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Kent, Herrera and Reyes to retire during 2015 Spring season


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The release (it's a bit messy since I'm on my iPad):

PALOMA HERRERA, JULIE KENT AND XIOMARA REYES

TO RETIRE AS PRINCIPAL DANCERS WITH

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Final Performances Scheduled for

2015 Spring Season at Metropolitan Opera House

Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent and Xiomara Reyes, Principal Dancers with American Ballet Theatre, have announced their retirements from the Company at the conclusion of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera House season in New York City. These three unique ballerinas have each made such distinctive contributions to ABT throughout the years, Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie stated. With them, an era of our history resides. Their remarkable careers will be three more reasons to celebrate our 75th Anniversary season.

Paloma Herrera will give her farewell on Tuesday evening, June 9 as Princess Aurora in Alexei Ratmanskys The Sleeping Beauty. Julie Kent will dance her final performance with ABT on Saturday evening, June 20 as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Xiomara Reyes will give her farewell on Wednesday evening, May 27 dancing the title role in Giselle.

Paloma Herrera was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and began her ballet studies with Olga Ferri at the age of seven. As a young dancer, she was a first prize winner at several major competitions in South America, and, at the age of 11, studied at the Minsk Ballet School in Russia before returning to Buenos Aires to dance the role of Cupid in

Don Quixote at the Teatro Colón. Herrera was a Finalist at the Fourteenth International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria in 1990, after which she was invited by Natalia Makarova to take class with the English National Ballet in London and by Hector Zaraspe to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet in New York. After just six months, Herrera was selected to dance the leading role in Raymonda at SABs annual workshop performance. She joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in June 1991, was promoted to Soloist in June 1993 and to Principal Dancer in March of 1995. Herreras roles with the Company include Mathilda Kchessinska in Anastasia, Terpsichore and Polyhymnia in Apollo, Gamzatti and Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zina in

The Bright Stream, the second movement in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the title role in Ben Stevensons Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Medora and Gulnare in Le Corsaire, the pas de deux Diana and Acteon, Kitri in Don Quixote, Katherine in Christopher Wheeldons VIII, the title roles in Giselle, Raymonda and Sylvia, His Memory and His

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PRINCIPAL DANCERS TO RETIRE Page 2

Experiences in HereAfter, Hanna Glawari and Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzies The Nutcracker, Clara, the Princess in Alexei

Ratmanskys The Nutcracker, the Paquita pas de deux, Cerrito in Pas des Déesses, the

Siren in Prodigal Son, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, a Lover in Sin and Tonic, Princess

Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Coupava in The Snow Maiden, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, the Waltz in Les Sylphides, first movement in Symphony in C, the Sylvia Pas de Deux, The Awakening Pas de Deux, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Americans We, Bach Partita, Ballet Imperial, Brief Fling, Clear, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Duo Concertant, Études, Fancy Free, Glow- Stop, The Howling Cat, In the Upper Room, Majisimo, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort, Sinatra Suite, Sinfonietta, Stepping Stones, Symphonie Concertante, Theme and Variations and workwithinwork. She created Olga in On the Dnieper and leading roles in The Brahms- Haydn Variations, Chamber Symphony, Citizen, Cruel World, Disposition, From Here On Out, How Near Heaven, One of Three, Rabbit and Rogue, Triptych, Turnstile and Without Words. Herrera has been a member of Artists Committee for The Kennedy Center Honors since 2004.

Julie Kent began her dance training with Hortensia Fonseca at the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet. She attended the American Ballet Theatre II and the School of American Ballet summer sessions before joining ABT as an apprentice in 1985. In that same year, Kent won first place in the regional finals of the National Society of Arts and Letters at the Kennedy Center. In 1986, as the only American to win a medal at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition, she became a member of ABT's corps de ballet and was cast in the Herbert Ross film Dancers opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed a Soloist with ABT in 1990 and a Principal Dancer in 1993, the year in which she won the Erik Bruhn Prize in Toronto and was named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People. Kent's roles with the Company include the Girl in Afternoon of a Faun, the title role in Anastasia, Terpsichore and Calliope in Apollo, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zina in The Bright Stream, the third movement in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the title role in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, the title role in James Kudelka's Cinderella, the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Medora in

