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Riolama Lorenzo, James Ady promoted to principals

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April 1, 2005

Riolama Lorenzo and James Ady are promoted to Principals

Pennsylvania Ballet Artistic Director Roy Kaiser recently announced two roster changes for the 2005-2006 Season: Riolama Lorenzo and James Ady are being promoted to the level of Principal from their previous positions as Soloists. Additional roster changes will be announced at the end of the current season, following auditions in New York City on April 9.

“Rio and James have worked very hard to reach this point in their careers, and I am thrilled to be able to promote these two fine artists,” said Mr. Kaiser.

Originally from Havana, Cuba, Riolama Lorenzo began her ballet training at Martha Mahr School of Ballet in Miami, Fla. At age 14, Ms. Lorenzo was chosen to study at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla. In 1993, she was the recipient of the renowned Princess Grace Award and continued her dance training at New York City Ballet’s prestigious School of American Ballet. While in attendance at the school, Ms. Lorenzo originated a role in Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Interventions for the 1994 Spring Workshop. The following autumn she became an apprentice with New York City Ballet and was then invited to join the Company in Spring 1995.

While dancing with New York City Ballet, Ms. Lorenzo appeared in countless works in the Company’s vast repertoire, including ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Robert LaFosse, Garth Fagan, Elliot Feld, and others. She danced principal roles in Balanchine’s Jewels (“Emeralds”), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Union Jack, Serenade, Agon, Apollo and The Nutcracker; Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs, The Concert (“Mad Ballerina”), Fancy Free, The Four Seasons (“Summer”), Glass Pieces, The Goldberg Variations, Les Noces and I’m Old Fashioned; and Martins’ Swan Lake, (“Carabosse”) and Fearful Symmetries. In addition, she originated roles in Robbins’ West Side Story Suite and Brandenberg, and in Peter Martins’ Concerti Armonici and Reliquary.

Ms. Lorenzo joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in September 2002 and was promoted to Soloist in September 2003. Her feature roles in the classical repertoire include the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, and the title role in James Kudelka’s The Firebird. She also danced leading roles in Paul Taylor’s Company B, Robbins’ Fancy Free, Balanchine’s Apollo, Martins’ Fearful Symmetries, and Matthew Neenan’s Le Travail and 11:11. In June 2004 she performed Odette-Odile in Christopher Wheeldon’s critically acclaimed Swan Lake, a performance that The Philadelphia Inquirer called “glorious”.

Born in San Diego, California, James Ady began his ballet training at age 15 in Clinton, Iowa, at Carousel School of Dance. During his junior and senior years at high school he attended the North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduating in 1996, he trained with the San Francisco Ballet School and The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Mr. Ady became an apprentice with Pennsylvania Ballet in 1997 and was a member of the Corps de Ballet from September 1999 through June 2002.

After spending one season with American Ballet Theatre, Mr. Ady rejoined the Company in September 2003 as a Soloist. His repertoire at American Ballet Theatre included roles in Le Corsaire, Giselle, Offenbach in the Underworld and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison.

Mr. Ady’s principal roles with Pennsylvania Ballet have included Prince Siegfried in Chrsitopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Benvolio in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Cavalier and Candy Cane in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Franz in Coppélia, and Frederick in Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, as well as principal roles in Christopher D’Amboise’s Symposium, Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie and The Four Temperaments, and Paul Taylor’s Arden Court. Most recently, he performed the role of Colas in the Company Premiere of Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée. Mr. Ady also had featured roles created on him by Matthew Neenan for Vicissitudes and Jeffrey Gribler for Cricket Dances.

Founded in 1963 by Balanchine student Barbara Weisberger, Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the nation’s leading ballet companies. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the Company’s annual local season features six productions of classic favorites and new works, including the Philadelphia holiday tradition, The Nutcracker. For more information, call 215-551-7000 or visit www.paballet.org.

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Lorenzo has been an almost unofficial principal dancer since she arrived. I remember one program two years ago in which she danced in the corps in Concerto Barocco, the third theme in 4ts and the pas de deux in Fancy Free. And she got the lead in the premiere of Wheeldon's Swan Lake last summer.

I'm really happy for her. I always liked her at NYCB and she was showing herself to be very special in several leading roles. I'm glad she returned to dance at PA Ballet, the situation has been good for her.

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Congratulations to both Rio And James for their promotion. It is well deserved and I will be looking forward to seeing them dance next season! It has been a joy to watch the growth in James' dancing these last few years and he is such a great person. His Colas was beautifully danced in La Fille. He and Julie Diana made a charming couple as well. Rio has been a wonderful addition to PAB since her arrival. Looking forward to each of their Swan Lakes in the first program next season for sure.....my best to them both :D

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Yes indeed! Anyone care to voice an opinion on who they'd like to see promoted? I haven't seen the company in a few years now, but Heidi Cruz comes to mind, as well as Jen Smith. I may be basing that opinion more on seniority than anything else, but they are really lovely dancers! Also, Matt Neenan has certainly "served his time." There are many dancers in the corps whom I've never seen, though, so possibly some are more obvious candidates?

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I would guess that Heidi Cruz is high up on the list - she is featured prominently and the audience loves her - she's not always my favourite but she has great stage presence. In the most recent program, I was especially impressed with Laura Bowman.

Regarding Matt Neenan - I don't know that he 'needs' the promotion as he is getting a lot of attention (and presumably extra money) for his choreography. Thomas Baltrushanas (sp?), perhaps?

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Not to take away from any of the above mentions, there are many worthy senior corps dancers that have lit up the Academy of Music stage with great performances in ballets of varying styles and genres . The fact that most all the corps is given opportunity says alot about the quality of dancers at PABallet IMO. And it is one of the enjoyable features about watching this company in numerous programs......there is a lovely texture to this group. :yahoo:

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There was a wonderful article about Rio this past weekend in the paper. If you did not get a chance to read it, you may want to try this link


or go to www.philly.com and search under the entertainment section for Riolama .

She is certainly a wonderful addition to PABallet and I for one can not wait to see her in upcoming productions. What I love most about her is the passion that she emits when dancing...she is hard to take your eyes off of. The ballet community needs more "passionate" dancers like this. I would certainly say this was NYCB's loss and PABallet's gain. :blink:

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