people and news

September Birthdays 

2nd Drew Jacoby; 7th Nadia Yanowsky, Parvaneh Scharafali; 8th Bruce Sansom; 10th Misty Copeland, James Kudelka; 14th Kevin O'Hare; 15th Nicholas Sergeyev (1876 - 1951); 17th Guillaume Côté, David Bintley, Frederick Ashton (1904 - 1988); 18th Siobhan Davies; 22nd Birgit Kiel; 23rd William Moore; 24th Svetlana Beriosova (1932 - 1988); 26th Henri Oguike, Jean-Marc Puissant, Marcelo Gomes, Lucette Aldous; 30th Romayne Grigorova.

ENB Emerging Dancer 2020

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer event always makes for an interesting evening, with the chance to see corps de ballet dancers, some of whom one will already have spotted standing out in the ranks, in principal roles where they can really show their mettle. As with all competitions, one is sometimes flummoxed by the judges’ choices, but this year their choice must have been unanimous, as the winner gave two flawless performances, in both classical and contemporary pas de deux. Reviewed by Amanda Jennings HERE


Ivana Bueno and William Yamada in Talisman pas de deux. © Laurent Liotardo


Lucia Lacarra and Matthew Golding will be performing a new ballet, Finlandia, at the Dortmond Opera House on 8, 9 October. Choreography by Anna Hop, Yuri Possokhov, Juanjo Arqués and Christopher Wheeldon • Music by Frédéric Chopin, Jóhan Jhansson, Arvo Pärt and others. Stage and costume designs by Lucia Lacarra, video by Altin Kaftira, Mario Simon and Max Schweder. Teaser: © Altin Kaftira


Cassandra Trenary promoted to principal.
© Gene Schiavone


Thomas Forster promoted to principal.
© Gene Schiavone

Promotions at American Ballet Theatre - six principals and a soloist


Skylar Brandt promoted to principal.
© Rosalie O'Connor


Joo Won Ahn promoted to principal.
© Rosalie O'Connor


Calvin Royal III promoted to principal.
© Gene Schiavone


Aran Bell promoted to principal.
© Gene Schiavone


Gabe Stone Shayer promoted to soloist.
© Marty Sohl


Gabriele Francesco Frola in Etudes. © Emma Kauldhar

Changes at ENB

Artistic director Tamara Rojo has announced the following promotions within the company: Gabriele Francesco Frola to Lead Principal; Daniel McCormick to Soloist; Precious Adams, Julia Conway, Anjuli Hudson and Erik Woolhouse to Junior Soloist; Emily Suzuki to 8th Year Artist; Matthew Astley, Noam Durand, Rhys Antoni Yeomans, Victor Prigent and Miguel Angel Maidana  to 6th Year Artist; Carolyne Galvao and Rentaro Nakaaki  to 5th Year Artist. The following dancers have left the company: Francisco Bosch, Fernando Bufala, Barry Drummond, Shevelle Dynott, James Forbat, Daniel Kraus, Adela Ramirez, Maria Jose Sales, Jia Zhang, Maeve Nolan, Crystal Costa, Joshua McSherry-Gray and artistic coordinator Jane Haworth.

BRB Announce Live Performances

Carlos Acosta only assumed his role as artistic director of BRB in January but he's already proved that he's cut out for the job by becoming the first director of a major ballet company in the UK to announce live performances with live audiences. Brilliant though online screenings can be, dancers and audiences alike are all gagging for the real thing. With the doors of Birmingham Hippodrome, BRB's home theatre, slammed shut until February, Acosta has negotiated a new relationship with the Birmingham REP and it is here that the company with be premiering a triple bill from 22 - 24 October before it heads down to London for more shows at Sadler's Wells from 29 - 31 October. "After joining Birmingham Royal Ballet at the beginning of the year," says Acosta, "I set about making new friends in the city, knowing that collaboration was key to a successful and creative art form. Sean Foley, also new to the job of artistic director of The REP, and I spoke about an exciting cross-sector partnership, using the best of our creative networks in theatre and in dance to develop new work. It became clear that we shared a vision and commitment to making Birmingham the greatest city in the Arts." 


