Jump to content

Royal Ballet Promotions, Joiners and Leavers, 2015/16


Recommended Posts

Hot off the press....or ROH website!

 

Many congratulations to all dancers who have been promoted;  welcome to those who are joining, and best of luck with future endeavours to all who are leaving.

 

Duck and SPD44 also posted this information up, but to avoid confusion I am starting a new thread for discussion.  What does everyone think?  No particular surprises for me, except maybe James Hay as First Soloist, and Matthew Ball only going to First Artist, especially when I see the others who are Soloists now.  Maybe Kevin wants to go easy on him!

 

 

Promotions, joiners and leavers at The Royal Ballet for 2015/16

Details of Company changes for the upcoming Season have been announced.

By Chris Shipman Content Producer (Social Media and News)

29 June 2015 at 3.31pm

 

17364514189_c297ff0f86_z.jpg
 

 

Promotions, joiners and leavers have been announced for the 2015/16 Season.

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, has made the following promotions for the forthcoming Season:

 

Francesca Hayward and James Hay have been promoted to First Soloists.

 

Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Luca Acri, Nicol Edmonds, and Marcelino Sambé are promoted to Soloists. Camille Bracher, Mayara Magri, Leticia Stock, Matthew Ball, Sander Blommaert, Tomas Mock and Donald Thom are promoted to First Artists.

 

Joining the Company at the start of the Season will be Chisato Katsura from The Royal Ballet School. Grace Blundell (formerly at The Royal Ballet School) and Ashley Scott (who formerly attended The English National Ballet School), both part of the 2014/15 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme, join the Company alongside 2015 Prix de Lausanne dancer David Yudes. All join as Artists.

 

The Royal Ballet welcomes five dancers to the Company for the 2015/16 Season as part of the Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme. The programme provides an opportunity for recently graduated dancers to receive a year’s contract to work alongside the corps de ballet of The Royal Ballet. In addition the dancers are offered mentoring and coaching and have the opportunity to perform with the Company. Next Season’s Aud Jebsen Young Dancers are Isabel Lubach, Julia Roscoe, Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Harry Churches and Leo Dixon, all from The Royal Ballet School. Julian MacKay joins the Company as Prix de Lausanne Dancer for the 2015/16 Season.

 

All remaining Aud Jebsen Young Dancers from the 2014/15 Season have been offered contracts as follows: Maria Barroso joins the National Ballet of Portugal, Grace Horler joins Scottish Ballet and Ashleigh McKimmie joins the Estonian National Ballet.

 

Charlotte Edmonds will join The Royal Ballet for the 2015/16 Season as the first choreographer to participate in the new Royal Ballet Young Choreographer Programme mentored by Kevin O’Hare and Wayne McGregor. The Young Choreographer Programme is a 12-month position for an emerging choreographer to shadow Royal Ballet and visiting choreographers and utilize the Company resources to create work. Eighteen-year-old Edmonds choreographed the short film The Indifferent Beak for The Royal Ballet as part of Deloitte Ignite 2014 and is currently studying for a BA at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. She trained at The Royal Ballet School and was a finalist in the Ninette de Valois Junior Choreographic competition for three consecutive years. She also won the Kenneth MacMillan Senior Choreographic Competition in 2011 and 2012.

 

First Soloist Deirdre Chapman retired from the Company mid-Season, with her final performance in Kim Brandstrup’s Ceremony of Innocence in November 2014. First Artists Pietra Mello-Pittman and Ludovic Ondiviela also left the Company mid-season.

 

First Artists Jacqueline Clark, Elsa Godard, Michael Stojko and Andrej Uspenski leave the Company at the end of this Season. For the 2015/16 Season Andrej Uspenski will be engaged as a photographer for The Royal Ballet and other departments across the Royal Opera House.

 

First Soloist Melissa Hamilton will take a sabbatical for the 2015/16 Season to spend the year as a principal dancer with the Semperoper Ballett in Dresden.

 

First Artist Leanne Cope continues her sabbatical for the 2015/16 Season playing Lise Dassin in the Tony Award-winning An American in Paris, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No real surprises here for me, though I didn't realise all those First Artists were leaving! I'd heard about Elsa Godard but that was it.

