People and News


May Birthdays and Anniversaries


1st John Meehan
2nd Claude Brumachon
3rd Shale Wagman
5th Michel Fokine (1880 - 1942)


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The Royal Ballet - Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano in Ashton's Birthday Offering.
© Emma Kauldhar courtesy ROH

5th Birthday Offering ch: Ashton
World premiere on 5th May 1956 by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House


6th Alessandra Ferri


10th Fred Astaire (1899 - 1987)


11th Fanny Cerrito (1817 - 1909)
11th Martha Graham (1894 - 1991)

12th Jules Massenet (1842 - 1912)
13th Herman Cornejo


14th Afternoon of a Faun ch: Jerome Robbins
World premiere took place on 14 May 1953 at City Center of Music and Drama, New York, with scenery and lighting by Jean Rosenthal and costumes by Irene Sharaff.


15th Jeux ch: Nijinsky
World premiere in 1913
16th Nicholas Beriosoff (1906- 1996)


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Margot Fonteyn. © Roger Wood & © Frederika Davis

18th Margot Fonteyn (1919 -  1991)


18th Natalia Osipova
18th David Hallberg
18th Thiago Soares
19th Vyacheslav Samodurov
19th Josua Hoffalt
20th Anthony Crickmay (1937 - 2020)
21st Robin Howard (1924 1989)
22nd Irina Kolpakova
22nd Richard Wagner (1813 -1883)
23rd Xander Parish
25th Jose ManuelCarreño
27th Alina Cojocaru
27th Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)
31st Cesare Pugni


Liam Scarlett

Liam Scarlett died on 16 April, aged 35, one day after the Royal Danish Ballet announced that it was cancelling its performances of Scarlett's Frankenstein following allegations of unacceptable behaviour, dating back to rehearsals in 2018, towards members of the company. Frankenstein was originally premiered by The Royal Ballet in 2016. Born in Ipswich on 8 April 1986, Scarlett began dancing at a local ballet school before joining the White Lodge, the Royal Ballet Lower School. He continued his training at the Upper School and graduated into The Royal Ballet in 2005. His interest in choreography was seeded at the Royal Ballet School, where he won both the Kenneth MacMillan and Ursula Moreton choreographic awards. Allegro de Jeunesse, made while Scarlett was still a student, was premiered at the school's annual performance in 2005 and received many plaudits.

As a dancer, Scarlett's roles included Ashton's La Fille mal gardée, Magdaveya in La Bayadère, Peter Rabbit in The Tales of Beatrix Potter, Neapolitan in Swan Lake, Golden Hours in Elite Syncopations, Dancing Master in Cinderella, Beggar Chief in Manon and Puss In Boots in The Sleeping Beauty. However, realising that his talents as a dancer were limited, he quit dancing in order to focus on choreography in November 2012 and became The Royal Ballet's first artist in residence. While many of his ballets like Sweet Violets and Hansel and Gretel were driven by narratives, one of his most memorable pieces was the abstract Asphodel Meadows created in 2010.  He choreographed The Age of Anxiety, set to Bernstein's Second Symphony and inspired by W. H. Auden's poem in 2014, and for ballerina Zenaida Yanowsky's swansong he created Symphonic Dances to Rachmaninoff. Scarlett also choreographed original ballets for many other companies including English National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Polish National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Queensland Ballet, where he was named an artistic associate in 2016.

In late 2019, Scarlett was suspended by the Royal Opera House following allegations of sexual misconduct. Several other ballet companies, including San Franciscio Ballet and Queensland Ballet, dropped his ballets from their schedules. Following an official investigation, no evidence substantiating the claims of misconduct was found and no criminal charges were made. The Royal Opera House issued a statement in March 2020 to say that Scarlett would no longer being working with the company, but it has retained the choreographer's production of Swan Lake, premiered in 2018 and revived last year, in the repertoire.

A statement issued on behalf of Liam Scarlett’s family reads "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam. At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

Paradigma, a livestream on 18 April by Bayerisches Staatsballett, which included Scarlett's A Chance of Rain, was dedicated to the choreographer.

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Promotions at the Paris Opera

Following the annual concours at the Paris Opera, the following promotions have been announced: Camille Bon, Clemence Gross, Andrea Sarri and Nikolaus Tudorin to sujets; Bleuenn Battistoni, Chun-Wing Lam, Jack Gasztowtt, Ines McIntosh and Nine Seropian to coryphées. Congratulations to all.