Le Corsaire, the Lady with Him in Dim Lustre, Kitri and the Queen of the Dryads in

Don Quixote, Titania in The Dream, The Dying Swan, Anne in Christopher Wheeldon's VIII, the Accused in Fall River Legend, the Glove Seller in Gaîté Parisienne, Giselle in Giselle, Caroline in Jardin aux Lilas, Marguerite in Lady of the Camellias, Manon in Manon, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country, His Wife in The Moor's Pavane, the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzie's The Nutcracker, Tatiana in Onegin, Desdemona in Othello, the pas de deux Other Dances, the pas de deux in Les Patineurs, Hagar in Pillar of Fire, the Siren in Prodigal Son, the Ranch Owner's Daughter in Rodeo, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, a Lover in

Sin and Tonic, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Sylph in La Sylphide, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, the second movement in Symphony in C, the Nocturne and the Prelude in Les Sylphides, Sylvia in Sylvia, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, the Woman in Weren't We Fools? and leading roles in Ballet Imperial, Dark Elegies, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Fancy Free,

The Garden of Villandry, Gong, Kaleidoscope, The Leaves Are Fading, Meadow,

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PRINCIPAL DANCERS TO RETIRE Page 3

Mozartiana, Overgrown Path, Sinfonietta, "... smile with my heart", Spring and Fall, Stepping Stones, Symphonie Concertante and Theme and Variations. She created

Artemis in Artemis, Sibyl Vane in Dorian, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter and leading roles in Apothéose, Americans We, Baroque Game, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, C. to C. (Close to Chuck), Chamber Symphony, Clear, Concerto No.1 for Piano and Orchestra,Cruel World, Getting Closer, Glow- Stop, Known by Heart, Rigaudon, Seven Sonatas, States of Grace, Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and Without Words. In 2000, Kent won the Prix Benois de la Danse and is the only American woman ever to have won this prize. Kent starred in the motion picture Center Stage (2000), directed by Nicholas Hytner. In June of 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and later in the same year, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dance Magazine. Her appearances as a guest include invitations from many distinguished companies including New York City Ballet, Kirov/Mariinsky Theatre, La Scala Milan, Stuttgart Ballet, Berlin Staatsballett, Australian Ballet, Teatro Colón, Tokyo Ballet and Ballet de Santiago among others. At the time of her retirement in 2015, her 29 years with the Company will be a record for the most years served as a dancer with ABT. Kent is married to ABT Associate Artistic Director Victor Barbee and they have two children.

Xiomara Reyes was born in Havana, Cuba, and studied at Cubas National Ballet School. Upon her graduation, she danced with the National Ballet of Cuba and performed as a soloist with La Joven Guardia. Two years later she was invited to appear with the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium where she danced for seven years rising to the rank of First Soloist. Her repertoire with these companies included Nikiya in La Bayadère, Cinderella in Cinderella, Kitri in Don Quixote, Swanilda in Coppélia, Giselle in Giselle and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. She also performed principal roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Paolo Bortoluzzi and Christopher DAmboise, among others. Reyes has danced as a guest with the Jeune Ballet de France, Balleto Del Sud, Nafsika Dance Theater, the International Dance Festival in Korea, the Bashkirian State Ballet, the National Ballet of Tokyo and the Georgian State Dance Company. In 2014, she made her debut as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake at Hakucho Ballet in Japan. Her awards include: Gold Medal for the Best Soloist at the International Ballet Competition of Chiclayo, Peru (1989), Best Couple Prize at the XIV International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria (1990), Silver Medal at the Cinquienne Concours International de Danse de Paris (1992) and Second Prize at the International Ballet Competition in Luxembourg (1995). Reyes joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in January 2001 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in April 2003. Her roles with the Company include a leading role in Allegro Brillante, a Shade in La Bayadère, Zina in The Bright Stream, the first and fourth movements in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the title role in Frederick Ashtons Cinderella, the title role in James Kudelkas Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Medora, Gulnare and an Odalisque in Le Corsaire, a leading role in Désir, Who Was She? in Dim Lustre, Kitri and Amour in Don Quixote, Sibyl in Dorian, Titania in The Dream, Anne in Christopher Wheeldons VIII, Lise in La Fille mal gardée, Giselle, the peasant pas de deux and Moyna in Giselle, Le Grand Pas de Deux, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter, Caroline in Jardin aux Lilas, the Two of Diamonds in Jeu de Cartes, Prudence in Lady of the Camellias, the title roles in Manon, Raymonda and Sylvia, Valencienne in The Merry

