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News! Boston Ballet announces new artistic staff, dancers

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Here's the press release. Note that Alexander Ritter is joining the company as a soloist.


2002-2003 SEASON

Distinguished Artistic Staff and Dancers come to Boston Ballet

June 23, 2002 (Boston)-Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announced today the

new artistic staff and the roster of company dancers for the 2002-03 season, including one principal and three soloists. The new dancers are Roman Rykine, principal dancer, and Melanie Atkins, Miao Zong, and Alexander Ritter, soloists. Trinidad Vives, Associate Artistic Director at Houston Ballet, has been named Boston Ballet's new Artistic Associate, a newly created position. Three new additional staff have also been named: Ballet Master Raymond Lukens, who has also been appointed Director of Boston Ballet II, Ballet Master Anthony Randazzo, and Ballet Mistress Eva Evdokimova. In addition, there will be four new corps de ballet members and eight dancers who are part of the apprentice company, Boston Ballet II. Dancers begin rehearsals on August 5 for the 2002-2003.

"I am very excited about the accomplished and talented dancers and artistic staff who will be joining Boston Ballet in my first season," said Mr. Nissinen. "The talent and expertise of Ms. Evdokimova, Mr. Lukens, Mr.

Randazzo, and Ms. Vives will be an amazing addition to the Company, and an extraordinary gift to the dancers. They are among the world's finest


A Distinguished Artistic Staff

Trinidad Vives, a first prize medal and scholarship winner at the Prix de

Lausanne competition and current Associate Artistic Director at Houston

Ballet, has been appointed

Artistic Associate at Boston Ballet. Born in Madrid, Spain, Ms. Vives began

her training in Spain with Carmina Ocana, Luis Fuente, and Victor Ullate.

She joined the Hamburg Ballet at the age of 17 where she danced as a soloist for six years. She was principal dancer with the Basel Ballet, Dusseldorf Ballet, and English National Ballet in London. Ms. Vives received her

teaching diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Dance in Madrid and began teaching at the Houston Ballet Academy in 1994. At the Houston Ballet, she was promoted to assistant to the Artistic Director in 1998 and was named Associate Artistic Director in 2001. Ms. Vives has staged Ben Stevenson's full-length productions and guest taught for several companies, including Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet.

"I have created this new position especially for Ms. Vives. Her expertise

is unmatched and I am thrilled to have her join our Company," said Artistic

Director Mikko Nissinen.

Born a U.S. citizen, Eva Evdokimova is considered one of the most preeminent

ballerinas of modern times. Ms. Evdokimova appeared as Prima Ballerina Assoluta with major international ballet companies including American Ballet Theatre, Kirov Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Deutsche Oper (Berlin), and English National Ballet in London. In 1970, she was the first American and first Westerner to win the gold medal at the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Ms. Evdokimova has danced all of the major 19th -century classics as well as many 20th- century neo-classical and dramatic works. She won international acclaim for her portrayal of Giselle and La Sylphide, and partnered with dance legend Rudolf Nureyev for over 15 years. Ms. Evdokimova has most recently taught at Ballet Arts, New York, producing and staging a number of classics. She has also coached soloists of the Kirov Ballet and has instructed at dance companies and summer programs throughout the world.

Raymond Lukens is joining Boston Ballet as Ballet Master and Director of

Boston Ballet II. As a dancer, Mr. Lukens performed mostly in Europe and toured extensively in the works of Van Dyk, Balanchine, Petipa, Bournonville, Lifar, Nijinska and Skibine, among others. Mr. Lukens trained

in New York City with Richard Thomas and Barbara Fallis. He is a teacher and

ballet master of international repute, and has taught in North and Central

America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Mr. Lukens has been teaching in

New York City for American Ballet Theatre, The Juilliard School, The Ailey

School and Peridance International and was ballet master for Cincinnati

Ballet and Hartford Ballet. He was appointed guest ballet master for the

Alberta Ballet under the leadership of Mikko Nissinen. He obtained the

highest teaching qualifications, at London Cecchetti Society, acquiring the

title of Fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and is a

committee member of the Cecchetti Society USA. Mr. Lukens directed his own school in Florence, Italy. His students have danced in some of the world's major companies including Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, English National Ballet, Hamburg Ballet and Berlin Ballet, to name a few. Mr. Lukens created the ballet syllabus used for Dance Educators of America's Teacher Training School and choreographed the set exercises and variations for DEA's Ballet Competition. In the last three seasons Mr. Lukens has assisted and staged works of choreographers Kirk Peterson and Stanton Welch.

