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Promotions and joiners at The Royal Ballet for 2016/17

Promotions and joiners have been announced for The Royal Ballet's 2016/17 Season.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

10 June 2016 at 3.54pm | 97 Comments

Promotions and joiners have been announced for the 2016/17 Season.

Director Kevin O’Hare has made the following promotions for the forthcoming Season:

Alexander Campbell, Francesca Hayward, Ryoichi Hirano and Akane Takada have been promoted to Principal, the Company’s highest rank.

Claire Calvert, Yasmine Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell are promoted to First Soloists. Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri are promoted to Soloists. Tierney Heap was promoted to First Artist mid-season and is also now promoted to Soloist.

Reece Clarke, David Donnelly, Benjamin Ella, Isabella Gasparini, Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Demelza Parish are promoted to First Artist.

Joining the Company at the start of the Season will be Leticia Dias and Joseph Sissens from The Royal Ballet School. All the 2015/16 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers – Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Harry Churches, Leo Dixon, Isabel Lubach and Julia Roscoe – will join the Company from The Royal Ballet School on permanent contracts as Artists. Mica Bradbury also joined the Company mid-season as an Artist.

The Royal Ballet welcomes seven dancers to the Company for the 2016/17 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme. The programme provides an opportunity for recently graduated dancers to receive a year’s contract to work alongside the corps de ballet of The Royal Ballet. In addition the dancers are offered mentoring and coaching and have the opportunity to perform with the Company. Next Season’s Aud Jebsen Young Dancers are Estelle Bovay, Maria Castillo Yoshida, Arianna Maldini, Giacomo Rovero, Francisco Serrano and Charlotte Tonkinson, all from The Royal Ballet School.

Vincenzo Di Primo joins the Company as Prix de Lausanne dancer.

Charlotte Edmonds will continue with The Royal Ballet for the 2016/17 Season for a second year on The Royal Ballet Young Choreographer Programme mentored by Kevin O’Hare and Wayne McGregor. The Young Choreographer Programme is a position for an emerging choreographer to shadow Royal Ballet and visiting choreographers and utilize the Company resources to create work.

This article has 97 comments

  1. Alyssa Grady responded on 10 June 2016 at 4:09pm Reply

    I love it! All of these promotions are justly deserved! Congrats to all of these amazing and talented dancers!

  2. Thrilled with these promotions although it would've been great to see Marcelino promoted too - too much talent to hold back! These are all great though - terribly excited for Frankie, Alex and Yasmine in particular!

  3. Excited to see Alex Cambell and Frankie Hayward become pincipals.

  4. Vitoria responded on 10 June 2016 at 4:38pm Reply

    Considering the roles they've been recently doing, it's not really surprising to see Akane Takada and Francesca Hayward promoted to Principals. But what a delightful surprise to see Ryoichi Hirano and Alexander Campbell! I'm super happy for all of them and wish the best of luck and all of the success for their careers. Also very good to see Mayara Magri becoming a Soloist - she's got a bright future ahead! Overall the promotions are really deserved.
    (And yet again, I don't know why I still get surprised - and a bit angry, to be honest - every time a new season comes and Yuhui Choe is not on the promotions list. But anyway... hopefully Mr. O'Hare won't keep underestimating her talent until it's too late. But unfortunately that seems to be the way things are going to be.)

  5. smd responded on 10 June 2016 at 5:07pm Reply

    Well done congratulations

  6. Steph responded on 10 June 2016 at 5:46pm Reply

    Very well deserved everyone, congratulations!

  7. Brett responded on 10 June 2016 at 5:47pm Reply

    congratulations to all wonderful dancers ... but seriously Yuhui deserves well and truly to be principal too !

  8. Brian barford responded on 10 June 2016 at 6:18pm Reply

    Congratulations to some terrific dancers but I really can't believe that yet again Yuhui Choe hasn't been promoted to Principal. She has been the most consistent dancer in the company for the last three years apart from Marianela Nunez. Very disappointing.

  9. Simon Smith responded on 10 June 2016 at 6:42pm Reply

    Congratulations to all - so pleased to see such tremendous talent at the Royal Ballet nourished and rewarded so many thanks to Kevin O'Hare and his team. Wonderful news and so looking forward to next season.

  10. anja responded on 10 June 2016 at 6:55pm Reply

    Congrats to the new principals, but I'm heartbroken for Yuhui :(

  11. Kathleen Gallagher responded on 10 June 2016 at 7:05pm Reply

    Kudos to all who received promotions. I would like to make particular mention of David Donnelly, who gave a stunning performance in the Triple Bill last week.

