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James Whiteside Promoted to Principal Dancer

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Fantastic news! Congrats to Mr. Whiteside! (I wish a few more promotions had been included.)

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Official release:

JAMES WHITESIDE PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL DANCER WITH

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

James Whiteside has been promoted to Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The promotion is effective October 30, 2013.

Born in Fairfield, Connecticut, James Whiteside began his training at age nine at the D’Valda & Sirico Dance and Music Centre, where guest faculty included Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens. He continued his training at the Virginia School of the Arts for one year under the direction of Petrus Bosman and David Keener. In 2002, Whiteside joined Boston Ballet II. He joined the corps de ballet of Boston Ballet in 2003 and became a second soloist in 2006. He was promoted to first soloist in 2008 and to principal dancer with Boston Ballet in 2009.

Whiteside’s repertoire with Boston Ballet included principal roles in George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Ballo della Regina, Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Who Cares?, Serenade and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon); Solor in Florence LeClerc’s La Bayadére; Albrecht in Maina Gielgud’s Giselle; the Cavalier in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; Romeo in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet; Frantz in Coppélia and Basilio in Rudolf Nureyev’s

Don Quixote. He also performed leading roles in Harold Lander’s Études, Michel

Fokine’s Le Spectre de la Rose and Les Sylphides; Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free: Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies; Jiří Kylián’s Sarabande, Bella Figura, Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze; Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room; Mark Morris’ Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes; and William Forsythe’s The Second Detail. He created roles in Jorma Elo’s Brake the Eyes, Plan to B and In On Blue and in Mark Morris’ Up & Down.

Whiteside joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in September 2012. His repertoire with the Company includes Ali the Slave in Le Corsaire, Basilio and Espada in Don Quixote, the Nutcracker Prince, Arabian Man, and Spanish Dance in

The Nutcracker, Prince Gremin in Onegin, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried and von Rothbart (Ballroom) in Swan Lake, Orion in Sylvia and roles in Chamber Symphony, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, In the Upper Room and Symphony in C.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2013 Fall Season at the David H. Koch Theater opens Wednesday, October 30 and runs through November 10. Tickets priced from $20 are available at the Koch Theater box office, by phone at 212-496-0600 and online at www.abt.org.

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Wow. I'm shocked because his dancing isn't really all that... I was shocked as well when they poached him from Boston Ballet to be a soloist instead of promoting 1 of the men in the Corps like Forster or Gorak whom are better dancers. If anything, if a male soloist had to be promoted Principal I would have went with Jared Matthews. I guess McKenzie sees something in him I obviously don't. (I'm not a fan) Congrats I suppose.

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I hope he's not the only dancer promoted going into the 2013 / 2014 season.

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I hope he's not the only dancer promoted going into the 2013 / 2014 season.

Certainly, congratulations to James on his promotion. Alas, however, it leaves out Sascha and Jared.

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'poached' is a reckless word for when a company hires a dancer from another company.

unless one has hard facts it's presumptuous to suggest one dancer was stolen from another company.

the circumstances of such hires can be, and mostly? are just the opposite, that is, dancer X wants to move on and so auditions for another troupe, and gets taken in in that process.

what should the new/hiring company do? say Oh, no we can't take you! you are part of Y company! So, yes you passed our audition, which you voluntarily took, but we have to leave you where you are, etc. etc.

my sense over the years is that companies don't poach, tho they may have their eye on personnel in other companies, they wait for the dancers to approach them.

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One recent trend in McKenzie's promotions is his preference for tall, danseur noble types - similar to himself when he was a younger man and active performer. Corey Stearns, James Whiteside and Alexandre Hammoudi are all tall, elongated, long-limbed types. Dancers like Joseph Philips, Eric Tamm and Joseph Gorak are not all that tall - short to medium. One could posit that all three of these smaller men are better dancers though Whiteside is impressive and versatile from what I have seen of him this season. Hallberg and Gomes, the current premier danseurs of the company, are both over six feet but no one is complaining about their fast rise. tiphat.gif

The tall Thomas Forster is getting two "Sylphides" poet performances later this month, Gorak one and Tamm none. Look at the fairly long period the short virtuoso Herman Cornejo spent as a soloist compared with the meteoric rise of Stearns and Whiteside. Also Cornejo even after making principal was still mostly dancing soloist roles and had to wait years before getting Albrecht rather than Peasant PDD, Siegfried rather than Benno, Prince Desiré rather than Bluebird and Basilio rather than Lead Gypsy Dancer.

So the big guys rise faster than the demi-caractere shorter guys in McKenzie's company.

Congrats to Mr. Whiteside who is a hard-working dancer who successfully took on many new roles in his first season with the company. Onward and upward - he is sorely needed.

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I thought that Cory Stearns was getting two 'Sylphides' and corpsmen Tom Forster and Joe Gorak one each.

Eric Tamm is a six footer isn't he?

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Also, James Whiteside has 'extra value' to Kevin over most of his ABT contempories because he has already learned and practised most of the principle roles when he was at Boston. ABT doesn't seem to spend to much of it's resorces on teaching staff.

I think Sacha has deserved a shot.

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Also, James Whiteside has 'extra value' to Kevin over most of his ABT contempories because he has already learned and practised most of the principle roles when he was at Boston. ABT doesn't seem to spend to much of it's resorces on teaching staff.

I think Sacha has deserved a shot.

Congratulations to James tho', I'm sure he will be a great asset to the company.

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I don't think it is fair to say that it is necessarily an aesthetic preference on the part of McKenzie for tall dancers, but rather (at least in part) a necessity.

If you look at the female principals, many of them are tall, they require tall partners. They also require strong partners. Cornejo certainly deserves his principal status, but he was for a long time hampered by his height (not "right" for all roles) and more importantly, by his poor partnering skills (which are still not a strong suit for him, but have recently improved).

I also think Tamm is tall.

I was impressed by James Whiteside last season and am very happy for him.

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Congratulations to Mr. Whiteside! This is fully deserved and expected, based on watching him during the 2013 Met season, especially his impressive performance in the Ratmansky premiere. What a fantastic acquisition for ABT!

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Oh yes, Eric Tamm is quite tall! I wouldn't exactly categorize Joey Gorak as medium, either. Good for Whiteside!

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We all have our 'fav's' at ABT and I am a fan of all the male dancers mentioned above. But I am very hapoy that Whiteside is now an ABT principal. He wenr through an incredible period these past few months debuting in one major role after another and succeeding splendidly, pleasing audiences and critics alike. Does he need to smooth a few things out? Sure, but I have no doubt that he will be in the ranks of Gomes, Hallberg and Bolle in a very short time. He brings a real excitement to the company. Bravo Whiteside!

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