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pherank

SFB 2020 Promotions and New Dancers

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2020—San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) announces 11 promotions, two new Company members, and six apprentices for the 2021 Season. Effective July 1, soloists Wona Park and Max Cauthorn are promoted to principal dancer, and corps de ballet members Ellen Rose Hummel, Diego Cruz, Lucas Erni, and Myles Thatcher are promoted to soloist. SF Ballet apprentices SunMin Lee, Tyla Steinbach, Rubén Cítores, Lleyton Ho, and Adrian Zeisel are promoted to the corps de ballet. Each of the 11 promoted dancers received training at SF Ballet School, from which previous students make up over 65 percent of SF Ballet’s Company. In addition, Nikisha Fogo, first soloist with the Vienna State Ballet, joins the Company as principal dancer in the 2021 Season. Also joining the Company’s corps de ballet is Luca Ferrò from the Princess Grace Academy. Alexis Aiudi, Olivia Brothers, Pemberley Ann Olson, Andris Kundzins, Gregory Myles, and Alexis Valdes of San Francisco Ballet School are appointed as apprentices starting in the 2021 Season.

https://www.sfballet.org/discover/press-center/press-releases/release/san-francisco-ballet-announces-company-promotions-for-2021-season/

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No surprises in the promotions, for me. I'm happy to see Ellen Rose Hummel finally get her chance to do soloist roles, and of course Diego.  😉

What's missing is the principal male dancer they have supposedly been looking for.

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Well. Just got the email too. I am SO HAPPY for all the promoted dancers, and I have to say, this is the sunniest piece of news I've received in the past... month, maybe? Six weeks? Ever since opening night of Midsummer Night's Dream and before the Opera House closure news?

No matter. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU WONDERFUL DANCERS!! And thanks for posting the news, pherank.

 

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Just now, Terez said:

Well. Just got the email too. I am SO HAPPY for all the promoted dancers, and I have to say, this is the sunniest piece of news I've received in the past... month, maybe? Six weeks? Ever since opening night of Midsummer Night's Dream and before the Opera House closure news?

No matter. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU WONDERFUL DANCERS!! And thanks for posting the news, pherank.

 

I think a lot of people happened to be sitting at the computer when the e-mail popped in - I wonder why that is?   😉

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pherank, Aaron Robison will likely be back for next season and he's tall.  Maybe SFB is still in the negotiating stage for a tall male principal.  We shall see. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, pherank said:

I think a lot of people happened to be sitting at the computer when the e-mail popped in - I wonder why that is?   😉

We were all glumly searching for news to make us feel better, over the news we were finding.

Hey, I think it's a great PR move on their part. It expresses optimism and enthusiasm and confidently moves forward with "business as usual." And it will make a lot of SFB patrons and/or ballet lovers very very happy.

Edited by Terez

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Josette said:

pherank, Aaron Robison will likely be back for next season and he's tall.  Maybe SFB is still in the negotiating stage for a tall male principal.  We shall see. 

It looks like the ad has been taken down though. So Helgi seems to have opted for promoting Max Cauthorn over bringing in anyone from the outside.
Way back when the company first advertised for a principal danseur I assumed that either Robison or Birkkjaer was leaving. Little did I know that it was Di Lanno who was moving on. And Sofiane.  😞

EDIT: OK, I'm wrong the job ad is still there (if you dig for it):

"**San Francisco Ballet seeks a male principal dancer with exceptional partnering skills and strong classical training. Candidates must be versatile and accomplished with significant professional company experience that includes both classical and contemporary repertory. Preferred height is 6’ and above.

Auditions will be scheduled for qualified candidates on an individual basis. To be considered, please email auditions@sfballet.org with CV or resume; head shot and dance photos; and links to performance footage."

https://www.sfballet.org/discover/employment-auditions/#view-available-company-auditions

Edited by pherank

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Wow, I'm so excited about the news about Nikisha Fogo!!!!!  She was Sylvia in the recent (taped) stream from Vienna, and I loved her.

Congratulations to the dancers who've been promoted :flowers:

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10 minutes ago, pherank said:

Anyone familiar with Nikisha Fogo?

I’ve seen her Sylvia and her postings on Instagram. She has a beautiful line, I might make a trip back to SF to see her next year.

