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The release:

 

ZHONG-JING FANG, CATHERINE HURLIN AND KATHERINE WILLIAMS PROMOTED TO SOLOIST WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE

Zhong-Jing Fang, Catherine Hurlin and Katherine Williams have been promoted to the rank of Soloist with American Ballet Theatre. The promotions, announced today by ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, become effective September 1, 2018.

Zhong-Jing Fang was born in Shanghai, China and received her early training at the Shanghai Ballet School. She graduated from the Performing Arts College of Shanghai Drama University prior to joining the ABT Studio Company in 2002. Fang joined ABT as an apprentice in 2003 and became a member of the corps de ballet in 2004. Her roles with the Company include Aya, Lead D’Jampé and a Shades soloist in La Bayadère, Twig in Cinderella, Prayer in Coppélia, Zulma in Giselle, Old Mother in The Green Table, Nanny, Sugar Plum Fairy and one of the Nutcracker’s sisters in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, Lady Montague, Rosaline’s Friend and a Harlot in Romeo and Juliet, Canari qui chante in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Hungarian Princess, Lead Czardas, a big Swan and the pas de trois in Swan Lake, the Prelude in Les Sylphides, Diana and Ceres in Sylvia, Mademoiselle Marianne Chartreuse in Whipped Cream, Mercedes in Don Quixote and roles in AfterEffect, Black Tuesday, Continuo, Kaleidoscope, Sinfonietta, Songs of Bukovina and Symphonic Variations. She created a leading role in Pretty Good Year.

Catherine Hurlin was born in New York City and began her dance training at Scarsdale Ballet Studio and Westchester Dance Academy. She won the Hope Award at the Youth America Grand Prix and received a full scholarship to study at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. Hurlin performed the role of Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for three years. She joined the ABT Studio Company in 2012, became an apprentice with the main company in 2013 and a member of ABT’s corps de ballet in 2014. Her repertoire with the Company includes Lead D’Jampé and a Shades soloist in La Bayadère, an Odalisque in Le Corsaire, a Flower Girl in Don Quixote, the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, a Harlot in Romeo and Juliet, the pas de trois and a big Swan in Swan Lake, the Maiden in Firebird and roles in AfterEffect, AFTERITE, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Company B, Her Notes, I Feel The Earth Move, Songs of Bukovina and Thirteen Diversions. She created Mademoiselle Marianne Chartreuse in Whipped Cream and a role in Mark Morris’ After You.

 

Katherine Williams was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and began her early training with the Hawaii State Ballet. She studied at the Ballet Royal Institute in Baltimore and at ABT and Boston Ballet Summer Dance programs before joining the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in 2005. She joined the ABT Studio Company in January 2007, became an apprentice with the main company in December 2007 and a member of ABT’s corps de ballet in June 2008. Her repertoire with the Company includes a Shades soloist in La Bayadère, an Odalisque in Le Corsaire, a Flower Girl and Driad Queen in Don Quixote, peasant pas de deux, Moyna and Myrta in Giselle, Spanish Dance and one of the Nutcracker’s Sisters in Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Fairy Violente, Gold Fairy and Cinderella in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, the pas de trois, a big Swan and Italian Princess in Swan Lake and roles in Airs, Company B, Continuo, Her Notes, In the Upper Room and Jardin aux Lilas. Williams created roles in AfterEffect, Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once and Songs of Bukovina.

American Ballet Theatre’s Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House continues through July 7, 2018. For tickets and information, please visit www.abt.org.

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Wonderful news and well deserved.  Congrats to all of them. 

But can this be all of the promotions?  In other words, are they releasing the promotions for men in a separate announcement???????

1 minute ago, Ilovegiselle said:

no principal promotion this year?  also no men's promotion?  I know some people in the forum were hoping for Gabe.

Exactly.  Gabe is well overdue for promotion to soloist!

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They already have a lot of male soloists, so perhaps that is the reason Gabe didn't move up. 

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Wow. Congrats to all three but especially thrilled for Hurlin and Williams who have really shined recently. (Nice to see long-timers, Fang and Williams, being recognized again.)

But, not Shayer??? That's inexplicable and frankly inexcusable. He's been dancing soloist AND principal roles for a few years now. Salstein retired this year, so he could have taken his "spot".

