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Promotion!! Cirio to Principal, Hoven to Soloist.


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Official release of promotions:

JEFFREY CIRIO PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL DANCER AND

BLAINE HOVEN PROMOTED TO SOLOIST WITH

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Jeffrey Cirio has been promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Blaine Hoven has been promoted to Soloist. The promotions, announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, become effective August 1, 2016.

Jeffrey Cirio joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in August 2015. Cirio began his ballet training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. He became a trainee with Boston Ballet School and joined Boston Ballet II for the 2007-2008 season. He continued his training at Orlando Ballet School and returned to Boston Ballet in 2009 as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to second soloist in 2010, to soloist in 2011 and was appointed principal dancer with Boston Ballet in 2012. Cirio’s repertory with Boston Ballet included Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, The Prince in Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, the Bronze Idol and Solor in La Bayadère, Oberon and Puck in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Mercutio and Benvolio in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, a Sailor in Fancy Free and roles in George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Harlequinade, Ballo della Regina, Symphony in Three Movements, The Four Temperaments, Symphony in C, Tarantella and Diamonds and Rubies pas de deux in Jewels, Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia. Cirio originated the principal roles in Jorma Elo’s Awake Only and Elo Experience. For Boston Ballet, Cirio choreographed Trial in 2014 and fremd in 2015. As a Soloist with ABT, Cirio’s repertory includes His Hope in Marcelo Gomes’ AfterEffect, Chinese and Russian Dances in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, Bluebird in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Eros in Ashton’s Sylvia and Colas in La Fille mal gardée, and leading roles in Paul Taylor’s Company B and Ratmansky’s Chamber Symphony and Serenade After Plato’s Symposium. He created a role in Mark Morris’ After You. Cirio won a gold medal at Youth America Grand Prix in 2005, a Princess Grace Fellowship and a gold medal at the Helskini International Ballet Competition in 2009.

Blaine Hoven was born in Mobile, Alabama and began his training at Mobile Ballet under the direction of Winthrop Corey and Ann Duke. He trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts with Melissa Hayden, Warren Conover, Fanchon Cordell, Nina Danilova and Susan McKee McCollough. Hoven attended American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive for five years and received ABT’s National Training Scholarship from 1999 through 2002.

Hoven joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in 2003 and the main Company in 2004. His repertory with the Company includes the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, the Ballet Dancer in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Bright Stream, Bottom in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, Benvolio in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, Benno in Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake, Lensky in John Cranko’s Onegin, the Standard Bearer in Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table and roles in Airs, After You, Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita, Baker’s Dozen, Brief Fling and In the Upper Room, Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas, Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions and Jiří Kylián’s Sinfonietta. He created the Spanish Dance in Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker and roles in AfterEffect and Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once. Hoven was a recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Award and the specially designated, Chris Hellman Dance Award.

American Ballet Theatre’s Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House continues through July 2, 2016. For tickets and information, please visit www.abt.org.

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Hoven is so deserving. Cirio -- really? After only a year with the company? Sure, his rep. at Boston included leading roles, but -- correct me if I'm wrong -- his only true leading role this season was Colas. And his shortcomings in terms of refinement and line were so utterly apparent when he danced side by side with Gorak in Cockerel... I can't think of any other male principal who has been promoted without dancing at least one of the following with the company: Siegfried, Romeo, Albrecht, Basilio, Solor, Prince Desire.

I wonder if this was a "promote me or I'm walking" sort of situation.

When Whiteside was hired, it was trial by fire -- he was given a brutally demanding schedule and thrown into every principal role in ABT's rep. And he had to prove himself as a partner.

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Congratulations Jeffrey! You are so deserving of this great honor and ABT is brilliant to have promoted you. I've known Jeffrey and watched his growth as an artist and a dancer for over a decade and besides his God given talent, he is the most modest and hardworking dancer I know. I'm saddened to think anyone would suspect him of saying "promote me of I'm walking"!

His dancing is extraordinary and he takes wonderful care of his partners - the ABT ballerinas ask Kevin to dance with him. He has danced leading roles all season to great acclaim by the critics! Bravo Jeffrey!

- oh and wait until you see his choreography!

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He has danced leading roles all season to great acclaim by the critics! Bravo Jeffrey!

This seems like something of an overstatement to me -- the "leading roles all season" part, not the "great acclaim" part.

Cirio has certainly been warmly received by many on this board. But I completely agree with fondoffouettes that this seems out of line with typical promotion practice. What other principal has been promoted in recent memory without having danced any of ABT's central leading roles -- the full-length principal parts which are (like it or not) the core of ABT's reportory? (I don't include roles like Bluebird or Ali or Eros in this category. While commonly taken on by principal dancers, they are not leading roles, and they are not the bulk of typical principal's repertoire. Even Simkin dances select full-length leading roles.)

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Well another short male principal, just what ABT needs...

Cirio did well as Colas in "Fille Mal Gardée" and Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet" where he was clearly an audience favorite.