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Camille Bon. © Julien Benhamou/OnP

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Andrea Sarri. © Julien Benhamou/OnP

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Clemence Gross. © Julien Benhamou/OnP

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Nikolaus Tudorin. © Julien Benhamou/OnP


THE ROYAL BALLET ANNOUNCES SUMMER SEASON

The Royal Ballet has announced that its summer season will comprise three programmes on the main stage. The first programme, 21st Century Choreographers will feature Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour, a premiere by Kyle Abraham and two pieces new to the company by Crystal Pite - The Statement and Solo Echo (18 - 30 May); the second bill, Balanchine and Robbins, offers Apollo, Tchaikovsky pas de deux and Dances at a Gathering (4 - 13 June); and the final programme features a world premiere, Anemoi choreographed by Valentino Zucchetti, Divertissements and The Sleeping Beauty Act III (26 June - 11 July). The main stage will also present The Royal Ballet School's Summer Performance on 10 July. In the Linbury Theatre, there will be performances by the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (16 - 17 June), The Royal Ballet School (23 - 26 June) and Summer Draft Works (1 - 3 July). Booking from 7 May roh.org.uk

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The Royal Ballet - Francesca Hayward in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering - courtesy the ROH



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Kevin McKenzie © Fabrizio Ferri

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Mark Baldwin © Nick Guttridge

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Brandon Lawrence. © Drew Tommons Virtuoso Imaging


Kevin McKenzie has announced his retirement as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, a post he has held for three decades. He will stand down at the end of season 2022. A search is currently underway to find a successor. Elmhurst Ballet School, in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, has announced that Mark Baldwin OBE and Brandon Lawrence have joined the school's board. Dance Umbrella has appointed Freddie Opoku-Addaie as its new artistic director and chief executive. Only the fourth person to hold this position in 43 years, he succeeded Emma Gladstone in March. Birmingham Royal Ballet has appointed its ballet master, Dominic Antonucci, as the company's new assistant director, succeeding Marion Tait CBE, who stepped down from the role at the end of 2020. María Riccetto, formerly a soloist with American Ballet Theatre, acceded the directorship of Ballet Nacional de Sodre, Uruguay's national ballet company, on 1 January. Dance Consortium has announced the appointment of Samina Beckford as Programme Coordinator, while Anand Bhatt and Iona Waite have been appointed as independent directors to its Board of Trustees.

Shale Wagman has joined Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich. Amandine Albisson, Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris, Maria Alexandrova, The Bolshoi Ballet, Elisa Badenes, The Stuttgart Ballet, Alessandra Ferri, The Royal Ballet/American Ballet Theatre, Mathieu Ganio, Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris, Dorothée Gilbert, Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris, Marcelo Gomes, Semperoper Ballett, David Hallberg, The Australian Ballet, Mathias Heymann, Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris, Kimin Kim, Mariinsky Ballet, Sarah Lamb, The Royal Ballet, Vladislav Lantratov, The Bolshoi Ballet, Hugo Marchand, Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris, Vadim Muntagirov, The Royal Ballet, Marianela Núñez, The Royal Ballet, Hannah O'Neill, Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris, Gil Roman, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Daniil Simkin, American Ballet Theatre/Staatsballett Berlin, Madoka Sugai, Hamburg Ballet, Alexandr Trusch, Hamburg Ballet, Diana Vishneva, Mariinsky Ballet and Friedemann Vogel, The Stuttgart Ballet, have been announced as participating artists in the World Ballet Festival, scheduled to b e held in Tokyo in August.

Precious Adams, Isabelle Brouwers and Sarah Kundi will be the "In Conversation" guests of the London Ballet Circle on 8 April, 19:00, Henry Danton will be "In Conversation" with Dame Monica Mason on 18 May, 19:00. For details, please contact info@tlbc.org.ukEleonora Sevenard has been promoted from soloist to the leading soloist at the Bolshoi Ballet. Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Hofesh Shechter Company have announced that they are forming a new partnership as part of a joint commitment to increasing diversity and equal opportunities within the dance sector. Sixteen choreographers have created a work for The Dying Swans Project - Mauro Bigonzetti, Bridget Breiner, Virginie Brunelle, Kinsun Chan, Edward Clug, Dominique Dumais, Andonis Foniadakis, Itzik Galili, Eric Gauthier, Smadar Goshen, Anita Hanke, Guillaume Hulot, Nicki Liszta, Constanza Macras, Kevin O'Day and Elisabeth Schilling. The project will be premiered on 16 April on 3sat media library and on the Theaterhaus Stuttgart social media channels.


Life in Russian Ballet 

Mariinsky Ballet principal Xander Parish first got hooked on photography when he was given a second-hand film camera by a friend and began taking pictures of dancers backstage at the Mariinsky Theatre. A few months ago, dancer Boris Zhurilov suggested that Xander should exhibit his photos and managed to persuade the director of the Arts Square Gallery to stage an event. With sponsorship by Grishko, Life in Russian Ballet opened in St Petersburg on 11 March.

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Xander Parish. © Vlad Makarov


The National Ballet of Japan 2021-22 Season

For her second season as the company's artistic director Miyako Yoshida has announced the repertoire for 2021-22 which will include Peter Wright's Swan Lake, Wayne Eagling's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, New Year Ballet, Ashton's The Dream, Balanchine's Theme and Variations, Yoshida Miyako's Selection - The Greatest Ballets, Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Hans van Manen's 5 Tangos, Grand Café from Roland Petit's La Chauve-souris, Ashton's Cinderella and Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. MORE INFO


Prix de Lausanne - THE WINNERS

Scholarship winners: 1st António Casalinho; 2nd Luca Abdel-Nour; 3rd Andrey Jesus Maciano; 4th Seojeong Yun; 5th Shunhei Fuchiyama; 6th AshleyCoupal www.prixdelausanne.org