  12. Jacqui responded on 10 June 2016 at 7:09pm Reply

    Congrats to all, well deserved promotions all round. Although I do agree about Yuhui - she deserves to be promoted otherwise we might lose her!

  13. alex responded on 10 June 2016 at 8:15pm Reply

    Congrats to all the superb dancers who got a promotion this Season. I am particularly pleased for Yasmine Naghdi to have been promoted to First Soloist and Mathew Ball to Soloist so please give us more of their beautiful partnership as we have seen in R&J! Lovely to see Mayara Magri promoted as well as Reece Clarke and Anna Rose O'Sullivan to senior corps dancers, and all the others.Looking forward to next Season. Wishing all the dancers a wonderful Tour through Japan, and a restful Summer.

  14. flo responded on 10 June 2016 at 9:01pm Reply

    Wow! Awesome news! Lots of new principals and I adore them all! However, can't deny my heart breaks a little not seeing Yuhui's name there especially with her chemistry with Campbell. Oh well.. one can always wish..

    • Anna responded on 11 June 2016 at 12:39am

      Yuhui came to my mind the minute I read the news. My heart also broke for her. Let's hope she´ll be promoted in a short time.

    • cjl1 responded on 11 June 2016 at 2:25pm

      Absolutely agree. I am most surprised that Yuhui isn't promoted too. I also agree that she and Alexander Campbell are one of the best partnerships, ever since Alexander joined RB. They're not being cast as partners in the next season, so far. Disappointing.

  15. Sarah Langfield responded on 10 June 2016 at 9:23pm Reply

    Delighted for everyone, especially Mayara Magri.

    • Diana Alfaro responded on 1 August 2016 at 4:16am

      Mayara Magri is one of my favorite dancers since she was a girl. Congratulations because you are a great teacher.

  16. Katie Barnes responded on 10 June 2016 at 10:38pm Reply

    After years during which virtually all principals have been brought in from outside, it's great to see no less than FOUR new principals rising from the ranks. As soon as I saw Alexander Campbell, I knew he had a sign saying "I am a future principal" floating over his head - and it's great seeing Matthew and Yasmine promoted too, after that wonderful Romeo matinee last year.

    Congratulations to everyone and good luck next season!

  17. Patrick Buckingham responded on 10 June 2016 at 11:07pm Reply

    Some wonderful dancers have been rewarded for their hard work. Many congratulations to all. I would have loved to have seen James Hay and Marcelino Sambe on the list as they have both excelled this season. Perhaps next time?

  18. Darrius Legrand responded on 11 June 2016 at 3:48am Reply

    Way to go Francesca Hayward!! Congratulation to all who earned promotions! Excited to see Anastasia with Hayward! AMAZING!

  19. ML responded on 11 June 2016 at 4:17am Reply

    Warmest congratulations to all promoted and who are joining the company. However it is bizarre that the versatile and talented Yuhui Choe - who dances so many principal roles to great acclaim now and can carry any ballet confidently - isn't among the list of those promoted. There are numerous regular patrons who book shows just to see her.

  20. Michael Sharpe responded on 11 June 2016 at 9:37am Reply

    My congratulations to Kevin O'Hare for creating four new principals FROM WITHIN THE COMPANY. When was the last time that anyone who had risen through the ranks was made a pricipal? And there's plenty more talent down the ranks to follow suit in the future if today's precedent is repeated, instead of grafting on dancers from elsewhere.Bravo Kevin.

  21. olivia responded on 11 June 2016 at 9:49am Reply

    excited to see alexander and frankie promote! on the other hand I am disappointmented to see the yuhui has not been promoted, it has been way long overdue!

  22. Karen responded on 11 June 2016 at 10:12am Reply

    Hmmm. No leavers. Really?

    Nice to see Donnelly/Magri/Naghdi get promoted but disappointed that Sambe didn't. Hope he doesn't do a Trzensimiech (who is still much missed).

    • I agree! Was very much hoping to see him promoted as well! Maybe he will get a mid-season promotion following his Colas this Autumn, which I'm sure will be amazing!

  23. Marguerite responded on 11 June 2016 at 10:46am Reply

    Congratulations to everyone who was promoted !! You all worked hard and danced beautifully this year. I'm looking forward to seeing more of you all coming season. Extremely disappointed though not to find Valentino Zucchetti in the promotion list. It is said that when predictions promotions, an indicator is the amount of leading roles a dancer is allocated. Judging by that; Valentino dances a great many leading roles, has great technique and finish and a beautiful dance style. He also is great in acting and brings this special combination to the stage time and time again. He works hard and is a loyal member of the company. I understand you have tough choices to make Mr. O'Hare and that you cannot make everyone happy in a big company. But surely, a dancer as talented as Valentino should really be principal! I'm disappointed,but looking forward to interim promotions :-)

  24. Marian Kivlehan responded on 11 June 2016 at 11:03am Reply

    Congratulations to the dancers who were promoted. However, I am very disappointed to see that Valentino Zuchetti was not. He is a wonderful dancer and so deserves it.

