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Daniil Simkin promoted to Principal! ♥

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PNB tweeted it's congratulations, along with a link to a video with Simkin and Maria Kochetkova in the "Corsaire" Pas de Deux from the World Ballet Festival in Tokyo, 2009:

Congrats to
simkin for his Principal promotion
! (if you aren't familiar w/ him:

I still can't believe he could land that last jump in the manege in the coda around the 8 minute mark. I think they make a wonderful pairing.

Here's a link to the news in the NYT:


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Daniil Simkin 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.

Simkin was born in Russia to ballet dancers Dmitrij Simkin and Olga Aleksandrova and was raised in Wiesbaden, Germany. From the age of six, Simkin often appeared onstage dancing alongside his father. He began his formal ballet training at age 10, under the direction of his mother. At age 12 he began participating in ballet competitions and galas around the world.

In 2006, Simkin joined the Vienna State Opera Ballet as a demi-soloist. His roles with the company included the peasant pas de deux in Elena Tchernichova’s Giselle, the Nutcracker-Prince in Vasily Vainonen’s The Nutcracker, Benvolio in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet and the Beggar Chief in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, among others. In 2007, he danced his first principal role, Basilio in Don Quixote, as a guest with the Lithuanian National Opera.

Simkin’s awards include First Prize at International Ballet Competitions in

St. Pölten, Austria (2000); Vienna, Austria (2001); Perm, Russia (2004); and Varna, Bulgaria (2004), where he also won the Gold Medal. He won the Grand Prix at the International Ballet Competition in Vienna in 2004 and in Helsinki in 2005. In 2006, he won the Senior Gold Medal at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

Simkin joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in October 2008. His repertoire with ABT includes the Bronze Idol in La Bayadère, the Ballet Dancer in

The Bright Stream, Franz in Coppélia, Ali and Lankendem in Le Corsaire, Basilio and the Lead Gypsy in Don Quixote, Puck in The Dream, the first sailor in Fancy Free,

the Flames of Paris pas de deux, the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, the Nutcracker Prince in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, Lensky in Onegin, the Son in Prodigal Son, Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Boy With Matted Hair in Shadowplay, the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, the pas de deux from Stars and Stripes, Prince Siegfried and Benno in Swan Lake, Gurn in La Sylphide, Eros and a Goat in Sylvia, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and roles in Allegro Brillante, Black Tuesday, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Company B, Duets, In the Upper Room, The Leaves Are Fading and One of Three. He created the Chinese Dance in Ratmansky's The Nutcracker and roles in Everything Doesn't Happen at Once and Troika.

American Ballet Theatre performs The Nutcracker at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York December 7-16. For more information, visit www.abt.org.

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Fantastic news! Simkin is a perfect example of a highly-talented dancer who has developed beyond the 'competitions whiz kid' to become a mature artist. His Siegfried in Swan Lake this past summer really opened my eyes to his new dimensions. He can now put 'Les Bourgeois' to rest, for once and for all!

What a year of principal-promotions 2012 has turned out to be - Simkin, Seo....Obraztsova & Kaptsova at the Bolshoi...Kondaurova at the Mariinsky...Rebecca Krohn at NYCB, et. al. I have equally good vibes for Boylston, a healthy Copeland and others in 2013. smile.png

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Congrats to Simkin. I wish him well, while I still have reservations about him. His Stars & Stripes pas at City Center showed amazing tricks and an amazing disregard for his partner. I wonder who he'll be dancing with.

I didn't agree with Seo's promotion either so maybe I'm just an an opinionated grouch who prefers NYC Ballet.

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I like Daniil but I think they should have fixed his shaky partnering and hammy/ non existant acting issues before they promoted him to principal. In my opinion, he really hasn't changed from being the Gala boy wonder with big tricks and showmanship. But on second thought, that would require ABT to actually hire more quality ballet masters/ mistresses to fix it... Congrats to him nonetheless.

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He doesn't seem to be cast for many principal roles at the Met. Three Corsaires, one Sleeping Beauty (with Lane), one Nutcracker next month (with Lane), one Swan Lake (with Boylston). Ratmansky didn't use him in either cast for the new Symphony #9 this fall. (I have no idea what any of that means. Perhaps others do.)

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There are still some tbas for the Met, no? One wonders what Kevin's mindset is behind this. He only recently started giving Herman some of these roles and Herman is ten times the dancer Simkin is. The other question is, of course, who is he going to be partnering? I would assume this projects Boylston's promotion in the very near future, as every outing he has with Lane seems fraught with awkwardness due their completely different styles (note: I'm just going by what people say about their various outings together).

