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San Francisco Ballet has announced that Principal Dancer Maria Kochetkova will be leaving the Company following the 2018 Repertory Season. Kochetkova, who joined the Company as a principal dancer in 2007, will give her last performance during the Unbound Festival (date to be announced). Kochetkova says: “I’m very lucky and grateful for the career I had with San Francisco Ballet... The time has come for me to move on to other opportunities. I don’t know what my next big step is going to be, but I’m excited to see where it takes me.”
MCGREGOR, ASHTON & MACMILLAN
Comprising McGregor's Obsidian Tear, Ashton's Marguerite and Armand and MacMillan's Elite Syncopations, The Royal Ballet's triple bill opens tonight at the Royal Opera House. The programme continues until 11 May - casting can be found HERE.
Paris Opera étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot gave her farewell performance as Eurydice in Pina Bausch’s Orphée et Eurydice at the Palais Garnier on 31 March. She was partnered by Stéphane Bullion as Orphée. Gillot joined the Paris Opera corps de ballet in 1990, aged 15 and was promoted to coryphée in 1992, sujet in 1994, premiere danseuse in 1999 and named an étoile in 2004 following her performances in Carolyn Carlson’s Signes. During her illustrious career, she created many roles including Catherine in Kader Belarbi’s Wuthering Heights in 2002, the Servant in Mats Ek’s La Maison de Bernarda in 2008, and most recently in Wayne McGregor’s Tree of Codes 2017.
John Neumeier, who has held the post of Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet since 1973, has had his contract (due to expire in 2019) extended for another four years until 2023. Neumeier is currently the longest-serving living ballet director in the world. He has been awarded numerous honours and awards, including being made an honorary citizen of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in 2007. The repertoire of the Hamburg Ballet includes all 158 of John Neumeier’s choreographies, and his company has given over 1.000 performances during 331 tours in 30 countries on five continents.
The Royal Ballet has announced cast changes for the forthcoming run of MacMillan’s Manon. Due to illness, Laura Morera is replaced by Francesca Hayward as Manon on 29 March; due to injury Valentino Zucchetti is replaced by Marcelino Sambé as Lescaut on 11 and 16 April; and due to injury Edward Watson is replaced by Federico Bonelli as Des Grieux on 1 and 12 May. The company has also invited two guest artists to perform Des Grieux: Vladimir Shklyarov will partner Natalia Osipova on 5 & 13 April; and Roberto Bolle will partner Marianela Nuñez on 11 & 16 April. www.roh.org
With sixteen dancers in his company plus a wife and three children to look after, Eric Gauthier has decided that it is time to hang up his own dancing shoes. The artistic director of Gauthier Dance will give his last performance as a dancer in a new solo, The Gift, created for him by Itzik Galili and set to a collage of music by Claude Debussy, Jonny Greenwood, Peter Sculthorpe, Aaron J. Kernis, Stephan M. Boehme, Eric Gauthier and others. The premiere will take place on 21 March at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart T2 with subsequent performances on 22, 23, 24, 25 March; 28, 28, 29, 30 April; 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 May; and 6, 7, 8 July. www.theaterhaus.com