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promotions 2018

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It would seem there are promotions. See the website. Joseph Gordon to principal. Coll, Villarini-Velez, Applebaum, Sanz, Walker, and Kretzschmar to soloist. 

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Wonderful, congrats to all. I saw it coming for Joseph Gordon, Harrison Coll and Claire Kretzschmar. For me it shows that time doesn't stand still because there is an interim team, and the team has the authority to move forward. It might also be a signal that there is no great rush to appoint a new director. The board can take its time to figure it out. 

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Congratulations to all the dancers.

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Congratulations to all. I would have thought that Silas Farley or Preston Chamblee would get promoted though. And Indiana Woodward is basically being treated as if she were a principal already.

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Crazy thought...maybe they'll decide in the end to just keep the interim team in place.  Why ruin a good thing just because it's not traditional.

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Wonderful news! Congrats to them all. Joe Gordon is really deserved. He's been dancing principal roles for several seasons.

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I am elated by this fantastic news.  They are all marvelous dancers, and I look forward to seeing each of them continue to grow.  Sincere congratulations to all!

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8 hours ago, Leah said:

Congratulations to all. I would have thought that Silas Farley or Preston Chamblee would get promoted though. And Indiana Woodward is basically being treated as if she were a principal already.

Unity Phelan is also (hopefully) one of the next in line to be promoted to principal, along with Woodward.

These promotions make sense at this time, they needed to bring more men up in the Principal/Soloist ranks after all the firings, injuries (or slow return from injuries) and retirements happening within the last few months. I'm thrilled for them all. I do hope Chamblee will be part of the next batch as well.

Edited by sohalia

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Definitely they needed to shore up the male ranks and develop more of a pipeline at the soloist level. Even if Ramasar and Catazaro are reinstated after the AGMA appeal, a stronger male contingent is needed, and there is a lot of potential in this group. Harrison Coll should already have been promoted, and Sebastian Villarini-Velez is ready. I haven't seen Peter Walker in enough featured roles (didn't see Romeo & Juliet), so I'm a little surprised. Aaron Sanz is someone I find absolutely magnetic much of the time, but could look more authoritative and confident. Daniel Applebaum will probably remain as a "flagship soloist," but his dependability and strength are absolutely needed. He's already been functioning as a reliable soloist, so I'm glad he's getting the promotion and the pay raise. Maybe Spartak Hoxha will be promoted in the next round, or Chamblee or Farley. I liked Claire Kretzschmar in Episodes a few years back, but otherwise I haven't found her very interesting, and especially her Tall Girl in "Rubies" was disappointing. Hopefully I'll like her more as time goes on. Disappointed about Emily Kikta not getting promoted, I find her way more intriguing than Kretzschmar. 

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I am so excited for everyone!   Joseph Gordon continues to blow me away, including yesterday's performance in Afternoon of a Faun!   I was also hoping for Preston Chamblee's promotion to soloist.....  Hope he doesn't have to wait too long.

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I’m so happy for everyone, especially Joseph Gordon!!  Great news!!!

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I'm surprised to see that Ashley Hod is not among those receiving promotions; I thought she would be promoted back when Woodward and Phelan were.

On another note: am I correct in sensing that NYCB is slower at promoting dancers than they used to be? It seems that many current principals (and those who have recently retired) were mostly promoted to soloist after two years, and then principal in two more.  There are people in the corps who are likely going to be promoted eventually (or were just promoted with this batch) who have already been in the company 4+ years.  It doesn't seem that anyone within the last five years has received a promotion within two or three years of joining the company.   

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1 hour ago, BalletontheRocks said:

On another note: am I correct in sensing that NYCB is slower at promoting dancers than they used to be? It seems that many current principals (and those who have recently retired) were mostly promoted to soloist after two years, and then principal in two more.  There are people in the corps who are likely going to be promoted eventually (or were just promoted with this batch) who have already been in the company 4+ years.  It doesn't seem that anyone within the last five years has received a promotion within two or three years of joining the company.   

