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Dancers Leaving 2014-2015

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As mentioned in other threads, five dancers central to Arizona's last decade (at least) are leaving the Company at the end of this season: Paola Hartley, Astrit Zejnati, Tsu-Chia Huang, Ilir Shtylla, and Michele Mahowald Vagi.

There was a very nice article about Hartley and Zejnati in the "Arizona Republic":


"It's the end of an era at Ballet Arizona," says Natalia Magnicaballi, another longtime star with the troupe.

"I'm actually a little bit in denial that they're not going to be here next year. The other day, I was watching them rehearse, and I had to leave the studio because I started crying. They're like my family. I spend more time with them in the studio than my actual family.

"What I love is to see them interacting. They are like this old couple who knows each other. They will fight, but with love."

Both are confirmed as retiring. Zejnati

plans to return to his native Albania, where he's in negotiations to become artistic director of the national ballet company.

Hartley says she will stay in the Valley, where she plans to teach and to start a family with her fiance, a local businessman.

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