 

With a First Soloist permanent vacancy left by Deirdre Chapman I am not in the least surprised to see Francesca Hayward bumped up into that slot.  Can't be too much longer before she's considered for Principal, surely?

 

I thought they might promote Anna Rose O'Sullivan to First Artist, but perhaps that's one for next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is grand.  Congratulations to all on the promotion and joining front and best wishes to all those leaving.  

 

Hayward and Hay are so very deserving of their First Soloist situations.  I assume that Hay will take on much of the Cervera mantle in time to come.  

I am so pleased that O'Hare did not bring in another artist as a female principal as was sometimes muted hereabouts.  I'm confident that his next promotion to principal will be from the RB's ranks and I, for just one, believe that is as it should be.  Certainly it will celebrate the coming of age of his own philosophy.  

 

Also delighted that such talents as Katsura, Brændsrød, Churches and Dixon are joining the ranks in various guises.  The future I feel looks particularly bright.  

 

So pleased that Mr. Uspenski will be engaged as a ROH photographer.  He has a real gift which should be cherished.  

 

I see that Ms. Cope is understandably extending her period of leave vis a vis Wheeldon's Tony Award winning production of An American in Paris on Broadway.  I wonder is it unusual for an artist to have a two year sabbatical with the RB?  Does anyone know of another precedent?  I am so pleased for Ms. Cope as I'm confident that not only the critical but certainly the fiscal rewards from this undertaking will be significant in terms of the future for both herself and her family.  Perhaps the end of her second year's sabbatical will see the opening of a London AiP production, which would be grand as it would bring her home so to speak and still let her return to her RB position at the top of the following (2016/17) season freshly adorned with what I'm sure would be the British media's full support and a new audience's adoration.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also pleased to read of the RB Young Choreographer Programme, and with our perpetual gripes about lack of opportunity being afforded to female choreographers, am particularly encouraged that they have selected a woman for the inaugural year of the scheme.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pleased that all the Aud Jebsen dancers have secured contracts, two with the RB. It's good to see so many new graduates and graduates of the two UK based post-graduate programmes get jobs in these tough times.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In case you haven't seen it, Ruth, here is an excellent interview with Charlotte from ToThePointe online blog, which also has a film of Charlotte choreographing on a fellow Rambert student.  In the interview, she talks about how much she is looking forward to the coming year at the RB.

 

http://tothepointemagazine.wix.com/tothepointemagazine#!ToThePointe-Meets-Charlotte-Edmonds/cmbz/5568460a0cf2adc1ad66a5f8

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Delighted for all those promoted particularly Meaghan, Luca, Nicol and Marcelino on being made Soloists. Great news that Chisato Katsura has joined from the School, I saw her last year at the summer performances and she is outstanding and will be a great asset. Big shout for Francesca, I love that girl and if we look after her she will be a huge star. Well done everyone.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First and foremost my congratulations go out to all the dancers who have worked very hard throughout the Season, and to some dancers in particular who have given us wonderful performances this year! Congratulations to those who received a promotion.

 

A bit surprised Ball wasn't bumped up to Soloist but it is indeed wise not to rush him. He is gorgeous and full of great potential. Delighted no outsider was taken on as a new Principal, leaving space for future Principals to come through the RB ranks.

 

No surprises for me this Season.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No real surprises I think!

Though I think Matthew Ball being promoted to First Artist and not Soloist reflects that he has only done 1 full complete season with the company, as didn't he join midway through the 2013/2014 season?

I am surprised that Tierney Heap has not been promoted to First Artist considering that she has done Lilac Fairy, Queen of the Willis and is down to do Carmen next season. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though I think Matthew Ball being promoted to First Artist and not Soloist reflects that he has only done 1 full complete season with the company, as didn't he join midway through the 2013/2014 season?