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2 minutes ago, Helene said:

Wow, I'm so excited about the news about Nikisha Fogo!!!!!  She was Sylvia in the recent (taped) stream from Vienna, and I loved her.

Congratulations to the dancers who've been promoted :flowers:

 

1 minute ago, Leah said:

I’ve seen her Sylvia and her postings on Instagram. She has a beautiful line, I might make a trip back to SF to see her next year.

 

Good to hear, Helene and Leah. Fogo does seem to meet the description of an SFB dancer.  😉

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I'm a bit surprised by the hiring of Fogo as a principal. I assumed that Sasha Mukhamedov would have gotten the nod if they hired another leading lady.

Ami Yuki's gone from the roster. She's posted on IG about being home in Japan and many of her SFB colleagues have said they will miss her and wished her good luck in Japan. 

Others missing from the roster that I can see from a quick glance: Vladislav Kozlov, Alexandre Cagnat, Max Föllmer, Skyla Schreter, Miranda Silveira, 

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, PeggyTulle said:

I'm a bit surprised by the hiring of Fogo as a principal. I assumed that Sasha Mukhamedov would have gotten the nod if they hired another leading lady.

Ami Yuki's gone from the roster. She's posted on IG about being home in Japan and many of her SFB colleagues have said they will miss her and wished her good luck in Japan. 

Others missing from the roster that I can see from a quick glance: Vladislav Kozlov, Alexandre Cagnat, Max Föllmer, Skyla Schreter, Miranda Silveira, 

Yes, I wondered about that too - Mukhamedov was being asked to prove herself, but Fogo is shown the red carpet. And unfortunately, Sasha and everyone else in the company have been put into a holding pattern.

It's a shame if Kozlov has decided to leave after we finally got a look at his dancing, but things are unstable everywhere. Home is probably the best place for him during a pandemic.

Edited by pherank

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Hm, I'm also surprised Mukhamedov.  It seemed like she was being groomed for Principal just based on some of the earlier casting from the season.  I don't know anything about Fogo!

Yay for Diego Cruz and Ellen Rose Hummel!  Both promotions feel very well deserved.

Wona Park rose through the ranks extremely quickly.  I think she's got lots of potential and is definitely one of the most reliable and solid technicians at SFB.  I saw her as Kitri in DonQ a few years back - she has amazing solid technique, is a great turner, I was really impressed overall, but I did feel she had a ways to go in terms of artistic growth.

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12 minutes ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

Wona Park rose through the ranks extremely quickly.  I think she's got lots of potential and is definitely one of the most reliable and solid technicians at SFB.  I saw her as Kitri in DonQ a few years back - she has amazing solid technique, is a great turner, I was really impressed overall, but I did feel she had a ways to go in terms of artistic growth.

That's my feeling, too. But she's brave and unflinching, so hopefully she will continue to develop. I felt it took Chung and Andre some time to really fit the principal, as opposed to soloist, mold. But they both developed onstage personality and have a better sense of how to project it now. I'm not worried about Park, I just thought another year as soloist would have been good for her. Freemantle's rise was quite unusual, but he's got charm to spare. And his body just seems to acquire more and more skill each season - with no end in sight.

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21 minutes ago, pherank said:

That's my feeling, too. But she's brave and unflinching, so hopefully she will continue to develop. I felt it took Chung and Andre some time to really fit the principal, as opposed to soloist, mold. But they both developed onstage personality and have a better sense of how to project it now. I'm not worried about Park, I just thought another year as soloist would have been good for her. Freemantle's rise was quite unusual, but he's got charm to spare. And his body just seems to acquire more and more skill each season - with no end in sight.

I agree with you 100%! Chung and Andre have way more than risen to the occasion - I think Park will too, and I think she's probably really valued for how versatile she is - she can perform full-lenghts as well as contemporary pieces reliably.

Really excited about all these promitions though.  Loved Erni in Midsummer, he was fantastic.  Have to say I already thought Myles Thatcher was a Soloist!  And I'm really glad Max Cauthorn is promoted - very well deserved.

This is such good news for these times, especially when I've been missing ballet so much.  I was half worried there wouldn't be promotions this year, because the dancers haven't necessarily had a chance to prove themselves on stage this season.

