New York City Ballet 2021 Season in New York City Ballet Posted July 17 Being right there to jump on it is considered especially opportune. In her book Merrill Ashley wrote about, in the days before cell phones (and maybe answering machines), how dancers could miss out on substituting because they were walking home from the theater when the call came through, and, after no answer, the company went onto the next possible dancer. Soprano Jane Eaglen told the story on a Zoom interview with the Wagner Society of Northern California last weekend that she got her first role at Seattle Opera, where Speight Jenkins had not yet heard her in person, because the other soprano had her cell phone off, and he needed to replace a singer who had to withdraw. While management can cast (or attempt to cast) Principal Dancers in roles below their pay grade, I've never read or heard about an ambitious dancer to actively campaign for one, outside of a retirement performance. I think when Thomas Lund retired, all of the men were in kilts in La Sylphide as a tribute.