This list must be it, because they always announce men and women together, unless we'll see another promotion in the fall (once in awhile there is a fall promotion).

Not surprised that there were no principal promotions - the ladies' rank is full (and Brandt/Trenary aren't ready yet) and none of the guys are ready either.

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I do feel badly for Waski who was injured for the first half of the Met season, missed her Myrtha debut which was given to Williams. If she hadn't been injured, I wonder if she had been promoted too. (Not wishing it was not Williams; she is very deserving.)

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10 minutes ago, abatt said:

They already have a lot of male soloists, so perhaps that is the reason Gabe didn't move up. 

Yup. There are 7 male soloists, which would make any corps to soloist promotions illogical for the men. Whereas, the female soloist roster could use a bump. That being said, KM could be waiting to see how he can fill his male principal roster. He likely needs 2 male principals...one to cover Cirio’s departure and anoother to help with Hallberg/Simkin’s split commitments.  I think based on who he can bring in, a current male soloist may be promoted in the fall based on potential opportunity (most likely would be Hoven and/or Forster) to make room for well deserving corps members like Gabe. I hope he stays...I think a promotion *should* be coming in the next year. Might just not be this week...

Edited by spinning2night

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I’m pretty surprised about Shayer, but there will be a more balanced ratio of men to women in the soloists ranks now. Given ABT’s always precarious financial situation, I wonder if the money simply wasn’t there for another promotion. 

I really don’t see Hoven or Forster being promoted this fall, as much as I like them. I’ve never seen a soloist be promoted without first being tested in a couple leading full-length roles. I guess you could say Nutcracker and Sylvia for Hoven. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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10 minutes ago, spinning2night said:

Yup. There are 7 male soloists, which would make any corps to soloist promotions illogical for the men. Whereas, the female soloist roster could use a bump. That being said, KM could be waiting to see how he can fill his male principal roster. He likely needs 2 male principals...one to cover Cirio’s departure and anoother to help with Hallberg/Simkin’s split commitments.  I think based on who he can bring in, a current male soloist may be promoted in the fall based on potential opportunity (most likely would be Hoven and/or Forster) to make room for well deserving corps members like Gabe. I hope he stays...I think a promotion *should* be coming in the next year. Might just not be this week...

The problem is that only Forster and Hoven (less so Hoven) are even candidates for principal, based on talent/potential, and neither has been given a lead role in any full length (not counting Hoven in the lead in Nutcracker). So, I don't see either of their promotions happening any time soon, not until they're tested in a full-length. Royal was only promoted to soloist last year and is nowhere near ready to be promoted. The rest of the guys, Hammoudi, Gorak, Scott, Zhurbin, aren't contenders for principal at all, IMO. So, how long is Shayer supposed to wait? In the meantime he's carrying a soloist's load.

Edited to add:

Scout Forsythe posted in the comments section of ABT's Instagram that no men are being promoted this year (she responded someone else's question):

 

Edited by ABT Fan

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I think Fang should not have been promoted, and they should have given that soloist spot to Shayer - regardless of the fact that they already have a lot of male soloists. 

2 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

The problem is that only Forster and Hoven (less so Hoven) are even candidates for principal, based on talent/potential, and neither has been given a lead role in any full length (not counting Hoven in the lead in Nutcracker). So, I don't see either of their promotions happening any time soon, not until they're tested in a full-length. Royal was only promoted to soloist last year and is nowhere near ready to be promoted. The rest of the guys, Hammoudi, Gorak, Scott, Zhurbin, aren't contenders for principal at all, IMO. So, how long is Shayer supposed to wait? In the meantime he's carrying a soloist's load.

I don't think either Forster or Hoven are ever going to make it to principal. Although I 'm not a Hammoudi fan, he is the only male soloist who  dances lead roles.  McKenzie has not yet given up on Hammoudi, although he appears to have given up on Gorak.

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2 minutes ago, abatt said:

I think Fang should not have been promoted, and they should have given that soloist spot to Shayer - regardless of the fact that they already have a lot of male soloists. 