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PRINCIPAL DANCERS TO RETIRE Page 4

Widow, Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country, His Wife in The Moors Pavane, Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzies The Nutcracker, Clara, the Princess in Alexei Ratmanskys The Nutcracker, the Debutante in Offenbach in the Underworld, Desdemona in Othello, Olga in Onegin, the Ballerina in Petrouchka, the Youngest Sister in Pillar of Fire, the Cowgirl in Rodeo, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet in Antony Tudors Romeo and Juliet (Romeos Farewell to Juliet), a Celestial in Shadowplay, Princess Aurora and Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, the Young Girl in Le Spectre de la Rose, the pas de trois and the Hungarian Princess in Swan Lake, the third movement in Symphony in C, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and leading roles in Birthday Offering, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Brief Fling, Clear, Duets, Études, The Garden of Villandry, Glow-Stop,

The Leaves Are Fading, Majisimo, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort, Piano Concerto #1 and Without Words. She created leading roles in Seven Sonatas, Triptych and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatres 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House are available by phone and online beginning October 27, 2014. For more information, please visit www.abt.org.

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IMO, Julie's departure is long overdue. On the other hand I'm mildly surprised by Xiomara and Paloma. They both seem to be holding up pretty well. Since Xiomara is small, it'll be interesting to see if Kevin poaches someone ( like Maria Kotchekova) or promotes from within (Sarah or Misty). If those three- Stella, Sarah & Misty - are not all promoted, it will be a slap in the face of whoever is turned down.

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Well I'm saddened about Xiomara Reyes. It's remarkable how she's kept her dancing at such a consistent level through the years, and she was still totally charming this past season in Cinderella.

Me too. I adored her Cinderella.

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We've talked quite a bit here about ABT's male principal problem. It seems like there will be an issue regarding the female principal problem. As Amour indicated, is the plan going forward to poach some ballerinas, or promote the in house ones.

Kent was hardly dancing, so her departure will not leave a huge gap. However, Paloma and Xiomara were both appearing frequently in the Spring season. In addition, Xiomora was Herman's most regular partner. Who is short enough to be his regular partner going forward? As Amour indicated, are they planning on offering Kochetkova a more regular gig so Herman has a partner?

I actually have a lot of respect for Paloma and Xiomara leaving while they are still dancing well. It's better than hanging on till the bitter end when the entire audience is well aware of your obvious decline. It shows self respect and resepct for the audience.

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Xiomara was Herman's most regular partner. Who is short enough to be his regular partner going forward? As Amour indicated, are they planning on offering Kochetkova a more regular gig so Herman has a partner?

Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes were not partners during the past spring season. Cornejo was scheduled to dance with Kochetkova (Don Quixote), Cojocaru (La Bayadere and Giselle), and Copeland (Coppelia), whereas Reyes was paired with Lendorf (Don Quixote), Vasiliev (also Don Quixote), Jackson (Manon), Gorak (Cinderella), Matthews (Giselle), and Radetsky (Coppelia). It seems that Kevin McKenzie was preparing for Reyes' departure, though it is not clear that he resolved the issue of who will be the best partner for Cornejo. In any case, only Copeland (of those named) is currently on the ABT roster.

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I'm wondering who will partner each of them in their retirement performances. I'm guessing Kent will want either Bolles or Gomes. It would be great to see Cornejo in Giselle with Reyes and give HIM an opportunity to shine after last spring's assorted cancellations. SB is a killer ballet and it's interesting that Herrera is learning the new version, only to retire; who could partner her?

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Xiomara was Herman's most regular partner. Who is short enough to be his regular partner going forward? As Amour indicated, are they planning on offering Kochetkova a more regular gig so Herman has a partner?

Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes were not partners during the past spring season. Cornejo was scheduled to dance with Kochetkova (Don Quixote), Cojocaru (La Bayadere and Giselle), and Copeland (Coppelia), whereas Reyes was paired with Lendorf (Don Quixote), Vasiliev (also Don Quixote), Jackson (Manon), Gorak (Cinderella), Matthews (Giselle), and Radetsky (Coppelia). It seems that Kevin McKenzie was preparing for Reyes' departure, though it is not clear that he resolved the issue of who will be the best partner for Cornejo. In any case, only Copeland (of those named) is currently on the ABT roster.

Cornejo has been paired quite a bit with Sarah Lane, too, but in smaller/shorter ballets (like T&V) not in any full-lengths. I think they're great together but for some reason McKenzie refuses to use Lane more (with Cornejo and in bigger roles).

I've been a fan of these three ladies (Kent, Reyes and Herrera) for many years and I'm surprised Reyes and Kent are announcing their retirement now (we already knew about Herrera's). I thought Kent would try to hold on for one more year (unwisely) to make it to her 30 yr anniversary. But, like abatt I admire Reyes and Herrera retiring while they're still in good form.

I have no hopes that McKenzie will promote Abrera or Lane to fill the gaps (I'll be shocked to say the least if that happens). I'll expect him to hire a few ready-made principals or "guest artists" instead.

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That article also says their spring gala will be May 18 -- isn't that usually a "sampler" of the season to come? That seems late to me. If they do an 8-week season, that takes them to July 11. I would have guessed that May 18 was the start of the second week.

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Didn't even focus on the May 18 date. That is late. The Met Opera season ends on SAt May 9. Is Kevin trying to push the season further into July to accomodate more guest appearances for the season? (Osipova?)

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I'm wondering who will partner each of them in their retirement performances. I'm guessing Kent will want either Bolles or Gomes. It would be great to see Cornejo in Giselle with Reyes and give HIM an opportunity to shine after last spring's assorted cancellations. SB is a killer ballet and it's interesting that Herrera is learning the new version, only to retire; who could partner her?

I assume that Gomes will partner Kent in R&J (he's a wonderful Romeo and offstage they're great friends, so I imagine she'd like him to give her the send off). I can't imagine who else would partner Reyes in Giselle but Cornejo. The bigger question I think is who will partner Herrera in SB, since she has no "regular" partner. Stearns? Whiteside? Gomes?

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Didn't even focus on the May 18 date. That is late. The Met Opera season ends on SAt May 9. Is Kevin trying to push the season further into July to accomodate more guest appearances for the season? (Osipova?)

Is it possible that ABT will take a week off while the Royal Ballet performs in New York? Maybe the RB will perform in the Met rather than the Koch? (Wishful thinking, I know...)

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Do we even know dates for Royal in NYC? Their London season closes June 4. They're at Kennedy Center June 9-14 and Chicago June 18-21. NYC in late June seems likely. Any hints of whether Lincoln Summer Festival is bringing a major company?

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Wow, that's a lot of departures. Now there will be lots of room for promotions. STELLAAAA!

SARAAAHHHH!

STELLAAAA and SARAAAHHH! Long overdue, but worth waiting for, if it happens. We must pray to Terpsichore.

I'd love to see it happen, but don't hold out much hope. KM has never shown a real appreciation for either of them. It will be interesting to see what happens re casting in the Ratmansky Sleeping Beauty. That may reveal a lot.

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I'd love to see it happen, but don't hold out much hope. KM has never shown a real appreciation for either of them. It will be interesting to see what happens re casting in the Ratmansky Sleeping Beauty. That may reveal a lot.

I completely agree, Vipa, which raises the issue of whether preference for most, if not all, dancers is a subjective matter of taste, and whether putting the casting in the hands of a single person's taste is unfair to the general public, not to mention the dancers themselves. Thankfully, we have Ratmansky, who, IMHO, has demonstrated a rather broader appreciation of the dancers at ABT than has KM.

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[Thankfully, we have Ratmansky, who, IMHO, has demonstrated a rather broader appreciation of the dancers at ABT than has KM.

Perhaps because Ratmansky used to run a company that was all about promoting from within.

