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Cory Stearns promoted to principal dancer with ABT


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#1 Dale

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:46 AM

CORY STEARNS PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL DANCER
WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Cory Stearns has been promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer with
American Ballet Theatre. The promotion, which becomes effective immediately, was
announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

A native of Long Island, New York, Cory Stearns began his classical training
at Seiskaya Ballet with Mme. Valia Seiskaya. At 15, he participated in the Youth
America Grand Prix and was offered a full scholarship to The Royal Ballet School in
London. During his training, Stearns performed in Madrid, Moscow, Milan and
Germany. His repertory included principal roles in Mark Annear’s Mendelssohn
Concerto, Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto, Kirk Peterson’s Eyes That Gently Touch,
Robert Hill’s Piano Concerto #2 and Barry Moreland’s Fearful Symmetries. In March
2004, Stearns appeared with Kylie Minogue in her music video Chocolate. Upon
graduating, with honors, from The Royal Ballet School, he received, for the second year,
the Dame Ruth Railton Award for excellence in dance.

Stearns joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (now ABT II) in
September 2004, the main Company as an apprentice in January 2005 and became a
member of the corps de ballet in January 2006. He was appointed a Soloist in January
2009. His repertory with the Company includes The Awakening Pas de Deux, Solor in
La Bayadère, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Basilio in Don Quixote, Oberon in The Dream,
Her Lover in Jardin aux Lilas, Armand Duval in Lady of the Camellias, The Prince in
The Nutcracker, Romeo and Paris in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping
Beauty, Prince Siegfried and von Rothbart (Act III) in Swan Lake, James in La Sylphide,
Orion and Apollo in Sylvia, leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Études and Everything
Doesn’t Happen at Once, and roles in The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Citizen, Drink To
Me Only With Thine Eyes, The Leaves Are Fading, Overgrown Path and Rabbit and
Rogue. Stearns created roles in From Here On Out and One of Three.
Stearns was the recipient of the 2009 Erik Bruhn Prize for best male dancer.

#2 bingham

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:08 AM

No surprise at all. What i wish to know if there are any promotions among the corps de ballet.

#3 Barbara

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:58 AM

I'd like to know about other promotions too. But in the meantime, BRAVO Cory!

#4 Amy Reusch

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:07 PM

Been waiting for this one... so glad!

#5 4mrdncr

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:30 PM

Hey I know a lot of people who are smiling about this. Not a surprise but 'sweet'. My congratulations and wishes for much success in the future.

#6 Ambonnay

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 04:25 PM

I'm not saying that Cory couldn't develop into an ABT-male-principal-calliber dancer, but in my mind only he is not yet there. Stearns' deficiencies are glaring particularly when his performances are compared to those of other principal danseurs at ABT. I for one think this promotion is undeserved. :wallbash:

#7 abatt

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 06:14 PM

I'm not saying that Cory couldn't develop into an ABT-male-principal-calliber dancer, but in my mind only he is not yet there. Stearns' deficiencies are glaring particularly when his performances are compared to those of other principal danseurs at ABT. I for one think this promotion is undeserved. :wallbash:


I agree with you that he is not at the same level as the other principals, but at the same time it would arguably be unfair to him to continue assigning him so many lead roles every season without a promotion. Also, ABT's principal ranks among the males is getting old, as we have discussed on this board. Indeed, many of their principals only show up for the MET season. It is probably easier to sell tickets to out of town engagements when you are presenting principals in principal roles, instead of soloists and corps members. I'm hoping that Cory continues to develop and improve. Frankly, I was not a big Hallberg fan when he was a soloist, but he has worked his butt off to improve and become the incredible dancer that he is today. However, I think Hallberg's weaknesses were more amenable to improvement than Cory's. Hallberg's primary weakness when he was a soloist was his partnering skills. I think partnering improves with experience and age. In my opinion, Cory's weaknesses are technical - jumps and spins that are adequate, but not what we have come to expect of ABT males. I'm not sure that those technical issues can be addressed easily at this stage.

#8 carbro

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:57 PM

... what we have come to expect of ABT males. ...

It may be hard to believe for younger/newer ballet goers, but the level of principal male dancing at ABT in the past dozen or so years has been freakishly high. I would be shocked -- delighted, but shocked -- if the company manages to maintain that standard into the next generation.

#9 Helene

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:15 PM

Congratulations to Mr. Stearns on his promotion to Principal :flowers:

#10 abatt

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 05:54 AM

It may be hard to believe for younger/newer ballet goers, but the level of principal male dancing at ABT in the past dozen or so years has been freakishly high. I would be shocked -- delighted, but shocked -- if the company manages to maintain that standard into the next generation.


That may be true, but now that we have come to expect it, we are disappointed when it is not provided. ABT has been known during the last decade for the caliber of its men. When I want to see stellar female dancing, I often go across the plaza to see the NYCB ladies. Except for their guest artists (I include Vishneva in the guest artist category), many of the ladies at ABT on the principal level are, in my opinion, a disappointment.

#11 miliosr

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 05:50 PM

Congratulations to Cory!


I'm not saying that Cory couldn't develop into an ABT-male-principal-calliber dancer, but in my mind only he is not yet there. Stearns' deficiencies are glaring particularly when his performances are compared to those of other principal danseurs at ABT. I for one think this promotion is undeserved. :wallbash:


I agree with you that he is not at the same level as the other principals, but at the same time it would arguably be unfair to him to continue assigning him so many lead roles every season without a promotion. Also, ABT's principal ranks among the males is getting old, as we have discussed on this board. Indeed, many of their principals only show up for the MET season.

ITA with abatt on both counts. Stearns has been a de facto principal for some time now and he, Gomes and Hallberg have been shouldering the largest share of the male principal workload.

Furthermore, as abatt rightly notes, ABT is at the point where they must start replacing their principal males: Beloserkovsky is dancing less than he once did, Carreno is retiring from ABT after this season, Corella is busy with his own company in Spain (and dances infrequently in New York when he is free), Cornejo is a principal for whom ABT has a hard time finding appropriate repertory (and he is also busy with Corella's company in Spain), and Steifel is often injured and/or is busy pursuing one of his side ventures. ABT has to start promoting from within or go on a male principal shopping spree around the world (which causes problems of its own within the ranks.)

From the soloist ranks, I'm not sure who else is principal material at the moment. The principal train may have left the station without Radetsky and Simkin has some of the same problems as Cornejo. The rest don't strike me as principal material.

That leaves the corps, which is still bursting with raw talent. Hoven seemed like a lock for a soloist position but reports of his inconsistency may have stalled his rise. Based on the most recent opportunities given him, the most likely candidate for promotion to the soloist ranks would appear to be Alex Hammoudi. But who knows what Kevin McKenzie has in mind?

#12 innopac

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 01:29 PM

Interview with Cory Stearns ("Cupcakes & Conversation" on Ballet News).


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