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News: Royal Ballet Promotions 2018/19

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The Royal Ballet announces promotions for 2018/19 Season

Matthew Ball is promoted to Principal dancer, the highest rank in the Company.

 

BY MEL SPENCER (SENIOR EDITOR (SOCIAL MEDIA))

13 JULY 2018 AT 7.30AM 

 

The Royal Ballet has announced promotions for the 2018/19 season.

Matthew Ball been promoted to Principal dancer, the highest rank in the Company.

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, comments: ‘I’m delighted that Matthew Ball will be a Principal dancer from the start of the 2018/19 Season. He has had a tremendous year with some very exciting debuts in both classical and contemporary ballets across the repertory as well as creating roles in the new works. It is wonderful that Matthew has achieved so much since he joined the company from the Royal Ballet School and I eagerly look forward to watching this next chapter of his career.’

Born in Liverpool, Matthew Ball joined the Company in 2013 after training at The Royal Ballet School. His repertory with the Company includes Albrecht (Giselle), The Prince (The Nutcracker), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Armand (Marguerite and Armand), Lensky (Onegin) and Romeo (Romeo and Juliet). His contemporary work includes Obsidian TearWoolf Works and Yugen by Wayne McGregor, Corybantic Games by Christopher Wheeldon and Symphonic Dances by Liam Scarlett.

Matthew’s first major role as a Principal will be in La Bayadère as Solor. He will feature in Alastair Marriott’s new work, The Unknown Soldier, which premieres on Tuesday 20 November and commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War. In December, he will perform with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures at Sadler’s Wells, dancing the role of The Swan in Swan Lake.

Kevin O’Hare has also made the following promotions within the Company:

William BracewellTierney HeapFumi Kaneko, and Mayara Magri are promoted to First Soloist.

Calvin Richardson has been promoted to Soloist. Téo Dubreuil and Joseph Sissens are promoted to First Artist.

Stanisław Węgrzyn, who was Prix de Lausanne dancer for the 2017/18 Season, becomes an Artist.

Sae MaedaNadia Mullova-BarleyJoonhyuk Jun, Joshua Junker and Aiden O’Brienalso become Artists, after joining the Company at the start of the last Season as Aud Jebsen Young Dancers, a programme which provides recently graduated dancers a year’s contract to work and perform alongside the corps de ballet of The Royal Ballet whilst receiving mentoring and coaching.

Details of leavers and joiners will be announced in due course.

 
 

 

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...I’m a little surprised that Reece Clark didn’t get promoted but as long as he keeps getting the roles, I’m happy!

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Copied from the earlier thread:

 

2 hours ago, Odyssey said:

Interesting timing. I wonder if they had to bring it forward because of earlier leak.

Congratulations to Matthew and the other promotions. Looks like some predictions here were pretty spot on!

 

2 hours ago, Richard LH said:

Many congratulations to all -- so pleased for Bracewell in particular. All well deserved, I am sure, but certainly so for Heap and Magri...

 

2 hours ago, bridiem said:

Delighted with all of these. And I'm sure there are others on the cusp of promotion so there must have been some difficult decisions for KOH to make.

 

2 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

Congratulations to those dancers who received a promotion. All listed were predicted so no surprises there for me.

I didn't think of Teo Dubreuil but after four years as an Artist and two years at the ENB he too deserved his promotion to First Artist.

Six new corps de ballet members.

 

Really surprised Reece Clark did not get a promotion, he's such a gorgeous dancer.

Isabella Gasparina, whom I felt deserved promotion to Soloist, remains in the corps de ballet as First Artist.

 

Congrats to Matthew Ball on his promotion to Principal. He is still very young indeed, as Mr O'Hare said in The Times, but he has 

great potential and so many of us love his partnership with Naghdi.

 

Thank you to ALL the dancers who worked so hard throughout the Season and gave us so much pleasure. 

 

Wishing all the dancers a successful tour to Madrid!

 

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44 minutes ago, SusanR said:

So happy for Matthew. He is outstanding. Congratulations to the other dancers too. I'm also disappointed that Reece Clarke didn't get a promotion. Next year hopefully.

 

43 minutes ago, capybara said:

I'm thrilled to see this list. Huge congratulations to all. 

 

It does look as if it is a bit of a 'rush job' with the leavers and joiners yet to be announced. There must be quite a few leavers as there are already six joiners. Interesting.

 

(And, PS, I predicted Dubreuil as well as the others  except that I didn't have Heap down for promotion this year!)