 

 

He was unable to dance for much of his first season as he was recovering from surgery undertaken at the end of his time at the school, but I believe he was a member of the company throughout the season.  I find the fact that he didn't move to Soloist disappointing.  He has been dancing principal roles (in Onegin and this last weekend in Infra) and will be dancing Romeo in the autumn.  The First Artist rank doesn't really seem to me to be appropriate.  Sambe and Acri are from the same class year at the school and while they have been dancing a lot they are not dancing principal roles (I am not suggesting they don't deserve their promotions; just that Ball deserves that rank at least as much as they do).  I am not sure the higher rank would put extra pressure on Ball, as was suggested above.  It is the roles that do that and he is getting them; it just denies him some well deserved status and additional compensation (which at junior dancer salary level makes a big difference).

Edited by barton22
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Delighted no outsider was taken on as a new Principal, leaving space for future Principals to come through the RB ranks.

 

 

I agree.  This was a relief.  If O'Hare can use non-principals like Hayward, Kaneko, Naghdi, Takada and Ball in principal roles and bring them on, the fact he may be a little short on actual principals shouldn't matter and will help reduce the chance that up and coming dancers get blocked by the ranks above being over full and there being no money to pay more dancers the higher salaries that attach to those ranks.  He needs to find some more potential principal men in the lower ranks.  Right now it is hard to see any other than Ball (there are some other good dancers, but not necessarily potential principals).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very pleased for all the promotees and very happy that many of my wishes have come true :) .

 

However, even though I agree with what is being said about Matthew Ball and would have loved to have seen him made a soloist this year, I am slightly concerned lest we end up taking the edge off what will undoubtedly have been his delight at promotion to First Artist.  Actually, it's great to think that people on this forum see him as a star in the making and are ambitious for him. That doesn't happen very often and is therefore rather special  :) .

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He was unable to dance for much of his first season as he was recovering from surgery undertaken at the end of his time at the school, but I believe he was a member of the company throughout the season.  I find the fact that he didn't move to Soloist disappointing.  He has been dancing principal roles (in Onegin and this last weekend in Infra) and will be dancing Romeo in the autumn.  The First Artist rank doesn't really seem to me to be appropriate.  Sambe and Acri are from the same class year at the school and while they have been dancing a lot they are not dancing principal roles (I am not suggesting they don't deserve their promotions; just that Ball deserves that rank at least as much as they do).  I am not sure the higher rank would put extra pressure on Ball, as was suggested above.  It is the roles that do that and he is getting them; it just denies him some well deserved status and additional compensation (which at junior dancer salary level makes a big difference).

 

Barton22, I, myself, think that K. O'Hare is not only marking this provision but making definite strides in that direction.  Reece Clarke I thought showed promise in this regard in his partnering in Symphonic Variations prior to his injury (and he was - at that point - first year intake) and there are several men in the new crop for next season - several of whom I have referenced in my posting No. 5 above - who may well - in time - fit this particular bill I think.  Time will tell.  It always does.  I agree with you that the need is definitely there.  

 

Grateful for a response - if anyone knows - vis a vis the precedent question in the last paragraph of posting number 5 above.  I'd be most appreciative for your kind reply.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that congratulations are in order for all those who have been promoted.I am sure that some of those who were not promoted this year will be recognised and rewarded in due course.There is a whole season ahead of us. The Casting for the Winter and Spring seasons will give a clearer indication of who is likely to move up a rank at the end of the season.

 

Apart from Naghdi and Ball,Reece Clarke is certainly someone to watch. He did extremely well in Symphonic Variations taking the Michael Somes role. His Jean de Brienne at the main stage RBS matinee last year was very impressive. He is tall has a good technique and stage presence.Here are a couple of names to conjure with Anne Rose O'Sullivan and Tierney Heap who are both dancers to watch.

 

O'Hare knows that he is likely to have two Principal posts to fill in the next couple of years and it seems that he is going to play the long game as far as promotions to that level are concerned. If he has any sense he will not rush to fill vacancies.The longer he leaves it the greater the pool of talent will be from which he can choose. I am sure that he knows the effect that a couple of really well deserved internal promotions will have on the whole company.

 

They say that great dancers are born but good dancers are taught by good teachers.I have no doubt that the fact that recent recruits from the RBS have been very impressive has a great deal to do with Gailene Stock's directorship of the school. We just have to hope that the currnet dirctor does not let standards slip.