Carlos Acosta. © Man Yee Lee

Audiences will still need to be socially distanced but the performance at the REP will be filmed and then made available via 'pay to view' media. Funds raised will help offset the loss of seats that can't be sold. The programme will include the world premiere of Lazuli Sky choreographed by Will Tuckett and set to John Adams' Shaker Loops for a small string orchestra. Dressed in costumes by Samuel Wyer, the opening night cast has been announced as Damen Axtens, Ryan Felix, Haoliang Feng, Tori Forsyth-Hecken, Kit Holder, Yu Kurihara, Gus Payne, Rachele Pizzillo, Emma Price, Tom Rogers, Eilis Small and Yuki Sugiura. There will also be video designs by Nina Dunn. The bill will also include Vicente Nebrada's Our Waltzes to music by seven different Venezuelan composers and Valey Panov's solo Liebestod to music from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.

New Dancers at BRB

Artistic director Carlos Acosta has announced that Royal Ballet School graduates Lucy Waine, Sofia Liñares Vazquez and Matilde Rodrigues (pictured as Myrtha in the video clip) from Academia Annarella will be joining the company on 1 September as artists; Darel José Pérez as an apprentice on 1 November and Javier Rojas as an artist in January 2021. 

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Semperoper Ballett
has announced that Marcelo Gomes and Sofiane Sylve will be joining the company next season as ballet masters/principal dancers and Carlo Di Lanno will be joining as a principal dancer. Photos : Chris Mann, David Allen, Chris Hardy


Julian MacKay


Julian MacKay in Don Quixote, Ballet Icons Gala, London, 2020. © Emma Kauldhar

San Francisco Ballet and artistic director and principal choreographer Helgi Tomasson has announced the appointment of Julian MacKay, 22, as principal dancer. A native of Montana, MacKay trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and became the first American to complete both the upper and lower-level school. He has won awards at the Prix de Lausanne, Istanbul International Ballet Competition, Youth American Grand Prix, Young Ballet of the World (Sochi) and the Beijing International Ballet Competition.  At the age of 17, he made his professional debut as Siegfried in Swan Lake with the Russian State Ballet in Berlin, later joining The Royal Ballet as their 2016 Prix de Lausanne prize winner. Shortly after, upon personal invitation from Mikhail Messerer, MacKay joined the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg as a Second Soloist, later receiving a promotion to First Soloist. He  will join San Francisco Ballet for the 2021 season.


Palais Garnier

The Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opera, has now opened to visitors. More information and tickets HERE


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Stéphane Lissner © Elisa Haberer/Opéra National de Paris

Stéphane Lissner leaves Paris Opera 

Paris Opera general director Stéphane Lissner has announced that he is standing down from his post at the end of the year, seven months before his contract was due to expire in July 2021. His successor will be Alexander Neef, who is currently leading the Canadian Opera Company. In recent years, the Paris Opera has suffered a catalogue of challenging events including the terrorists attacks on Paris, the prolonged general strike (which the Paris Opera’s dancers joined) ignited by President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms, and Covid-19 that has seen both the Palais Garnier and the Opera Bastille dark since they were lockdowned on 17 March. The multiple crises have left the Paris Opera with a €45 million debt.

Friedemann Vogel
Congratulations to Stuttgart Ballet principal Friedemann Vogel who has won the  “Outstanding Performer” award of the German Dance Prize 2020. The German Dance Prize was established in 1983 and is currently organized by the "Dachverband Tanz". The Dachverband Tanz Deutsch/and e. V. has been working as an official nationwide platform for artistic dance in Germany since 2006. 

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Winners in Biarritz

Results of the 1st Choreographic Competition From Your Home in Biarritz are: 1st prize – an all-expenses paid stay during the Time to Love festival and a creative day of work with the 22 dancers of Malandain Ballet Biarritz - was won by Nicolas Rombaut for his piece Emporté. The other six winners are: 2nd: Isolation by Graham Kotowich; 3rd: Dessine-moi un arbre by Maylis Arrabit; 4th: Ô maître carré ! by Iban Garat; 5th: Remotely Equal by Carlos Kerr Jr and Valeria Marangelli; 6th: Window Diaries by Laura Engholm and 7th: A History of Masks by Ari Soto. The jury comprised Martin Harriague, Richard Coudray and Thierry Malandain.