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SFB Promotions Spring 2019


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I just received the email:

Promotions for Esteban Hernandez, Madison Keesler, and Cavan Conley

"SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson has promoted Soloist Esteban Hernandez to principal dancer, and Corps de Ballet members Madison Keesler and Cavan Conley to soloist.
All changes are effective May 13, 2019. Please join us in congratulating Esteban, Madison, and Cavan on their promotions!"

Edited by pherank
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It looked to me like Keesler and Hernandez were getting a lot of attention (as in lead roles), so I'm not really surprised. The uncertainty hovering around Strongin may have something to do with Keesler's promotion. But who knows? She has certainly paid her dues. Conley has gotten good reviews from writers and audience, so he was in line for promotion.

I'm just sorry we're not hearing about the promotion of Strongin to Principal.

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Yes!!! These are all well-deserved promotions.

I was also hoping to see Lauren Strongin in the principal roster this season, it’s a shame it sounds like she may be out for good. I do think Madison Keesler has certainly paid her dues and she’s been looking very strong this season. 

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Here's a nice tribute from Freemantle regarding Keesler's promotion:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwLQh86gifY/

"Feeling over the moon. Today after class @madisonkeesler was promoted to Soloist! I’ve never met someone who cared and loved ballet for all that it is. Someone who goes above and beyond for any role given to her. Someone who takes this job with the highest level of respect. Someone who I am proud to say is my partner. Congratulations love, you deserve this and so much more."

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Congratulations to Madison, Esteban and Conley!  Though I am, too, surprised over Esteban being promoted ahead of Benjamin Fremantle. SFB male principal rank is getting scarce of tall, princely, danceurs nobles.  I would like to see Henry Sidford getting there sooner rather then later. 

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THRILLING news! I think the promotion for Conley was a no-brainer, particularly since learning he was a soloist at Tulsa Ballet before coming here. He's got a soloist's energy onstage. I saw that the minute he started dancing Russian during Nutcracker in December.  I saw Esteban Hernandez dance 4 of 6 ballets last weekend, in Programs 5 and 6. He seemed to be getting stronger with each one. Although I do agree that Benjamin Freemantle has been looking sensational as well. And Max would have fit that "tall, princely, danceur noble" type, too. Ah well. 

As for Madison Keesler, YAY!!! I was sorry to see her leave, those years back, and happy to see her return. She's earned her promotion. 

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WOOHOO!!  I just got an email that Benjamin Freemantle and WanTing Zhao were promoted!  Congrats to them!

I was somewhat expecting to see Wona Park in this email, but I guess the season isn't over yet!  

 

Benjamin Freemantle and WanTing Zhao Promoted to Principal Dancers 

 

 

As an important member of the San Francisco Ballet family, you are the first to know about two more exciting Company promotions. SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson promoted Soloists Benjamin Freemantle and WanTing Zhao to principal dancer, effective May 13, 2019.

Please join us in congratulating Benjamin and WanTing on their promotions!
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Just now, Phrenchphry11 said:

WOOHOO!!  I just got an email that Benjamin Freemantle and WanTing Zhao were promoted!  Congrats to them!

I was somewhat expecting to see Wona Park in this email, but I guess the season isn't over yet!  

 

Benjamin Freemantle and WanTing Zhao Promoted to Principal Dancers 

 

 

As an important member of the San Francisco Ballet family, you are the first to know about two more exciting Company promotions. SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson promoted Soloists Benjamin Freemantle and WanTing Zhao to principal dancer, effective May 13, 2019.

Please join us in congratulating Benjamin and WanTing on their promotions!

Congratulations to them both - it seemed to be in the cards.

Wona Park was just promoted to soloist so it doesn't make much sense (to me, anyway) that she then be promoted again, to principal. She needs more experience, imo. She shows a lot of "promise" in classical roles, but needs time to really develop in those roles and with those techniques. And in contemporary roles she doesn't stand out yet in any particular way. A principal needs to be consistently convincing in both classical and contemporary pieces. 

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Some nice comments by Madison Keesler on Ben Freemantle's promotion:

"…Ben is a phenomenal dancer and is also very good at his job (those can be two very different things sometimes in our world), but he is also the most honest and gracious human. Every day I get to see how much work and love he pours into this artform -- from writing detailed notes of every step in a role, to dancing around our living room to go through ballets, and always being humble and open to learning more in the studios. This is someone who always has a clear dream or goal for his life and has turned those dreams into reality time and time again.
.
Sometimes people say that he is lucky, but I disagree. I believe that "luck" is when preparation meets opportunity. He has prepared and worked hard for every opportunity that has come his way…"

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxBvckaF51m/

 

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