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Royal Ballet promotions 2014/15


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No new Principal

 

Dancers promoted to:

 

First Soloist:   Akane Takada 

                      Valentino Zucchetti

 

 

Soloist: Francesca Hayward, Yasmine Naghdi,  

            Tristan Dyer, Fernando Montano

 

 

First Artist: Jacqueline Clark, Elsa Godard, Gemma Pitchley-Gale, 

                  Luca Acri, Nicol Edmonds, Kevin Emerton, Marcelino Sambe

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Here's the text from the Press Release:

 

Promotions, joiners and leavers at The Royal Ballet

 

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, has made the following promotions for the forthcoming 2014/15 Season.

 

Akane Takada and Valentino Zucchetti have been promoted to First Soloists. Francesca Hayward, Yasmine Naghdi, Tristan Dyer and Fernando Montaño are promoted to Soloists, along with Jacqueline Clark, Elsa Godard, Gemma Pitchley-Gale, Luca Acri, Nicol Edmonds, Kevin Emerton and Marcelino Sambé, who are promoted to First Artists.

 

Joining the Company at the start of the Season will be Calvin Richardson from The Royal Ballet School in addition to Royal Ballet School Alumni Mariko Sasaki from Birmingham Royal Ballet and Hannah Grennell from Dutch National Ballet. All join as Artists. Gina Storm-Jensen and Reece Clarke joined the Company as Artists earlier in the Season and are both graduates of The Royal Ballet School.

 

The Royal Ballet welcomes five dancers to the Company for the 2014/15 Season as part of the new Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme. The programme provides an opportunity for up to six recently graduated dancers to receive a year’s contract to work alongside the corps de ballet of The Royal Ballet.  In addition the dancers will be offered mentoring and coaching and have the opportunity to perform with the Company. This year’s Aud Jebsen Young Dancers are Grace Blundell and Grace Horler, both from The Royal Ballet School, Ashley Scott and Ashleigh McKimmie from English National Ballet School and Maria Barroso from Semperoper Ballet, Dresden.

 

David Navarro Yudes joins the Company as a Prix de Lausanne Dancer for the 2014/15 Season.

 

Soloist Kenta Kura retires from the Company after 17 years to take up a new appointment as Boys’ Artistic Teacher at White Lodge, the Royal Ballet Junior School. Kenta is a graduate of The Royal Ballet School's Professional Dancer’s Teachers Course (PDTC). 

 

First Artist Sabina Westcombe and Artists Ruth Bailey and Claudia Dean also leave the Company.

 

First Artist Leanne Cope will take a sabbatical for the 2014/15 Season to play the part of Lise Dassin in An American in Paris, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet. An American in Paris receives its world premiere in December at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris and transfers to Broadway in spring 2015.

 

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I think Kevin O'Hare is doing an amazing job: not only did he present a fantastic Season but also in recruiting new dancers/graduates who all trained at The Royal Ballet School (except three youngsters who join on a one-year contract basis (under the "Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme") and the Prix de Laussane dancer are not).  There is no intake from USA, Japan, ...as was the case under the previous Director and IMO the Company has never looked better!

 

The Corps de Ballet this Season was simply outstanding and the superbly talented dancers all richly deserve their 2014/15 promotion.

Edited by Nina G.
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It is probably worth bearing in mind when commenting on decisions taken - or perhaps more significantly, not taken - that we have just seen this week that the ROH will have a further 2.2% ACE funding reduction next season, and that the RB share of that must surely circumscribe Kevin O'Hare's aspirations.

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Unfortunately for Yuhui Choe three principals were appointed from outside this year. The fact that she was not cast in the long runs of Manon or DQ was a bit of an indication of how 'management' views her. I do think that it's incredibly difficult for women to get principal positions nowadays. Many principals in the past were not accomplished in (or had danced) all types of work and they were allowed to grow into their position.

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I can understand this must be very frustrating for Yuhui Choe and for her many admirers, especially as only a few years ago she seemed on a fast track to the top. I didn't see her Aurora so cannot comment but I do wonder if the additional performances that she was given replacing Osipova were seen as a test that for some reason found her wanting in management eyes. As I say (write). I didn't see her, but I did read some more guarded international criticism as well as the local acclaim...

Edited by Jamesrhblack
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I can understand this must be very frustrating for Yuhui Choe and for her many admirers, especially as only a few years ago she seemed on a fast track to the top. I didn't see her Aurora so cannot comment but I do wonder if the additional performances that she was given replacing Osipova were seen as a test that for some reason found her wanting in management eyes. As I say (write). I didn't see her, but I did read some more guarded international criticism as well as the local acclaim...

