good reasons but it seems hard on those involved- of course it's fantastic to be taken on in any guise but I can imagine that if it were me I'd feel a little like asking what my peers with full contracts have that I don't. But then I also work in an industry full of temporary contracts and I am jaded by it! I wonder what Johanne Monfret will do next. 

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I suspect most companies have had apprentices in the past but they have just not been listed as such.  

 

Just thinking off the top of my head, perhaps the companies want to give people a chance but there are not enough full posts?

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I believe that there are companies where dancers are taken on 'on probation' for a few months at a time and need to prove themselves before they are given a full contract.

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