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Sara Mearns promoted to principal dancer

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New York City Ballet announced today that Sara Mearns has been promoted to Principal Dancer. Peter Martins, NYCB’s Ballet Master in Chief, made the promotion on Saturday, June 28, following Mearns’ performance in Balanchine’s La Sonnambula.

During the 2008 season, Mearns made debuts in a number of works including; George Balanchine’s Diamonds from Jewels, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (Sugarplum Fairy), Robert Schumann’s “Davidsbündlertänze,” and La Sonnambula; Jerome Robbins’ Brahms/Handel, The Four Seasons, The Goldberg Variations, I’m Old Fashioned, In G Major, In the Night, Ives, Songs, and Piano Pieces; Peter Martins’ Beethoven Romance and Thou Swell; and Susan Stroman’s Double Feature. Mearns also originated a role in Christopher Wheeldon’s Rococo Variations.

Mearns was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and began her dance training at the age of three with Ann Brodie at the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance. At the age of 13, Mearns began training with Patricia McBride at Dance Place, the school of the North Carolina Dance Theatre, and she continued her studies at age 14 with Stanislav Issaev at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

Mearns entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in the fall of 2001. In the fall of 2003 she became an apprentice with NYCB. In June 2004, Mearns joined the Company as a member

of the corps de ballet, and was promoted to the rank of soloist in March 2006.

In addition to debuts made during the 2008 season, Mearns has performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Apollo, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Episodes, Firebird, Jewels, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Orpheus, Raymonda Variations, Serenade, Symphony in C, Vienna Waltzes, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, and Western Symphony; Jerome Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs and Dances at a Gathering; Peter Martins’ Octet, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake; and Christopher Wheeldon’s An American in Paris.

Mearns has also originated featured roles in Martins’ The Red Violin and Wheeldon’s The Nightingale and the Rose. Mearns was a recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award in 2003 and a nominee for the Princess Grace Award that same year.

New York City Ballet’s 2008 season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Centers begins on Tuesday, July 8, and runs through Saturday, July 26. For more information about NYCB visit nycballet.com.

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