"I am thrilled that Mikko Nissinen has invited me to join Boston Ballet and

I am honored to be part of the distinguished staff of artists that Mr.

Nissinen has brought together to work with the talented dancers of Boston

Ballet and Boston Ballet II," said Mr. Lukens.

A Michigan native, Anthony Randazzo received his professional training at

the National Ballet School in Toronto, and upon graduation, danced with the

National Ballet of Canada for six years. He later joined the San Francisco

Ballet as a soloist and was promoted to the rank of principal the following year. Mr. Randazzo enjoyed a prominent partnership with prima ballerina Evelyn Cisneros for over 10 years. Upon leaving San Francisco Ballet, he returned to Toronto as a Guest Artist with the National Ballet Canada where he gave his farewell performance. Mr. Randazzo has danced leading roles in many full-length productions including Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, La Fille Mal Gardée, The Merry Widow, Romeo and Juliet and performed leading roles in

works by Balanchine, Kylian, Forsythe and De Mille. After his retirement

from the stage, Mr. Randazzo became Co-Director of Randazzo Dance,

originally founded by his mother, Marjorie Randazzo over 50 years ago.

"I am honored to work with such an impressive group of artists, brought

together by Mikko to serve Boston Ballet and its devoted public," said Mr.


Also joining Boston Ballet as artistic assistant to Mikko Nissinen will be

Elizabeth Olds, who was previously his assistant at Alberta Ballet.

Formerly, Ms. Olds is a former principal dancer at Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Exciting New Dancers Join Boston Ballet

All of the professional company's principal dancers are returning for the

new season along with one newcomer, Roman Rykine. Rykine-a native of Ufa,

Russia-comes from San Francisco Ballet, which he joined in 1996 as a

principal dancer. He has also been with the English National Ballet and Ufa

Theatre. He joins current principal dancers April Ball, Simon Ball, Jennifer

Gelfand, Gael Lambiotte, Larissa Ponomarenko, Viktor Plotnikov, Pollyana Ribeiro, Paul Thrussell, Adriana Suarez, and Yuri Yanowsky.

The Company's 39th Season will feature three new soloists. Melanie Atkins will join the Company from Alberta Ballet. Prior to that she was a principal soloist at Miami City Ballet. Also joining will be Miao Zong, a former

soloist with Capitole Ballet in

Toulouse, France since 1996. Prior to that he was with the National Ballet

of Caracas in Venezuela and Jeune Ballet de France. He had also studied for five years at the Beijing Dance Academy in China. Alexander Ritter joins Boston Ballet from New York City Ballet, where he danced as a soloist since 1995. Mr. Ritter was born in Ottawa, Canada, and began his dance training at age 12 with the National Ballet School. Prior to joining New York City Ballet, Mr. Ritter danced with the National Ballet of Canada and American

Ballet Theatre. Returning soloists are Christopher Budzynski, Sabine

Chaland, Tara Hench, and Sarah Lamb.

Joining Boston Ballet's corps de ballet are Ilya Kozadayev, a Boston Ballet

guest artist and former corps member who returns from Colorado Ballet;

Heather Myers, a Canadian who most recently danced with Alberta Ballet;

Jared Redick, coming from Miami City Ballet which he joined in 1996 as a

soloist; and Szabolcs Varga, who also comes from Alberta Ballet. Returning

corps women are Romi Beppu, Emi Hariyama, Rie Ichikawa, Brooke Kiser,

Alexandra Kochis, Karla Kovatch, Erika Lambe, Frances Perez-Ball, Josey

Silva, Li-Yin Chen, Christine Kelliher, and Nao Kusuzaki. Returning corps

men are Gianni Dimarco, Sylvain Gillet, Michael Johnson, Yosuke Mino,

Nicholas Mishoe, Robert Moore, Joel Prouty, Patrick Thornberry, and Raul


Boston Ballet's returning apprentice Company, BBII dancers are Andrea

Schermoly; Ian Grosh and Luke Luzicka. New BBII dancers are Boston Ballet school student, Tiffany Hedman, originally from Sanger, California; Rupert Edwards from Highland Park, New Jersey; Benjamin Griffiths from Boise, Idaho; Ginger Smith from Phoenix, Arizona, and Stephanie Wagenman from Austin, Texas.

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