Leigh Witchel

Ansanelli, Makhateli, Morera all promoted to principal

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The Royal Opera House has updated their website, so it's official. (And yes, we were all going nuts waiting)

Congratulations to all three.

Thanks to Jane Simpson for alerting us.

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I'm so pleased about Morera, and from what I've seen Ansanelli has learned mighty quick.... but I just don't 'get' Makhateli. I'm actually stunned by that one... And would welcome thought from anyone less stunned than I!

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I'm so pleased about Morera, and from what I've seen Ansanelli has learned mighty quick.... but I just don't 'get' Makhateli. I'm actually stunned by that one... And would welcome thought from anyone less stunned than I!

Yeah, I was a little puzzled by Makhateli; I've seen him a few times in the last couple of years and I don't get much from him.

For Ansanelli, this must be extremely gratifying; pulling up stakes at NYCB in a style she was comfortable with and doing all the hard work to master the idiom of the English company. She was lovely when I saw her last Summer in DC and I'm imagining she's even better this year. So BRAVA to her!

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Readers who've been around for a while will probably remember the 'RBS boys' whose posts brightened up these pages a few years ago: it's nice that James (Wilkie) and Jonny (Jonathan Caguioa) have both just received their first promotions (out of the corps de ballet to First Artist) at the Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet respectively. I don't get to see much of Jonny, but James is just beginning to get some nice roles - he did the Neapolitan Dance in Swan Lake recently. It's good to see 'our boys' getting on!

About Makhateli: at the least, I guess that if you give a dancer a principal's workload, eventually you have to give him the money and the status as well, and Makhateli has done a lot of leads in the last couple of seasons, even if some of them have been subbing for injured colleagues. Also, he seems to be hard working and reliable, which must recommend him to the management, and I wasn't altogether surprised that Mason has chosen to promote him. I can't say I've ever found him particularly exciting but I know people who do like him.

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Congratulations to the new RB principals! I'm happy for all three of them.

Beside the point: Isn't David Makhateli a second- or even third-generation RB/Sadlers Wells dancer? I recall having read something years back, somewhere, but cannot place my finger on the article right now. Maybe I'm mistaking him with someone else?

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Congratulations to the new RB principals! I'm happy for all three of them.

Beside the point: Isn't David Makhateli a second- or even third-generation RB/Sadlers Wells dancer? I recall having read something years back, somewhere, but cannot place my finger on the article right now. Maybe I'm mistaking him with someone else?

Briefly and from memory, David was born in Georgia. Both his grandfather and father were principal dancers and his mother was also a dancer. He he took part in the Prix de Lausanne and won a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. He graduated from the school and joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet from there he moved to Dutch National Ballet and then onto Houston Ballet. From Houston he joined the Royal Ballet. I like his stage manner very much.

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I am very happy that Alexandra Ansanelli has been recently promoted principal dancer of the Royal Ballet.I had the chance to talk to her for an hour in the backstage of La Scala Theatre during the "Gala des Etoiles" last January and I have to say she's first a great person,very sweet and very kind towards us,who are only young ballet students.Also on the scene,she gives back the same sweetness you feel when she talks to You.She's the symbol of grace,she looks like a pretty little doll.

Congratulations and good luck to Alexandra Ansanelli!!!! :off topic:

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Anyone know if she is still scheduled to perform with Christopher Wheeldon's Morphoses company this September in London?

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Anyone knows where Makhateli is right now? He's no longer an RB principal right?

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