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[Thankfully, we have Ratmansky, who, IMHO, has demonstrated a rather broader appreciation of the dancers at ABT than has KM.

Perhaps because Ratmansky used to run a company that was all about promoting from within.

That's an excellent observation, Sandik. I do hope the people at ABT are reading this thread!

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The Bolshoi is more like NYCB: all of the dancers promoted and championed don't always come from the school -- for example, Ivan Vasiliev came from the Belorussian Ballet School -- and now that the Kremlin doesn't demand that Stalin's favorite dancers be transferred from the Mariinsky, the Bolshoi has done a great job of being a hospitable place for great dancers who've become less enamored with Mariinsky management, like Obraztsova, Zakharova, Merkuriev, Lobukhin, and, due to Filin, they imported Hallberg. They also snatched up star Vaganova graduate Zhiganshina, who performed plum roles with the Mariinsky as a student.

The Bolshoi has two great advantages over ABT: a school that is centuries old and its standing as one of the greatest ballet companies in the world. Why would they go outside their training or their cousin school's training at the Vaganova Academy and why would they need other dancers? Even if they get dancers from schools in Perm or Belorussia, the training is often very similar and taught by Vaganova- and Moscow-trained teachers, and it's a coup if they manage to capture a Mariinsky dancer.

The closest ABT has come to training dancers is through ABT II. The last three dancers they've promoted from the ranks and all but two soloists have come through ABT II, but that still isn't a substitute for dedicated basic training from an early age or stylistic consistency.

People flock to see the Bolshoi dancers. ABT at least thinks it has to hire guest artists to fill the theaters. The Bolshoi would be crazy if they didn't promote from within. If only ABT could get to a similar point.

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We already knew Herrera was leaving so there's no surprise there. And, truthfully, I feel like her moment passed at least a half dozen years ago. Kent's retirement does come as a mild surprise since I thought she would hang on until her 30th anniversary. But ABT's repertory just doesn't lend itself to the kind of ballerina she is now. As a consequence, management has had to redistribute her share of the workload to other ballerinas, which has had a distorting effect on the company.

The big surprise is the Reyes announcement as she remains technically strong and has been very dependable as a utility ballerina. Her departure is a bigger loss than it might seem at first glance.

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When Herrera announced her retirement I was quite surprised, and it also happened to me with the sudden departure of Irina.

I have avoided Paloma for many years, and I always thought that even though she was incredibly talented, she chose the wrong company, she should have been at NYCB, since Mr B style suites much better her dancing than the classic roles....In any case, she is one of the few ballerinas that has danced pretty much all the roles at abt, touring with the company always, so it will def be a huge loss for them

Kent retirement was obvious, I also thought that she would wait for another year but I guess she decided departing with the 75th anniversary. I have been a fan of her for over the years, her Odette and Giselle will always stay in my mind.

Reyes retirement does come as a huge surprise to me. I wasnt a fan in her early years but she has matured as the good wine, incredibly well. I think her best years were the last 5-6, I found myself going from avoiding to attending to many of her shows, and she rarely disappointed, she delivered quite a few remarkable performances, technically and artistically, including a last-minute brilliant performance of Sylvia, one of the hardest roles for a classic ballerina. She was a fearless ballerina, incredibly musical and secure, and I loved that......2-3 years ago, during her 10th anniversary as principal dancer, she said in a few interviews that she was planning to dance until her late 40s (after Corella departure, Paloma said the same thing a few times)......Last season she seemed to be in amazing form, dancing opposite to Vasiliev with great success, and she still looks very young............I also noticed that she is leaving right after the first week of the season, meaning that she will barely dance this coming season at all......I wonder what changed............

Reyes partnership with Cornejo ended 2 years ago, I really dont think that she will dance her farewell with him.

Although I strongly disagree, as with Seo promotion as well, I can see the promotion of Misty C. on the go.....I have never understood KM decision's regarding his ballerinas......and the decisions that I am sensing coming soon will make me stop going to performances more and more, since it seems that his taste and mine are quite different.......(Although I really appreciate his great move to bring Vishneva 10 years ago, to me the best of his leadership at abt, and lately Semionova)

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