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RB 2013 Promotion


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I heard that some RB dancers have been promoted recently.

However I can not find any news about this year's promotion.
Has anyone heard about the promotion news?

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I remember asking one of the dancers last year and I was told the promotion "process" is private and starts 2 or 3 weeks before the dancers leave on Tour. Promotions are not announced to the public until all the dancers have had their annual meeting with the Director.

I think an official announcement by ROH/RB is usually made when the Company is back from the annual Tour.

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it must be a very difficult time for the dancers I think. Having worked hard throughout the Season, there must be dancers hoping & praying for promotion. Some will get it, others won't and it must be so hard for those who didn't :(

At the end of the Season they must all be near to collapsing yet they still have to go on Tour, combined with their feelings of disappointment (some). I am so glad I am not a dancer but happy I enjoy watching these most amazing people!  

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Is there only one promotion opportunity a year? So if you don't get promoted now, you have to wait a whole year to try again? How odd if so. Imagine if it was like that in normal business.

 

It was exactly the same in the MOD until some years ago.  There was an annual round of promotion boards and that was it.  In fallow years the boards may not have been held.

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Is there only one promotion opportunity a year? So if you don't get promoted now, you have to wait a whole year to try again? How odd if so. Imagine if it was like that in normal business.

Yes, only one change per year to get a promotion! If not, it's waiting again and working hard again in the hope of a promotion by the end of the following Season. Imagine this to be the case in the Private sector!

Promotion of Ballet dancers is at the sole discretion of the Director, whether one has worked their socks off (pointe shoes off) or not. 

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Is there only one promotion opportunity a year? So if you don't get promoted now, you have to wait a whole year to try again? How odd if so. Imagine if it was like that in normal business.

 

Well, not entirely.  There have been cases where dancers have been promoted to Principal partway through the season - and some instances where I'd expected it, only to find they got promoted at the end of the season like everyone else.  Some dancers have had their promotion announced late-season, but with the condition that it doesn't take effect until the beginning of the next season.

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Is there only one promotion opportunity a year? So if you don't get promoted now, you have to wait a whole year to try again? How odd if so. Imagine if it was like that in normal business.

If I understand correctly, at Paris Opera Ballet they have an annual competition/exam (called the concours I think?) where everyone at a lower rank than principal can compete by performing two variations. Promotions are then decided from these performances. I assume the director may have their pre-favourites but all decisions are meant to be from those performances. The principals (etoiles) are chosen and promoted outside of the concours, and can happen at any moment (generally after a big performance). 

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Well, not entirely.  There have been cases where dancers have been promoted to Principal partway through the season - and some instances where I'd expected it, only to find they got promoted at the end of the season like everyone else.  Some dancers have had their promotion announced late-season, but with the condition that it doesn't take effect until the beginning of the next season.

Alison, I am interested to know which cases. Which dancers were promoted halfway through the Season?

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If I understand correctly, at Paris Opera Ballet they have an annual competition/exam (called the concours I think?) where everyone at a lower rank than principal can compete by performing two variations. Promotions are then decided from these performances. I assume the director may have their pre-favourites but all decisions are meant to be from those performances. The principals (etoiles) are chosen and promoted outside of the concours, and can happen at any moment (generally after a big performance). 

I think this is a very good system.

 

I am under the impression that at RB a dancer's promotion is solely based on the roles they were given/cast in by the Director during the Season (and what if a dancer hasn't had an opportunity to dance anything else but Swan Lake Corps roles or any other standard Corps/Soloist role...). If a dancer can choose their own two Variations it'll enable them to show a different side/aspect of their artistry, showing their potential in more demanding roles - roles they normally would not/never be cast in by a Director. It gives them an opportunity to show they can (or cannot) dance other roles besides the standard Corps/Soloist roles.

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Alison, I am interested to know which cases. Which dancers were promoted halfway through the Season?

 

Well, Cojocaru, for one.  Plus I have a feeling - although I could be wrong, it's a long time ago - that Stuart Cassidy (and I think Errol Pickford with him?) were others.  Certainly my memory of seeing the announcement in The Times feels as though it was winter/spring time.  Wildor, Watson, Cuthbertson and Pennefather are among those who were promoted onstage after a performance, all during the late spring/summer period, but none of those promotions actually took effect until the beginning of the following season.

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balletnews.co.uk normally puts a list of promotions up as soon as they become available. Hasn't Kevin O'Hare already said he thinks there were too many principals so there may not be as many promotions as we'd like but I can think of at least one dancer who deserves a principal promotion and a couple who deserve promotions lower down.

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Well that's pretty much the same in business too, when times are hard it's slim pickings. 

 

On my wish list for promotions amongst all ranks are Melissa Hamilton, Alexander Campbell, Davvid Tresensimeich and Valentino Zucchetti - I am most familiar with them - but from reading others' comments I dare say Hikaru K, Yuhi C and Hirano are also up there.

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I am going to stick out my neck here. Although I think there will be promotions in the lower ranks, I am not convinced that there will be at principal level. Kevin O'Hare has made it clear he felt the were too many principals and I don't think there is anybody who absolutely justifies promotion at that level. I know that Yuhui Choe has her devoted fans and I always enjoy seeing her. However, her career seems to have stalled a little of late. Takada has been cast in Beauty and Swan Lake ahead of her (admittedly, injury prevented either performance happening), Kobayashi has been cast in Beauty ahead of her and danced Nikiya when injury intervened despite Choe having danced the role before (I appreciate she danced several Gamzattis) and Kaneko has been cast ahead of her as Kitri. Her casting as Stephanie, originally a principal role but now seemingly much more often a junior soloist role, suggests that management doesn't necessarily see her at a higher level than she has now achieved.

 

I think Alexander Campbell is a wonderfully engaging artist and his technical brilliance as First Officer in Mayerling was dazzling. I am thrilled he will dance Basilio but his relatively compact stature will always be contentious at principal level and despite the examples of Kobborg and, more particularly, McRae, I don't think it will happen just yet, although I can see that there is a gap, particularly with Edward Watson not dancing some of the core classical roles.

 

Looking at the other First Soloists, Valeri Hristov and Ryoichi Hirano have danced the occasional principal role but don't seem consistent principal material, Hikaru Kobayashi has smiling grace but, for me, lacks principal authority and glamour, and Itziar Mendizabal always impresses me hugely but I don't see at a higher level either.

 

So, my tips would be:-

 

Melissa Hamilton to First Soloist

Fumi Kaneko to First Soloist

James Hay to First Soloist

David Trzensimiech to First Soloist

 

Olivia Cowley to Soloist (just possibly)

Meaghan Grace Hinkis to Soloist

 

Claudia Dean to First Artist

Tristan Dyer to First Artist

Francesca Hayward to First Artist

 

I don't think there is room for much more promotion, and, sadly, consistent injuries to Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Akane Takada mean that they've not been seen enough to justify anything more for now.

 

That's eight promotions with four principals, one soloist and one First Artist going (that have been announced)

 

What do other people think?

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I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the RB dancers (and I think that the Arts Council cuts will probably affect promotions), but from my perspective I think that the person who has the greatest chance of a promotion is Melissa. She has been given many opportunities over the past year and is good in a wide range of styles. I feel that she will make it to principal in a couple of years time, provided that there is a "space".

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