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Boson Ballet announces new rosterMerrill Ashley to be guest teacher

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#1 Alexandra


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 07:44 AM

This just in:


Boston Ballet enters its 40th Anniversary Season presenting a
Company of dancers from around the world

(BOSTON, MA)-Boston Ballet's Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen has announced
the roster of Company dancers for the 2003-2004, 40th Anniversary Season,
including four new principal dancers, six new soloists, 11 new corps de
ballet dancers, and 11 new BBII members. Fifty-five full-time dancers make
up the roster-nine principal dancers, a senior artist, nine soloists, 24
corps de ballet members, and 13 apprentices.

"I am delighted to bring these accomplished, talented, motivated dancers to
Boston Ballet. Each artist is an extraordinary addition to an existing group
of beautiful dancers. The incoming dancers are representatives of the
commitment to excellence and dedication that exemplifies the new Boston
Ballet, as we move into our exciting 40th Anniversary Season," said Artistic
Director Mikko Nissinen.

Nissinen announces Artistic Associate Trinidad Vives and ballet masters
Raymond Lukens and Anthony Randazzo will be joined by acclaimed former New
York City Ballet dancer, Merrill Ashley, as a guest teacher during the
2003-2004 season.

Last spring Nissinen announced five promotions from within the Company.
Soloist Sarah Lamb has been promoted to principal dancer; corps de ballet
members Jared Redick and Romi Beppu have been promoted to soloists; and
Boston Ballet II apprentices Benjamin Griffiths, Luke Luzicka, and James
Whiteside have been promoted to corps de ballet members.

The Company

Lorna Feijoo, a native of Cuba, joins the Company as a principal dancer.
Feijoo, who was principal dancer with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, comes to
Boston Ballet from Cincinnati Ballet where she has held the rank of
principal dancer since 2001. She has received many awards including: the
Grand Prix and the Plaque of the City at the International Trujillo Ballet
Contest in Peru in 1991; the Gold medal and the prize Le Galli D'Oro at both
the Vignali-Danza Contest and Positano Contest of Young Talents in Italy in
1992; and the Silver Medal at Japan's Osaka International Ballet Contest in
1995. "I worked with Lorna at Zurich Ballet when I was a guest ballet master
with the company. She is a superb dancer, with great integrity and poise,"
said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. Rolando Sarabia, joining the Company
in November as a principal dancer, is also a native of Cuba. He has danced
with Ballet Nacional de Cuba since 1999, and holds numerous prestigious
medals including: the Grand Prix in the First International Academies of
Ballet in Cuba in 1995 and 1998; and the Gold Medal in the USA International
Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, 1998. The addition of principal
dancer Roman Rykine is long awaited. Rykine, who was scheduled to join
Boston Ballet last year, was sidelined by an injury in July 2002. Rykine
was a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet from 1996 to 2002.
Principal dancers next season are: Lorna Feijoo, Sarah Lamb, Larissa
Ponomarenko, Pollyana Ribeiro, Adriana Suárez, Rolando Sarabia, Roman Rykine
and Yury Yanowsky. Principal dancer Jennifer Gelfand will retire from
Boston Ballet after her farewell performance of Don Quixote. Principal
dancer Viktor Plotnikov returns for the 2003-2004 season as a senior artist.

Four new soloists will make their debut this season: Barbora Kohoutkova, a
native of the Czech Republic, has been a principal dancer with Finnish
National Ballet and a soloist with Bayerisches Staatsballet, Munich. She
holds many prestigious awards including: the Gold Medal in the USA
International Ballet Competition in Brno 1994; the Gold Medal and Grand Prix
in the USA International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland 1995; and
the Gold Medal and Grand Prix in the USA International Ballet Competition in
New York 1996. Kohoutkova appears as a regular guest artist at La Scala di
Milano, and performs as a guest artist around the world. Pavel Gurevich,
born in Minsk in the republic of Belarus, is a former principal dancer at
Milwaukee Ballet; Michael Cusumano, from Long Island, New York, previously
danced with Alabama Ballet and American Ballet Theatre; Nelson Madrigal,
joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2002 as a principal dancer, and was a member of
Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Soloists next season are: Melanie Atkins, Romi
Beppu, Christopher Budzynski, Michael Cusumano, Pavel Gurevich, Barbora
Kohoutkova, Nelson Madrigal, Jared Redick, and Miao Zong.