Gorak will get his turn, hopefully soon. It is good news that Gorak is returning to Romeo later this summer on tour. Two things that may be holding Gorak back a bit - partnering and acting. Cirio is rather experienced at both - Gorak looks like a work in progress. In the big story ballets you need some stage presence and Gorak can come off as an elegant dancer but recessive, boyish, sexless and tentative actor. He will only get better with experience though.

Hoven is good news and overdue. I would have been upset if he wasn't promoted

Meanwhile, I promise I will do my run down of the company next week. However, there is a real dichotomy in age and quality between the senior principals - Gomes, Murphy, Cornejo, Abrera, Vishneva, Bolle, Part (and the long absent Hallberg and Semionova) and the younger division. The younger division would include dancers around the age of 30 who should be carrying the company which would include Stearns, Boylston, Simkin, Seo and Copeland. Then there are experienced outside acquisitions like Kochetkova, Whiteside and Lendorf also thirtyish (Lendorf is mid to late twenties born in 1989). Cirio at least is still in his mid-twenties and has years of good service ahead of him. Cirio could take over Herman Cornejo's track but Cirio is not yet as refined a classicist as Cornejo. That could come with time.

There is a lack of younger dancers in their early twenties who are being groomed to take over Giselle, Swan Lake and Don Quixote. Cassandra Trenary, Devon Teuscher and Skyler Brandt (and Catherine Hurlin and a few others) are looking promising. But ABT needs to start grooming them now. And not just one dancer - like the Seo or Stearns ascensions - but a whole group of at least four or five dancers need to be given major roles.

Meanwhile those principal dancers in their late thirties or early forties will be retiring in the next five years. (I hope Stella dances many more years since she has been held back so long.) I am wondering if Hallberg and Semionova will be coming back at all. That is two more principal spots opening up right there.

In five years ABT will be a very different company.

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Hoven is so deserving. Cirio -- really? After only a year with the company? Sure, his rep. at Boston included leading roles, but -- correct me if I'm wrong -- his only true leading role this season was Colas. And his shortcomings in terms of refinement and line were so utterly apparent when he danced side by side with Gorak in Cockerel... I can't think of any other male principal who has been promoted without dancing at least one of the following with the company: Siegfried, Romeo, Albrecht, Basilio, Solor, Prince Desire.

I wonder if this was a "promote me or I'm walking" sort of situation.

When Whiteside was hired, it was trial by fire -- he was given a brutally demanding schedule and thrown into every principal role in ABT's rep. And he had to prove himself as a partner.

Wow. FF I agree completely. Never thought Cirio would be promoted after barely a year and without dancing more lead roles. He's done several secondary roles and I believe he's very talented, but I don't agree with this timing. I'd also want to see him dance an Albrecht or Siegfried first. And what about Gorak???

Hoven on the other hand...I'm very happy for him and he's completely deserving of this after slogging away in the corps for 12 years (and dancing brilliantly the last few years)! But, not Royal too? Perhaps they could only promote one to soloist, but Royal has been churning out soloist/principal roles for years. I hope he doesn't leave but he's been in the corps for 5 years so I wouldn't blame him if that happens.

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He danced Colas (arguably more difficult than most male leading roles), Mercutio, Ali, Bluebird and leads in the rep programs. He received glowing reviews from New York critics. What is overstated is speculation that Jeffrey gave ABT an ultimatum.

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He danced Colas (arguably more difficult than most male leading roles), Mercutio, Ali, Bluebird and leads in the rep programs. He received glowing reviews from New York critics. What is overstated is speculation that Jeffrey gave ABT an ultimatum.

I agree with your last point. But again, the roles you list -- other than Colas -- are not in the category I was describing. They are not (other than Colas) what I would refer to as "leading roles" (as opposed to roles commonly danced by principals, soloists and corps members alike) in the context of ABT's core full-length rep.

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I don't know enough about Cirio in relation to the other male soloists. I saw him dance once, this Tuesday as Bluebird with Misty. He could barely lift her and struggled with her across the floor-- embarrassing. His jumps were low to the ground, although precise, and to me he didn't project dynamism. I was also surprised at his height--not his fault but I like tall leading male dancers, with the exception of Cornejo, who is a dynamo in every role. I am also surprised he was promoted before dancing and winning acclaim for leading roles. But KMcK must see something extraordinary in him. Btw, I am glad for Hoven. He has improved much and was terrific on Tuesday. Maybe he will be given some leading roles.

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Wow. FF I agree completely. Never thought Cirio would be promoted after barely a year and without dancing more lead roles. He's done several secondary roles and I believe he's very talented, but I don't agree with this timing. I'd also want to see him dance an Albrecht or Siegfried first. And what about Gorak???

Hoven on the other hand...I'm very happy for him and he's completely deserving of this after slogging away in the corps for 12 years (and dancing brilliantly the last few years)! But, not Royal too? Perhaps they could only promote one to soloist, but Royal has been churning out soloist/principal roles for years. I hope he doesn't leave but he's been in the corps for 5 years so I wouldn't blame him if that happens.