Edited by FLOSS
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Reece Clarke I thought showed promise in this regard in his partnering in Symphonic Variations prior to his injury (and he was - at that point - first year intake) 

 

If I recall correctly, Reece Clarke joined the RB in autumn 2013 at the beginning of what would have been his third year at the RBS. Therefore, when he essayed the lead man in Symphonic Variations, he was in his second year in the Company.

 

But has he been on stage much since those promising performances? Perhaps he has been injured for I, at least, haven't spotted him

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so pleased that O'Hare did not bring in another artist as a female principal as was sometimes muted hereabouts.  I'm confident that his next promotion to principal will be from the RB's ranks and I, for just one, believe that is as it should be.  Certainly it will celebrate the coming of age of his own philosophy.  

 

I did wonder whether Iana Salenko would at least be given a formalised status as Principal Guest Artist with a one-year contract, or something, much like what Melissa Hamilton is off to Dresden for.  Which wouldn't have affected anybody's future promotion prospects, and would have perhaps given her more of an integrated standing with the company in the eyes of the audience...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the decision not to promote Ball to soloist is odd given the other appointments to that position. However, I'm often surprised by promotions and rankings in companies; there are some dancers who dance a lot of soloist and principal roles and yet languish in the lower ranks for ages and others who occupy soloist or even first soloist positions but aren't very visible in larger roles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

....... there are some dancers who dance a lot of soloist and principal roles and yet languish in the lower ranks for ages and others who occupy soloist or even first soloist positions but aren't very visible in larger roles.

 

 

I too find the situation puzzling in more than one company where dancers seem to be occupying the upper echelons without taking on any leading (or even named) roles. One can only assume that a (previous?) Director saw much promise in them at some stage which hasn't quite been fulfilled. Yet, at the same time, I am pleased when artists are promoted from within the ranks rather than seeing other dancers 'bought in' at the higher levels - so I suppose that we can't have it both ways.

 

But there surely has to be a limit to how often First Artists/Artists can be used as 'Principals' before the thrill of being cast in that way begins to wear off.

 

In these respects, the promotions/joiners/leavers announcement which is currently missing from yesterday's 'set' could be especially 'interesting'!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did wonder whether Iana Salenko would at least be given a formalised status as Principal Guest Artist with a one-year contract, or something, much like what Melissa Hamilton is off to Dresden for.  Which wouldn't have affected anybody's future promotion prospects, and would have perhaps given her more of an integrated standing with the company in the eyes of the audience...

 

Ruth, next season I assume Carlos Acosta - in his last year - will hold his current post of RB Principal Guest Artist - one originally created by Anthony Dowell for Guillem and based on a 25 performance annual term.  Thus I assume no one other individual or group will be afforded in that specific aspect.  

 

That said, I very much hope the RB does away with the sole Principal Guest Artist position as it now exists in favour of allowing that money - and that money only - to support a range of guest artists who might fulfil specific needs when and as required and to focus on bringing in a range of individuals who have internationally renown specialist gifts within a range of varied balletic areas for very limited periods of time.  In this way Ms. Salenko's performance could be held as but one contribution to this specific budgetary item and leave the remainder of the monies as now designated to the development/support of home artists.  .  

Edited by Bruce Wall
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm all for guesting seeing as it gives us the opportunity to experience dancers from all over the world, however, Salenko has been given a lot to do next season. This would be a bit more understandable if she had been given a title with the RB but she hasn't been mentioned in the Promotions. I find it a shame that Principals like Marquez or Morera, who are so often under used, miss out on opportunities and performances while a guest is given much more to do. I absolutely loved Salenko's Odette/Odile and my issue isn't aimed directly at her, but, I think I would prefer to see Morera have a go at Juliet rather than Salenko, who will be dancing the role with  McRae.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume the reason we see more of Salenko (instead of Marquez or Morera) is because McRae insists on having Salenko as his partner.

 

I'm just wondering reading this, Nina, if you know this for a definitive fact, i.e., that 'McRae insists'.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill, Nina is not saying that it is a proven fact, she is saying that she 'assumes' it is, which is very different!  And I don't think that this assumption is out of order in any way;  to bring in a guest dancer to perform roles when there are others in the company who can dance them very well would seem to indicate the dance partner's choice or request. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...