  25. Michael responded on 11 June 2016 at 11:06am Reply

    Congratulations to all these gorgeous and talented dancers for their promotions. Please keep up the brilliant work and I look forward to seeing you all on stage next season.

  26. Maggie I responded on 11 June 2016 at 11:44am Reply

    Congratulations to all. Very excited to see Akane Takada become principal!

  27. Judith responded on 11 June 2016 at 2:05pm Reply

    Congratulations on all the promotions.
    I am so excited about all the new principals, but I am so disappointed not to see Yuhui amongst them. As soon as I heard announcements had been made I went looking and hoping to see Yuhui's name, but no. She is just a joy to watch, totally radiant.

  28. Susan Y responded on 11 June 2016 at 3:25pm Reply

    I'm sorry to see this announcement is yet again tarred by comments saying 'but what about [insert name here]'. I feel it's very rude to those who have very well deservedly been promoted. Congratulations to all.

    I like Yuhui as a dancer, as she's very light on her feet & always has a beaming smile on her face. But, as much as I love her I have never been emotionally moved by her. Shes an asset to the Royal Ballet for sure, but I just don't feel she has that star quality for principal.

    Both Francesca and Akane have both shown that they are technically brilliant, but also have the ability to move an audience. Both have shown that they can dance both Ashton, Macmillan and contemporary pieces. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.

    • Maire responded on 13 June 2016 at 8:55pm

      But you don't think it's rude to plainly criticise a dancer as you have just done?

    • Kate responded on 16 June 2016 at 12:40pm

      I do agree with Susan Y. Lovely dancer as Yuhui is, she lacks that elusive star quality to be considered a principal. She has a wonderful technique and beautiful port de bras, and is always a joy to see, but as noted she doesn't move you in the same way that others do. It's a shame but there we are.

    • ML responded on 20 June 2016 at 12:24am

      Nobody said the others shouldn't get promoted; we simply said Ms Choe should also be in the list, ie 5 new principals. Yet you've just been even more rude in singling out a dancer for personal criticism.

  29. Maire responded on 11 June 2016 at 10:47pm Reply

    I'm bewildered by the neglect of Yuhui - so insulting to her, really and I really fear that she will go where she feels wanted. For years it has seemed that she is the audiences' darling and she has a unique beauty and spontaneity. She is lovely in romantic and demi-caractere roles with an effortless technique and she can also do contemporary ...

    • Lucy responded on 15 June 2016 at 1:21am

      We can only have hope. Maybe a mid-season promotion is in order for Choe? Who knows? Also, Hirano got a promotion to principal after 15 years with the company so maybe it's the same situation for Yuhui. It might just be a matter of time. Glad to see that O'Hare actually promoted four people to principal this year. I was starting to think it would never happen.

  30. Jimmy Okuyama responded on 12 June 2016 at 3:17am Reply

    Congratulation to all. Special congrat' to Akane Takada and Ryoichi Hirano as I'm same back ground and living in abroad.

    I can say it wasn't easy. But your dream has come true.

  31. Priscilla responded on 12 June 2016 at 6:40am Reply

    It is really heart-broken of not seeing Yuhui being promoted.

  32. Hugh Axton responded on 12 June 2016 at 9:07am Reply

    Spent all day yesterday (Saturday) at the ROH - for the matinee and evening performance and news was going round of the promotions which was very exciting and congratulations to all, my particular favourite was Beatrix - not before time she has danced a number of lead roles, including Alice when she was still in the corps and learnt it in 3 days after being told she was replacing an injured Marianela. And so wonderful to see this fantastic dancer promoted. But I must say my day was ruined having to watch Yuhui dance in "Within the Golden Hour" with a promoted dancer in each of the lead couples, including her partner, indeed her regular partner Alexander. She danced beautifully as ever but my heart was breaking for her. What does this always consistently excellent dancer have to do? One fears that she has been totally passed over. Everyone I spoke to agreed with my feelings. The ROH is awash with marvellous talent and it is difficult to see everyone in each production but goodness I try to see her. Is Yuhui really going to have the "Best Principle Dancer the RB never had"?