I do wonder if this may be the reason of a recent post from Royal I read from another thread...something about his "next chapter"? Maybe he knew this was coming? I too am in agreement that we don't loose him as we just did with Baca! Also, I don't think it was an ultimatum but maybe in Cirio's contract before he joined? Just my own theory but happy for Hoven :flowers:

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I wonder if this was a "promote me or I'm walking" sort of situation.

Okay -- I'm more than happy to retract that. Perhaps what I should have said is that this premature (in my opinion) promotion may be due to ABT's fear of more talent drain, after seeing so many talented soloists and corps members slip through their hands in recent years.

I don't see how Colas is one of the more difficult leading roles. It seems lightweight to me...

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Ciro has won acclaim for principal roles in Boston, in London where he was nominated for a National Dance Award, in Helsinki, in Mongolia, in Japan and other U.S, places as well. He was chosen by Damian Woetzel to dance with both Isabella and Masha at Vale, he was chosen by Damian to dance at the Kennedy Center (with Lauren Lovette) to honor Patty McBride. so yes, Kevin probably does see something.

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I do wonder if this may be the reason of a recent post from Royal I read from another thread...something about his "next chapter"? Maybe he knew this was coming? I too am in agreement that we don't loose him as we just did with Baca! Also, I don't think it was an ultimatum but maybe in Cirio's contract before he joined? Just my own theory but happy for Hoven :flowers:

People read between the lines too much. Royal is not leaving the company, he's just having an extraordinarily busy summer with tours to LA, Wolf Trap, and Paris plus debut in Vail Dance Festival. I too am a bit disappointed he wasn't promoted this time.

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Gee, would it have broken the ABT budget to promote Calvin and Gabe to soloist as well. Seems like a stingy slap in the face to those two dancers.

Congrats to Cirio, who has been dancing wonderfully. Like some others, I question whether they need another short principal. I don't think Gorak is ready to be a principal.

Hammoudi's Deisre this week finally convinced me that maybe, at last, Hammoudi is finally putting all the pieces together- acting, partnering and strong solo work. If he can keep up that good work, and remain injury free, I think he deserves to be a principal. I was happy that the NY Times reviewed him favorably.

Congrats to Hoven. He has paid his dues.

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Meanwhile, I promise I will do my run down of the company next week.

I am ridiculously excited by this news! Your annual run downs are a forum highlight!!

In other news, former soloist Carlos Lopez has been named as a Ballet Master. There's a picture with him and Cirio and Hoven on his Instagram feed (as well as the ABT Official Instagram feed.)

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Forgot to say that I was referring to Cirio. Believe me, I very much appreciated his dancing this season but he still needs more coaching IMO. I thought ABT would nurture him so that he can take over some of Cornejo's roles but I really didn't expect him to be promoted this quickly. Now I'm starting to wonder whether Cornejo is retiring in near future.... Maybe AD knows something we are unaware of.

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Hammoudi's Deisre this week finally convinced me that maybe, at last, Hammoudi is finally putting all the pieces together- acting, partnering and strong solo work. If he can keep up that good work, and remain injury free, I think he deserves to be a principal. I was happy that the NY Times reviewed him favorably.

Congrats to Hoven. He has paid his dues.

And his Swan Lake, sadly, convinced me the opposite. It was really poor.

I'm glad this was a better outing for him, but I've never seen someone look so anonymous as the Prince in Swan Lake (and that really requires you to carry a lot more of the ballet as the male lead than SB).

100% in agreement on Hoven though!!! :flowers:

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Forgot to say that I was referring to Cirio. Believe me, I very much appreciated his dancing this season but he still needs more coaching IMO. I thought ABT would nurture him so that he can take over some of Cornejo's roles but I really didn't expect him to be promoted this quickly. Now I'm starting to wonder whether Cornejo is retiring in near future.... Maybe AD knows something we are unaware of.

Should be another interesting show tonight! Cornejo and Cirio both in one show! Hope you are wrong about Cornejo though since I think he still has a lot to offer! :( Glad to see Lane paired with Cornejo tonight... finally a show for her!

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I really wonder why no promotion for Royal. What are they thinking. He has been doing soloist roles for years and IMHO has the potential to be a major draw. If I were an AD, I would have him as a priority to develop, whereas if I were Royal, I'd be looking around at other companies. It would be no surprise if, like Baca, he was lured away.

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Blaine Hoven's partnering of Veronika Part in Seven Sonatas back in May was superb. Watching them, I began to daydream that they would be terrific together in Swan Lake. I'd like to think that somehow, some positive energy from my little daydream helped nudge the AD to do the right thing and promote him (ha ha!) And I'm hoping that maybe a year from now, my daydream might become a reality! Congratulations to Blaine Hoven! Looking forward to seeing more of him in the fall!

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Blaine Hoven's partnering of Veronika Part in Seven Sonatas back in May was superb. Watching them, I began to daydream that they would be terrific together in Swan Lake. I'd like to think that somehow, some positive energy from my little daydream helped nudge the AD to do the right thing and promote him (ha ha!) And I'm hoping that maybe a year from now, my daydream might become a reality! Congratulations to Blaine Hoven! Looking forward to seeing more of him in the fall!

That would be wonderful to see! She needs a strong and dramatically engaging partner to really work her magic.

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