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2015-2016 Dancer Promotions, Retirements, Etc.


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Congratulations to Ms. Andre! The past two seasons she took on a lot of new roles, some due to injury of others (Vanessa Zahorian, Sasha de Sola), and seemed to be dancing everything. I look forward to seeing her continued artistic growth as a new principal dancer.

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Peter Boal announced in last night's Q&A that PNB corps member Jahna Franztiskonis has accepted a contract with San Francisco Ballet. This is a cryfest for us in Seattle, but San Francisco's great fortune. At the live-streamed lec-demo William Forsythe gave in March, while coaching her Forsythe jokingly -- maybe only half-jokingly -- invited her to Frankfurt.

(Now returning to my dark place.)

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I'd also heard about Jahna moving to SFB, but nothing official yet, so nice to hear it was mentioned this week.

I will say, I find it a bit of an odd move as she's been getting fabulous parts up here in Seattle. SFB's a bigger company and even for rising stars, it can be very very hard to move up and out of that corps.

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My guess is that personal reasons may be a big part of the move.

PNB's loss is SFB's gain. Jahna Franztiskonis is a superb dancer, and IMHO the joy she finds in dance will propel her, over time, to the very top. My vision of Jayna (pronounced "John-a" BTW) is that her life as a dancer, and as an artist, is paramount -- promotion odds are secondary.

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Doris Andre promoted to principal.

Anyone else heard any other official news? Word on if Mathilde Froustey is staying? Her Instagram indicates she's currently in Paris.

Congratulations to Dores André - she has certainly worked for it the past few years. Now comes the hard part: to be an artist (beyond dancer) on the level of Tan, Sylve, Van Patten, etc.

This is the vacation period for SFB, so I wouldn't worry about Froustey being in France (naturellement). As long as there is no official announcement to the contrary, Ms. Froustey is a principal at SFB. She may be waiting for Millepied to be as good to her as Tomasson, but that may be a wait - he has a lot on his mind.

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The yearbook-like pictures on the Company page have been mysteriously moving about this morning (Tuesday). Mathilde Froustey is still there but the likeable Thomas Bieszka is missing. Jahna Frantziskonis is now listed.

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Kristina Lind and Dana Genshaft were removed from the roster. I will miss these two dancers whose dancing I always enjoyed but saw so little of. I believe Dana has retired from ballet but hope that Kristina continues dancing somewhere else. I wish both of them success in their plans for the future. And thank you for many great moments.

Lauren Strongin from Houston Ballet joins as a soloist.

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Kristina announced on her public Instagram account that she's going to Dutch National Ballet. Dana announced awhile back on her public Facebook page that she was retiring. As far as other ladies, Megan Amanda Ehrlich and Emily Kadow are also missing from the roster.

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Kristina announced on her public Instagram account that she's going to Dutch National Ballet. Dana announced awhile back on her public Facebook page that she was retiring.

Thank you for the update. Glad to hear that Kristina hasn't quit ballet and is just switching companies.

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The yearbook-like pictures on the Company page have been mysteriously moving about this morning (Tuesday). Mathilde Froustey is still there but the likeable Thomas Bieszka is missing. Jahna Frantziskonis is now listed.

Mathilde (@lapetitefrench_) posted to her Instagram last month about Thomas (@tomfrommichigan): https://instagram.com/p/2h9LTXHraz/. I am sad to see him gone as well.... No word on where he has gone.

I have heard good things about Jahna Frantziskonis. I am currently in New York and had the pleasure of meeting posters cubanmiamiboy, seattle_dancer (who is sad about Jahna leaving PNB and coming to SFB), and Natalia. We all saw ABT in either Giselle or Sleeping Beauty. Additionally, I saw La Bayadere last night - with Maria as Nikiya.

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Kristina announced on her public Instagram account that she's going to Dutch National Ballet. Dana announced awhile back on her public Facebook page that she was retiring. As far as other ladies, Megan Amanda Ehrlich and Emily Kadow are also missing from the roster.