I think it's been varied. For example, looking back to some of the dancers who joined during  the later Balanchine years, it took Merrill Ashley about 10 years--she joined the corps in 1967, became a soloist in 1974, and a principal dancer in 1977. Kyra Nichols took about 5 years and Darci Kistler about 2 years. My sense is that the 2-3-year end of that spectrum has always been pretty rare, even for dancers who make an immediate impression in principal roles soon after joining the corps.

Lauren Lovette was the last woman promoted to principal, in 2015. She joined as an apprentice in 2009. Several of the more senior women seem to have taken ~4-6 years. Joseph Gordon just went from apprentice to principal in 7 years. Several of the men seem to have taken ~10 years (e.g., Ask La Cour, Adrian Danchig Waring, Anthony Huxley).

I would think that there would be a lot of variation due to differences in dancers' rates of development and injuries.

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Peter Boal said in a Q&A that there was a period when he was dancing primarily Principal roles, but there hadn't been promotions in a while, and everyone was left in a holding pattern until a mass of dancers were promoted at once, including him.  So it's not unprecedented in the history of the Company to have stretches where there were few or no promotions.

Merrill Ashley also wrote in her book that when her frequent partner -- IIRC, Robert Weiss -- was promoted, people came up to congratulate her, because they assumed she had been promoted with him.  She hadn't, and Peter Martins gave the advice to not say anything.  She was promoted later.  She wrote that she thought that her promotion may have been delayed because Balanchine thought of her, Colleen Neary, and Christine Redpath as a group, and that he wanted to wait until they all were ready, so he could promote them together.  Redpath topped out as a soloist, and Colleen Neary may have as well.

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I wonder if anyone can shed light on the career trajectory of Ashley Laracey, who spent ten years in the corps before being promoted to soloist. I wasn't following her in her early days, but I've found her to be an exquisite dancer in recent seasons, especially last year in Concerto Barocco and most recently in Emeralds. I'm just curious -- did it take her a while to develop into a stand-out, did she suffer from injuries or other setbacks, or was there simply a surfeit of female talent and she had to bide her time? I'd love to see her in more principal roles, and for her to be promoted, as well. 

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1 hour ago, fondoffouettes said:

I wonder if anyone can shed light on the career trajectory of Ashley Laracey, who spent ten years in the corps before being promoted to soloist.  ...  I'd love to see her in more principal roles, and for her to be promoted, as well. 

Well, she's debuting in Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Kay Mazzo's role) on October 19th in Shanghai, which is a promising sign. It's the kind of role that should showcase what's really special about her dancing.

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Congrats to Gordon, Applebaum, Coll, Kretzschmar,  Sanz, Villarini-Velez, and Walker.

But especially to Applebaum, whose been a corps stalwart+ for over a decade and well deserves the promotion. 

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37 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Well, she's debuting in Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Kay Mazzo's role) on October 19th in Shanghai, which is a promising sign. It's the kind of role that should showcase what's really special about her dancing.

Kathleen, thanks for calling my attention to the Shanghai casting. There are some interesting debuts in there - for Laracey in Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Lovette in Serenade, and other debuts for Sanz, Kretzschmar, Chamblee, Scordato, and Gerrity. Re the Swan Lake, can anyone list out what are the principal roles, listed in which order? After the two leads, what are the three roles listed?

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4 minutes ago, cobweb said:

Re the Swan Lake, can anyone list out what are the principal roles, listed in which order? After the two leads, what are the three roles listed?

For the Balanchine version I believe the cast listing is: Odette, Siegfried, the Pas de Neuf swan soloist, the Valse Bluette swan soloist, and Von Rotbart.

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2 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

I wonder if anyone can shed light on the career trajectory of Ashley Laracey, who spent ten years in the corps before being promoted to soloist

I have only been attending City Ballet since 2011. I first noticed Ashley Laracey that year, as one of the lead flowers in Nutcracker. I was floored by her beauty, and at that point, totally new to the company, I was scouring the program and pictures on the website to figure out who she was. I do not know anything about her career trajectory before then. I was and remain baffled about why she is not dancing the great ballerina roles that no doubt she would be exquisite in, such as second movement, Symphony in C. 

Kathleen, thanks for spelling out the cast listing for Swan Lake!

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