 

 

29 minutes ago, AlisonS35 said:

Brilliant news for all involved, esp Ball. His artistry just shone this season i believe. And very pleased to see Heap and Magri rising. Just a bit disappointed not to see Clarke. Next year I’m sure. All those involved must feel in top of the world. And rightly so, after so much hard work. Congratulations!

 

 

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No real surprises there, except perhaps, as some have mentioned, Clarke not getting a promotion, but I guess there's a limit to the number of people you can promote to First Soloist.  Next year, I trust.  I forebore from mentioning it at the time, because I didn't want to inflame the situation, but if the Romeo and Juliet  posters are indeed an accurate reflection of who would be dancing the live relay, there was no way the RB was going to cast a First Soloist in one of the leads, so I assumed Ball's promotion was a given.

 

Congratulations to all the promotees, anyway.

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So happy for Mayara Magri, Tierney Heap, and Fumi Kaneno!! Well, all of them really! I would have been surprised if Matthew Ball had not been promoted to principal!

 

I was also pleased to see that Nadia Mullova- Barley, the student from the BBC "Dancing the Nutcracker" documentary, has now joined the company following her apprenticeship. I find it so enjoyable to follow their career progression.

Edited by Rachelm
Grammar/spelling
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33 minutes ago, Rachelm said:

I was also pleased to see that Nadia Mullova- Barley, the student from the BBC "Dancing the Nutcracker" documentary, has now joined the company following her apprenticeship. I find it so enjoyable to follow their career progression.

Yes I saw  her in that documentary too, going through  some rehearsal nightmares, and I wondered  how she would get on. I have spotted  her in several performances since - it helps that she is pretty tall! (see photo) Well done for her, she seems a lovely person.  

© The Royal Ballet School/Katie Davison    Cuthbertson-and-Mullova-Barley.jpg.fbaf0e0a41f13ffaa0adf97b7e127a0c.jpg

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I have been watching Sae Maeda (another Aud Jebsen who now has a full contract). She is really lovely and, I think, she has served as Takada's double.

Some of us will have seen the RB take class on stage when Joonhuk Jun showed that he can pretty much outspin and outleap everyone.

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...and with Corrales also joining the First Soloist rank the RB is now filled with world class dancers. The RB is already one of THE most exciting companies in the world to watch, just imagine when all the current young Principals (some First Soloists and a few dancers further down the ranks) will have come to full maturity!

 

Congratulations to Mr O'Hare for nurturing his most talented dancers out of the corps de ballet into the highest rank of the Company.

Credit too to the former Director of the RBS, the late Gailene Stock, who equally nurtured this current generation of outstanding dancers.

 

 

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Congrats to all promotees! A shame Anna Rose O'Sullivan didn't get one this year but as many people have said, difficult decisions with so many talented dancers. 

Am I right that Amelia Palmiero is the only Aud Jebsen apprentice not taken on? My heart always bleeds for them when that happens even though I've no doubt they all know there is no guarantee. I hope she has somewhere good to go to. 

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

Yes I saw  her in that documentary too, going through  some rehearsal nightmares, and I wondered  how she would get on. I have spotted  her in several performances since - it helps that she is pretty tall! (see photo) Well done for her, she seems a lovely person.  

© The Royal Ballet School/Katie Davison    Cuthbertson-and-Mullova-Barley.jpg.fbaf0e0a41f13ffaa0adf97b7e127a0c.jpg

With such illustrious parents, I guess there was always the chance she'd be something special.  I remember sitting in the choir seats at Bridgewater Hall a few years back and watching her Mum play Shostakovich No. 1 - I've rarely seen anybody inhabit the music quite as much as she did that night.  Let's hope the daughter reaches the same heights.

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32 minutes ago, newballetfan said:

Congrats to all promotees! A shame Anna Rose O'Sullivan didn't get one this year but as many people have said, difficult decisions with so many talented dancers. 

 

 

Anna Rose O'Sullivan was only just promoted to Soloist last Season. Rushing dancers in their career is often detrimental to their progress. Talent needs time to develop. 

Edited by Xandra Newman

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23 minutes ago, ChrisG said:

With such illustrious parents, I guess there was always the chance she'd be something special.

 

I didn't make the connection with the name.  Who's her father, then?

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25 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

Anna Rose O'Sullivan was only just promoted to Soloist last Season

...and was also promoted the preceding season...plenty of time for her, surely, at 24.

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I too was impressed with the speed - it's good the website is consistent.