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Ellen Rose Hummel:  Finally!!!  :clapping:

All excellent promotions.  Have to agree with others that Park’s may be a little premature.  Despite an excellent Kitri, her Aurora had little or no character development, but I guess creating a fully rounded character is a little like learning to drive a stick shift:  you just have to stall the car a few times while you get the hang of it.

It seems to me that these promotions show confidence on Tomasson’s part that next season will continue more or less normally, a confidence I don’t quite share.  Hope I’m wrong but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if large gatherings were restricted or even still prohibited until effective ways are found to deal with the virus.  Also curious to see the season announcement for 2021:  full season, or a partial one to save money.  I certainly don’t envy ADs who have to make these tough decisions.  Still, these promotions are the kind of good news we could all use now.

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I am particularly happy for both Diego Cruz and Myles Thatcher, as they have put in their time and are always a joy to watch.  And I love Max and have been wanting to see him in principal roles all season long. 

I found Park dull this season, both in her phrasing and, particularly, facially, though she is unfazed technically.  For me, she is too classroom at this stage of her career, and I wonder what is on next season's horizon that she was promoted.   It's an interesting decision, given Mukhamedov's  former position as  principal with the Dutch National, although Mukhamedov was injured and apparently only danced two performances, one of them being A Midsummer Night's Dream  as a filmed, audienceless event. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Josette said:

I am particularly happy for both Diego Cruz and Myles Thatcher, as they have put in their time and are always a joy to watch.  And I love Max and have been wanting to see him in principal roles all season long. 

I found Park dull this season, both in her phrasing and, particularly, facially, though she is unfazed technically.  For me, she is too classroom at this stage of her career, and I wonder what is on next season's horizon that she was promoted.   It's an interesting decision, given Mukhamedov's  former position as  principal with the Dutch National, although Mukhamedov was injured and apparently only danced two performances, one of them being A Midsummer Night's Dream  as a filmed, audienceless event. 

I completely agree with your comments. I think Tomasson was applying the usual demands on Mukhamedov (a successful dancer but untried in this particular environment and repertoire). I think if she had experienced a 'normal' season, and charmed the locals, she would then have been promoted to principal after the single season.

Tomasson, like Balanchine, tends to favor the brave and 100% committed - he likes the dancers who step forward. He seems less confident in people who waver, and go through obvious psychological ups and downs. Injuries don't help, but I haven't really noticed him holding that against dancers if they make a real effort to recover and get back into the thick of things. Park seems to have the general attitude Tomasson likes - I just hope she develops her acting and shows visible passion for her roles.

Edited by pherank

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Alexander Cagnot no longer on the roster! I will miss him. I wonder if he will become a professional photographer, as I have seen many photos credited to him on social media by the dancers. 

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8 minutes ago, Josette said:

Alexander Cagnot no longer on the roster! I will miss him. I wonder if he will become a professional photographer, as I have seen many photos credited to him on social media by the dancers. 

Yeah, it's too bad. Maybe he's off to Dresden with Sylve and Di Lanno.  ;)
It's hard to know what was Tomasson's doing and what was pandemic screwing up people's plans. Perhaps Cagnat, Schreter and Silveira were not developing as he had hoped, or they just needed to get back home.
Kozlov leaving before he really got a chance to participate fully is a shame.

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Thanks for that video, @volcanohunter. I had only ever seen her on Instagram, so the full-length was much appreciated! I was surprised to learn she's only 25-years-old after watching -- she seems mature beyond her years. 

29 minutes ago, pherank said:

That video doesn't appear to be free anymore. They've moved on...

Strange, it's working fine for me. (I'm in California, if that matters.)

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16 minutes ago, Syzygy said:

Thanks for that video, @volcanohunter. I had only ever seen her on Instagram, so the full-length was much appreciated! I was surprised to learn she's only 25-years-old after watching -- she seems mature beyond her years. 

Strange, it's working fine for me. (I'm in California, if that matters.)

My Firefox browser was displaying the FREE button on the Sylvia page but clicking that sent me into a continuous sign in loop never arrived at the video page. But since clearing cache I've found that the Sylvia page displays the BUY button now.
Safari just displays a BUY button for me on the Sylvia page.

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