One sentence from Judith Mackrell's review of her performance "She should be promoted NOW"

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I like Yuhui Choe  very much as a dancer but as I don't know exactly the reasons and or politics why she wasn't promoted  and I won't speculate. I will only say that she is not the first or only dancer who has 'deserved'  promotion and it hasn't come as quickly as many people think it should have.  There are dancers who retired without the promotion to principal that I think they so rightfully deserved. There are principals now who are never cast in roles in which a lot of people think they'd be wonderful in ... it baffles me that a certain principal has yet to be cast as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. 

It doesn't always seem fair but  I think these latest promotions were well deserved....yeah Francesca! ;)

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I like Yuhui Choe  very much as a dancer but as I don't know exactly the reasons and or politics why she wasn't promoted  and I won't speculate. I will only say that she is not the first or only dancer who has 'deserved'  promotion and it hasn't come as quickly as many people think it should have.  There are dancers who retired without the promotion to principal that I think they so rightfully deserved. There are principals now who are never cast in roles in which a lot of people think they'd be wonderful in ... it baffles me that a certain principal has yet to be cast as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. 

It doesn't always seem fair but  I think these latest promotions were well deserved....yeah Francesca! ;)

You're right to write that we shouldn't speculate and I am as guilty as the next in sometimes so doing. By comparison, though it would seem that Akane Takada's debuts in Don Q and Beauty have struck a chord with management (of course, she was due to debut in Swan Lake a couple of seasons ago) and it will be very interesting to see how she develops from this promotion. Francesca Hayward's promotion was inevitable (and deserved), especially given recent casting announcements, but I was particularly delighted re Tristan Dyer, who impressed me enormously (with Takada) in DGV.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry! Ignore my original post below - have just seen another thread which explains all.....

 

 

Does anyone know where Claudia Dean is going? I find it frustrating to see young dancers leave and never know what happened to them.

Edited by delphzzzz
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I saw Yuhui Choe dance Aurora when Osipova was injured and she gave a pretty good account of herself. Perhaps the management as it were are privy to information that we do not have in regards to considering her for promotion. Or she may be just unlucky in the timing of other decisions made by RB management in the recent past which do not leave them free at this point to promote her. Honestly who knows!!

I just hope she does get a crack at some Principal roles in the coming season at any rate.

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My line of thinking too chrischris.

 

Yuhui Choe joined the Company in 2002 as an Apprentice. Assuming she was 18 at the time she must be 30 years old now (unbelievable!). Miss Choe  hopefully has another 10 years of dancing ahead of her but "investing" in some very talented, much younger female Soloists maybe a reason why promotion for Miss Choe to Principal has not happened. Management could also be looking into appointing a new Principal coming from another company in the near future?

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Timing is very important in these things. However, one might have thought that when three female principals left last year there would have been space. Well, there was a space but it was taken by Osipova who is an international star. I wouldn't be at all surprised if a new female principal were appointed from outside. Despite O'Hare's previous statements he has appointed three principals from outside in the first two years of his tenure, and bringing in guests has reduced the opportunities for other dancers to dance Kitri and Juliet. As I don't have any allegiance to the RB I personally don't mind about these decisions but I can appreciate that it must be difficult for the company dancers.

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Claudia Dean is no longer pursuing a dance career she is back at home in Aus in an office job. And I expect very happy at home. I admire her guts as a dancer and person. She went a long way very quickly and I guess she could see her potential future and wished it to go another way. Fair enough. She is young enough to enjoy herself. Good for her.

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She may also be too young to know her own mind!  An office job can be done any time and ballet dancers can easily transition into other work.  

Perhaps Royal Ballet was not the right company for her but to give up dancing at that age after all the years of work!  

VERY hard to pick up a dance career again if she finds she misses dancing after all - the hope would be if she does miss it and picks it up within one year, all might not be lost...

However, if she prefers the office job, maybe she was one of those unfortunate children picked for physical aptitude in the first place like so many these days - rather then from any great desire to express herself through dance...

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I think that she could probably take a year out and then go back to ballet if she changed her mind. She has the pedigree of the RB and would probably be able to get a job with one of the Australian ballet companies if she wanted to. Didn't one of the BRB men take some time out of ballet with a view to becoming a pilot?

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I think Ms Dean's reasons for leaving the Royal Ballet and looking for her way forward are nobodies business but hers and we should immediately desist from speculating why she has done what she has done and what she may wish or do in the future.

 

As this thread is a general thread about the RB end of year announcement it would be a shame to have to close it because of unwarranted speculation about this young lady.

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