I don't think either Forster or Hoven are ever going to make it to principal. Although I 'm not a Hammoudi fan, he is the only male soloist who  dances lead roles.  McKenzie has not yet given up on Hammoudi, although he appears to have given up on Gorak.

I agree regarding Fang (though it was nice to see a long-timer being recognized).

However, I think it's clear that the AD has given up on Hammoudi. He was only scheduled to dance one lead this year, in SL (but, he became injured and had to be replaced). This despite the fact that he's done Albrecht and Romeo before, many times, but was not cast. Two corps dancers, Ahn and Bell, were given plum lead roles over him. To me, that speaks volumes.

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All very well deserved. I saw Fang as Zulma(?) last year and I couldn't take my eyes off her. She's a lovely dancer.

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Congrats to all! I must admit I was especially happy about Fang...

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I feel the same about Fang - I cannot take my eyes off her. I think she always shows a little something extra. So happy for her and the C/Katherines!

Edited by Barbara

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I pray McKenzie gives Hoven and Forster a chance at a full length!  If Whiteside is continually shoved down our throats, Hoven and Forster deserve a chance.

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Out of curiosity, in the company’s history, what’s the fastest ABT has promoted a dancer from the corps? Or has anyone ever leapfrogged from corps to principal?

I agree that none of the current male soloists are truly “ready” for a promotion to principal based on body of work...but there are still ONLY 4 male principals after the close of the Met season. There’s either going to be a slow, agonizing wait due to the logjam or is there any chance for any of the corps men who have been showcased and delivering in their featured role opportunities to filling the gaps in the principal roster? — I ask because I know it’s happened in other companies, but I can’t recall it ever happening at ABT. 

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Congratulations to all three ladies! I have an especially soft spot for Ms Fang, who I first saw winning the Shanghai Intl Ballet Competition In 2001, when I was posted to the PRChina. It took longer for her to blossom than we would’ve imagined then...but she did it. 🌸 

As for any promotion of males...doesn’t ABT sometimes make these announcements by gender? They have  in past years. Fingers crossed for Shayer & Bell.

Edited by CharlieH

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51 minutes ago, spinning2night said:

Out of curiosity, in the company’s history, what’s the fastest ABT has promoted a dancer from the corps? Or has anyone ever leapfrogged from corps to principal?

 

According to wikipedia Paloma Herrera joined in 91, was promoted to soloist in 93 and principal in 95. Not sure that is the fastest but it is the fastest I remember

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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

As for any promotion of males...doesn’t ABT sometimes make these announcements by gender? They have  in past years. Fingers crossed for Shayer & Bell.

See the post above re: Scout Forsythe's comment that these are the only promotions at this time.

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And I always thought those speedy promotions for Herrera were to her detriment as an artist.

Edited by vagansmom

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Agree about Herrera. She never developed beyond her initial wunderkind potential. Towards the end of her career she was still basically a great turner, a pleasant stage personality, but with almost no upper body expressiveness and with a stiff arabesque. 

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Great news, congrats to all. Looking forward to seeing all of their potential come to fruition, providing KMc actually uses them!

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I am always glad to hear promotions, and these ladies are all talented. If there was ever a case of a dancer performing beyond her rank, it was Fang as Mercedes in Don Q on Tuesday night, ablaze with passion, technique, and stage presence in spades. And I love to see long-term corps who have basically been acting as soloists, finally get the promotion (as with Luciana Paris and Roman Zhurbin). Williams was also quite grand on Tuesday. Hurlin is a beautiful dancer, and no doubt tremendous potential, I am hoping to see artistic development and commitment to her roles. Still, in some ways I'm a little baffled by these choices. Given that Fang and Williams must both be about 30, give or take a few years, can we consider them to be on the principal track?  It seems very poor talent management to be promoting people to principal when they're 35, and it would also be a shame to see soloist spots taken by dancers seemingly not on an upward trajectory.

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I don't think all soloists are on a principal trajectory. Certainly neither Paris nor Zhurbin is. Nor is Scott or Hoven, I don't think. Neither was Salstein. Some of the others may have lost momentum but there was generally a possibility for them.

As they are older they won't be filling that rank for terribly long. I'm all for rewarding dancers doing soloist parts with soloist rank, if it is possible.

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