I'm sad to hear Kristina is leaving. I thought for sure she would be one of the tall girls for Rubies (in addition to Sofiane & Jennifer Stahl). I had noticed Megan was gone from the roster but not Emily.

Another name missing is Benjamin Stewart. Benjamin Freemantle posted to his Instagram around Romeo & Juliet: https://instagram.com/p/2R799VDRFT/?taken-by=benfreemantle.

I also noticed Raymond Tilton is gone. If he is still dancing, wonder if he'll join his brothers at Ballet West....

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I have loved watching the beautiful Kristina Lind this past season in solo roles and will miss seeing her on stage. I hope she continues to dance for many years and that I get the chance to see this special dancer on stage in Amsterdam.

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Here's the full press release posted last week indicating promotions and new dancers to the company -

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Tuesday, June 2, 2015 -- Effective immediately, San Francisco Ballet announces five promotions, four new Company members, and six apprentices for the 2016 Repertory Season.

Soloist Dores André has been promoted to principal dancer, and Lauren Strongin joins SF Ballet from Houston Ballet as a soloist.

The corps de ballet now includes former SF Ballet Apprentices Samantha Bristow, Benjamin Freemantle, John-Paul Simoens, and Maggie Weirich, in addition to Jahna Frantziskonis from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alessandra Vassallo from Teatro alla Scala, and Kamryn Baldwin from the SF Ballet School.

Grace Choi, Blake Kessler, Anastasia Kubanda, Haruo Niyama, Chisako Oga, and Francisco Sebastião of the SF Ballet School have been promoted to the rank of apprentice.

More background here -

https://www.sfballet.org/about/media_center/press_releases/promorelease

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POB dancers are usually only allowed to take one sabbatical year. Froustey has an agreement with the POB that allowed her to maintain unpaid leave status with the POB ("congé sans solde") for her second year at SF. Because of the administrative structure at POB, it is impossible to hire someone from another company at any level other than the entry quadrille status, and this status preserves her right to come back as a sujet. My point is that she is still considered a dancer, albeit on leave, with the POB for the 2014-2015 season, and it's not altogether surprising that she would be taking class in Garnier or working out on her own. What her plans are for the future remain to be seen.

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I too will miss Kristina Lind - good luck to her. I felt she would have a difficult time advancing much further though, so the move may prove a smart one.

Seeing another dancer from Teatro La Scala interests me - Di Lanno is a great dancer (and I hope he is staying on). Looking forward to seeing Jahna Frantziskonis too.

Raymond Tilton never really distinguished himself, and wasn't moving up the ladder, so that doesn't come as a suprise exactly.

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After the PNB season ended, Jahna Frantziskonis, Elle Macy, and Leta Biasucci performed a work by PNB dancer Price Suddarth for the Seattle International Dance Festival. Suddarth showcased the stylistic strength of each, and watching Frantziskonis, I finally put my finger on whom she reminds me a little of, which had been driving me crazy all season: Elizabeth Loscavio.

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Exciting news, all of this. I was searching around earlier in June but am only now coming upon the announcements. Sorry to see Kristina Lind go; she was lovely. Josette, I am so very happy to hear the news about Simone Messmer - I've been Googling her over the past year, wondering where she'd gone. Great to learn she landed in a great place.

And of course it's always thrilling to see a dancer promoted from within. André has been going gangbusters all season long; I'm not surprised. Although I do agree that her true challenge has just begun, in making her style stand out from the other extraordinary principals. A tough act, that.

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San Francisco Ballet also sent out a message of reassurance to its audience in its latest e-news bulletin:

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) announced this week that SF Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Kochetkova will join them as a as principal dancer this fall. But don’t worry, she will remain a principal dancer with SF Ballet, and will split her time between the two companies. Kochetkova has been serving as a guest artist with ABT since 2013 and joined SF Ballet as a principal dancer in 2007.

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