Joining Boston Ballet's corps de ballet are: Kathleen Breen Combes of Ft.
Lauderdale, Florida, former member of Washington Ballet; Sarah Edery of
Millerplace, New York, former member of Pennsylvania Ballet; Whitney Herr
of Tucson, Arizona, former apprentice with San Francisco Ballet; Misa
Kuranaga of Osaka, Japan, recent graduate of School of American Ballet;
Kelley Potter of North Carolina, former member of American Ballet Theatre
Studio Company; Luis Ribagorda of Madrid, Spain, graduate of the Real
Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid; Sarah Wroth of Poolesville,
Maryland, graduate of Indiana University where she received a Bachelors
Degree in Education; and Seh Yun Kim (joining in January) of Korea,
currently a principal dancer with Seoul's Universal Ballet. Corps de ballet
members next season are: Kathleen Breen Combes, Gianni Di Marco, Sarah
Edery, Benjamin Griffiths, Whitney Herr, Rie Ichikawa, Michael Johnson,
Alexandra Kochis, Misa Kuranaga, Nao Kusuzaki, Erika Lambe, Luke Luzicka,
Robert Moore, Heather Myers, Shannon Parsley (joining in January 04), Kelley
Potter, Joel Prouty, Luis Ribagorda, Raul Salamanca, Josey Silva (leaving in
January 04), Patrick Thornberry, James Whiteside, Sarah Wroth, and Sabi

Promotions from Within

Sarah Lamb advances from soloist to principal dancer with the Company for
the 2003-2004 season. Lamb, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, trained at
Boston Ballet School on full scholarship from 1993-1998. Since joining BB
II in 1998, Lamb was promoted to corps de ballet in 1999, and to soloist in
2001. Lamb was awarded a Level 1 Award from the National Foundation for
Advancement in the Arts, and was a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 1998.
She holds a silver medal from each of the following competitions: the Third
International Ballet Competition in Nagoya, Japan 1999; the Sixth USA
International Ballet Competition in New York City 2000; and the USA
International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi 2002.

Romi Beppu was promoted from corps de ballet to soloist for the 2003-2004
season. Beppu, of Honolulu, Hawaii, joined Boston Ballet's apprentice
company in 1996, and was promoted to corps de ballet in 1998. Beppu's
repertoire with Boston Ballet includes: the pas de trois and Song Bird Fairy
in Sleeping Beauty; the pas de trois in La Bayadere; one of Kitri's friends
in Don Quixote; the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, and Dew Drop Fairy in The

Jared Redick, was promoted from corps de ballet to soloist for the 2003-2004
season. Redick, of Reston, Virginia, joined Boston Ballet in 2002. Redick
danced with both San Francisco Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater (formerly
Fort Worth Dallas Ballet) before joining Miami City Ballet as a soloist in
1996. He has danced many leading roles including those in Balanchine's
Paquita, Divertimento #15, Agon, Swan Lake, and Theme and Variations.
Redick's repertoire also includes D Symphonies, Carmen, Company B, Funny
Paper, and Miami City Ballet's premier of Sir Frederick Ashton's Les

Current Boston Ballet II apprentice dancers Benjamin Griffiths of Boise,
Idaho, Luke Luzicka of Gladstone, Missouri, and James Whiteside of Milford,
Connecticut, have been promoted to the corps de ballet.

Balanchine Coach
Internationally acclaimed artists Trinidad Vives, artistic
associate, Raymond Lukens, ballet master and director of Boston Ballet II,
and Anthony Randazzo, ballet master, will be joined by Guest Teacher Merrill
Ashley. Nissinen welcomes the return of former New York City Ballet dancer
Merrill Ashley to Boston Ballet as a guest teacher during the 2003-2004
season. Ashley came to Boston last year to stage Balanchine's Ballo della
Regina for Boston Ballet's All Balanchine production. "I am thrilled that
Merrill Ashley will be working with the Company," said Nissinen. "Merrill
was a fantastic dancer and is one of the foremost Balanchine teachers in the
world. I have an immense respect for her as an accomplished artist, stager,
and coach."

New Recruits to Apprentice Company

New Boston Ballet II recruits include Lia Cirio, from Central Pennsylvania
Youth Ballet; Brandon Conger, from the Joffrey Ballet School; Elysia
Fridkin, from the Washington School of Ballet; Melissa Hough, a former
BalletMet Columbus apprentice; Andrew Kaminsky, who studied at both the
School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School; John Lam,
from The National Ballet School of Canada; Samantha Mednick, from San
Francisco Ballet School; Kristin Ottestad, a former apprentice with
Milwaukee Ballet; April Taylor, from School of American Ballet; Emily
Tedesco, a former San Francisco Ballet apprentice; and Zachary Hackstock,
from the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Returning Boston Ballet II members are: Tiffany Hedman of Sanger, California
and Kimberly Uphoff of Silver Spring, Maryland.

#2 Dale


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 09:14 AM

I wonder how much this new position will take Ashley away from her duties at NYCB.

#3 Alexandra


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 09:19 AM

Yes. "Guest teacher" can mean coming in for a few weeks to take the classes when preparing for a Balanchine ballet, say -- or for the few weeks between seasons. Or it can mean teacher in residence for a year to see how it works out :D

onlytimewilltell (OTWT)

#4 socalgal


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 09:27 AM

This is exciting news. Many of us have been waiting to hear the official roster for next season!
Congratulations to Sara Edery :D and also to Emily Tedesco! :clapping:

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