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I remember last year they waited until the dancers had returned from their end-of-Season break and the new Season was about to start.

The Royal Ballet announced promotions for the 2018/19 Season and to add the dancers to their new rank when the new Season hasn't even started is misleading.

Edited by Xandra Newman
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10 female first soloists and only 4 male  first soloists. Very disappointed that Clarke has not been promoted. I personally would’ve promoted him above Heap but I’m aware that I am only a layperson here and do not have KOH’s insight or outlook!

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Great news regarding M Ball - well deserved.  Congratulations to the Aud Jebson dancers that have gained Artist contracts too - there seem to be quite a few very talented apprentices being taken on for the next season and not just from the RBS, as also joining will be David Lorrichio (Italian graduate from the Vaganova School) and Lania Atkins (Australian graduate from the Dutch National Academy) - looking forward to watching their future careers! 

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30 minutes ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

10 female first soloists and only 4 male  first soloists. Very disappointed that Clarke has not been promoted. I personally would’ve promoted him above Heap but I’m aware that I am only a layperson here and do not have KOH’s insight or outlook!

 I entirely agree! Very disappointed too 

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With Cesar Corrales joining the male First Soloist rank as well as William Bracewell I guess it was a bit too much to add Reece Clarke to the First Soloist rank :( . He is a dancer I always enjoy watching but the AD knows his dancers best of all and therefore he must have judged that Clarke was not quite ready yet to join that rank...

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I'm so happy for Matthew!!!! And Mayara Magri and Fumi Kanenko's promotions are also thoroughly well deserved. I'm glad no one needs to chain themselves to Kevin O'Hare's desk and everything went pretty much as predicted. I'm guessing Reece Clarke may see a promotion next year but we'all have to wait and see. 

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I seem to recall that the company announced the promotions before they set off for their Japanese Tour in 2016 so it's not completely unknown for this information to be given pre-tour rather than after the season has ended.

 

As far as promotions in future seasons are concerned it really  does depend on when senior dancers decide to retire  and the over all size of the company's salary budget. As the RB has no fixed retirement age it makes succession planning somewhat more speculative than say at the POB where they retire at the age of forty two. Clarke has added quite a few major roles to his repertoire during the course of this season but presumably not quite enough core repertory pieces to make him as useful as Bracewell obviously is. I have no doubt that Clarke will add Romeo this season and might get a crack at the Creature in Frankenstein as well. But he might have to wait until he has added Siegfried to his repertoire before he moves to First Soloist and that won't happen until the 2019-20 season at the earliest.

 

Promotion to the rank of Principal and First Soloist generally depends on vacancies occurring due to retirement and departures rather than the creation of new positions at those levels in the company. There are a handful of senior dancers in their mid to late thirties and early forties whose departure will create vacancies but there are not going to be places for everyone who aspires to be in the senior ranks of the company. This was why Kevin spoke  about hoping to keep his dancers happy and occupied with interesting repertory to dance as a way of keeping them in the company. Some dancers , perhaps James Hay is one of them, may have to be content with being a First Soloist for the rest of their careers. Sometimes the level of seniority a dancer is able to attain within a company's hierarchy has as much to do with how close they are in age to more senior dancers in the company as it has to do with their technical abilities; their artistry and how useful they are likely to be to the company as a whole. Hay is unfortunate because the company already has two short male principal dancers who need their partners to be carefully selected for them and his need for a petite female partner may prevent him progressing any further. Clarke on the other hand may have to wait for a bit, but even without his obvious talent, his height alone makes him an exceptionally useful  dancer as a partner for the taller girls in the company, some of whom are likely to make it to the top in future years.

Edited by FLOSS
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Meaghan Grace Hinkis' instagram account showing her with Leticia Stock and comments sounding like one of them is leaving. 

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14 minutes ago, FLOSS said:

I seem to recall that the company announced the promotions before they set off for their Japanese Tour in 2016 so it's not completely unknown for this information to be given pre-tour rather than after the season has ended.

 

 

 

That's because Salenko cancelled her performance with McRae in Japan and therefore the promotions to principal had to be hastily announced as Hayward was replacing Salenko. Last year it was announced after the Australia tour. 

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3 hours ago, alison said:

 

I didn't make the connection with the name.  Who's her father, then?

 

3 hours ago, Tony Newcombe said:

Mathew Barley, cellist

 

For clarity (and IMO more to the point), her mother is Viktoria Mullova.

Edited by Lizbie1
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