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At the Swan Lake debut this past summer at the Met, Simkin did a great job partnering Boylston. For example, in the 'White Swan' adagio, he actually did the high 'upside-down press lifts' during the diagonal, rather than the simpler waist-high 'presage pose' carries that one often sees when a slight man has to partner a larger woman. I wouldn't expect Simkin to do the high upside-down-press with a Veronica Part (heaven forbid such a partnership!) but it worked very well with Boylston. (Yes, I realize that Boylston is so strong that she could even partner herself in sections, if need be. Still - kudos to Simkin for pulling it off.)

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He doesn't seem to be cast for many principal roles at the Met. Three Corsaires, one Sleeping Beauty (with Lane), one Nutcracker next month (with Lane), one Swan Lake (with Boylston). Ratmansky didn't use him in either cast for the new Symphony #9 this fall. (I have no idea what any of that means. Perhaps others do.)

Hi California. Simkin also has a Don Q with Boylston at the Met, and I'm sure he will repeat his role as Lensky in Eugene Onegin, which is second lead role. I'd also bet that he is cast in the third movement of Symphony in C, though there is no casting announced yet. I saw his Don Q a few years ago with Kajiya, and I thought he was wonderful. .

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Thanks - I missed the Don Q, which he also did in Barcelona.

I'd be really surprised if he's one of the TBAs for Swan Lake. Earlier speculation was that Osipova would appear at the Sat mat. Gomes has partnered her (at Mikhailovsky) and Murphy in that role, so it seems likely he'd get one of those. (I hope so, having seen the Murphy-Gomes Swan last June, which was fabulous.) It would be quite a shock if Simkin ended up in one of those TBAs, especially as he already has a Swan.

I don't remember seeing him in the Ratmansky Firebird at the Met, at least not in a prominent role (although he did the drag role in Bright Stream). Perhaps Ratmansky has a better sense of his possibilities at this point in his career than others. Then again, perhaps he'll be featured in one of the other two installments of the new Ratmansky pieces to be premiered at the Met next spring.

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I don't think Simkin was wonderful in Don Quixote, as he still could not handle the fish dive in the Grand pas de deux of Don Quixote, I haven't seen any Basilo that could not take his hands from Kitri at the fish dive. I have seen him in a full Don Quixote 3 times and many more in a gala (the latest this summer) but no, his partnering has not improved.

Well he is very good in solos though. I went to his gala Intensio in Tokyo but I had the impression he hasn't much proceeded in artistry, although he has the pyro-techniques and the charm.

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I can't disagree that Simkin's partnering is sometimes weak. However, Cory Stearns is also a weak partner (but has improved somewhat over time), but Stearns has none of the technical mastery that Simkin has. I also recall that David Hallberg, when he was transitioning from soloist to principal, was a mediocre partner, but improved over time.

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I can't disagree that Simkin's partnering is sometimes weak.

The baffling nature of this promotion isn't just because of Simkin's weak partnering. He's also:

1) short in a company with two other short male principals (Cornejo, Vasiliev) who the company labors to find appropriate vehicles for,

2) frail and androgynous-looking (which limits his casting),

3) weak as an actor, and

4) not overly prominent in the works of the house choreographer (Ratmansky).

So, what precisely are they going to do with him as a principal? I suppose ABT could resurrect some of Baryshnikov's mid-70s repertory (Push Comes to Shove, Pas de Duke) for him and see if that is the way forward.

The competition/gala circuit has certainly come to grim fruition with this appointment.

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hypothetical question for the partnering discussion in this thread:

Who seems the likely choice/preference for any number of leading women at ABT as a partner: Stearns or Hallberg (at their greenest) or Simkin at his 'most improved'?

partnering is far more than executing tricky over-head lifts, etc.

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I think the problem with that question, rg, is that almost all of the leading women at ABT simply could not dance with Simkin due to his height. Or are we discounting his height for the purposes of the question?

And I completely agree with the four points miliosr made.

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I see the whole issue as being problematic too, for the reasons that miliosr has so aptly put together. The second point of his list makes the first one more severe in my opinion. At least I can imagine someone like Herman Cornejo in roles that he hasn't had the opportunity to dance yet at ABT (but will in the near future, see his Siegfried next MET season) while at the same time, I have difficulty to do so in the case of Daniil Simkin, even though he has done the roles in reality.

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I agree with miliosr in many things, but not on this matter.

I just posted the following to my fb page

Daniil Simkin promoted to principal dancer at ABT? -- this is FINE WITH ME. Yes, he dances like an elf. Yes, he is a delicate man. No, he's probably not a big enough guy to partner ABT's ballerinas -- so let them hire a short ballerina. Simkin is a FABULOUS DANCER. He's a poet, with a fantastic instrument. He is not just a pyrotechnician -- he is a very sympathetic partner. Check this out: Kochetkova is also a TINY dancer, but look how big she moves, and how happy she looks with him. Please ABT, don't poach Kochetkova. We love her in San Francisco.

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