  33. Ana responded on 12 June 2016 at 4:24pm Reply

    Congratulations on all the well deserved promotions! Like many pointed out - I'm very pleased to see four RB dancers rising from the ranks, I followed them for years now, so that's really beautiful. As for Yuhui Choe - she's one of the most consistent dancers I think and a sweet performer to watch. Though I somehow feel she is right in her First Soloist position as I'm always missing some dramatic ability that can keep up with dancers like Cuthbertson/Nunez/Yanowsky - I think Hayward/Takada and also Naghdi have everything that it takes to rise up to that level someday. Choe is gorgeous though - maybe they'll have to create a new rank for her.
    Hopefully Marcelino Sambé will be promoted next season as I feel like he's stealing the show whenever he dances. He's so passionate and just a joy to watch perform.
    Thanks to each and everyone from the RB Company and Staff for a great season! Can't wait for the next one.

  34. Louise responded on 12 June 2016 at 6:27pm Reply

    I'm heartbroken for Yuhui too : ( I am one of the people who book specifically to see her. I am pleased with Yasmine's promotion though.

  35. Victoria responded on 12 June 2016 at 6:54pm Reply

    Congratulations to all the dancers who have been promoted. However, I am flabbergasted that Yuhui has not become a principal! Surely an oversight?

  36. Rob G responded on 12 June 2016 at 7:07pm Reply

    Wow - didn't see 4 promotions to principal coming. Good to see those promotions from the ranks. Can't argue with the other promotions either.

    Will add my name to the list who can't believe Yuhui wasn't one of the 4. Hopefully she will get cast in some more principal roles going forward.

  37. Anna responded on 12 June 2016 at 11:51pm Reply

    I've been following Magri since she was discovered and got to the Royal Ballet School. I haven't been disappointed. I think she was born to be not only a principal, but one of the best one whenever she reaches that position. I'm looking forward to see her assuming new roles and hope to see her doing a soloist part in a DVD.
    Congrats Mayara!! You´re making it!!

  38. susan woolcott responded on 13 June 2016 at 9:32am Reply

    Francesca - I'm so thrilled for you and so well deserved
    Susan x

  39. Nick B responded on 13 June 2016 at 10:35am Reply

    It's been a vintage year. To ALL dancers at the Royal Ballet. You are ALL stars!

  40. Bruce responded on 13 June 2016 at 12:30pm Reply

    While congratulating all those promoted, like many others, I fail to understand why Yuhui Choe has not been given a promotion. One of my favourite dancers. I wonder, does she simply smile too much?? She is a delight.

  41. Yukiko responded on 13 June 2016 at 2:04pm Reply

    Congratulations to all the dansers!
    Special congratulations to Akane and Ryoichi ! you are my proud.
    I hope to meet you next Suturday in Tokyo Bunka kaikan .

  42. Sim responded on 13 June 2016 at 2:05pm Reply

    I predicted (and hoped for) many of these promotions, but like many others I just fail to see why Yuhui has been passed over yet again. Maybe someone would care to tell her many admirers why the company doesn't promote her? I'm sure they won't but hopefully they will listen when they see how many people, both here and on other social media, are very disappointed for her. It must be so dispiriting. Whilst I am very happy for everyone who got promoted (although one or two of them quite surprised me), I just cannot understand what it is Yuhui has to do to get where she deserves. But what a pro: on Saturday matinee she had to share the bill with Francesca and Akane, and danced just as well as they did and managed to smile and look happy throughout. She is a company gem and I just hope that she will continue to shine for us.

  43. kade uawithya responded on 13 June 2016 at 2:35pm Reply

    I became a huge fan of ballet because of Yuhui Choe so am disappointed for her . She , in my humble opinion , always make it all look effortless.

  44. elleG responded on 13 June 2016 at 4:50pm Reply

    I am happy for all those promoted and rejoice in the fact that the RB has so much emerging talent. However, I tend to agree with Sim (above) about Yuhui Choe whose lack of promotion is all the more puzzling when one considers that she has danced at least as many leading roles as both of the men who have been promoted to Principal and, in the 2016 autumn season, is listed for more principal appearances than one of the other promotees. I noticed also that, whereas Kobayashi, Hirano and Takada were mentioned on the ROH website about the current tour of Japan, Choe's name was omitted - even though she will doubtless play a prominent part in the tour. It's a puzzlement.

    • Jakegee responded on 14 June 2016 at 12:46pm

      I want to point out that the others whose names you mention above are all Japanese, and therefore relevant to the article on the tour to Japan. However, Yuhui Choe is Korean and therefore not visiting her home country.

  45. SY responded on 13 June 2016 at 9:28pm Reply

    I am in agreement with all who are disappointed that Yuhui is not promoted. When she is on stage with other dancers, my eyes are always drawn to her. She is such a joy to watch. I hope she knows that there are a large number of people who love her dancing and would choose her performances over others

  46. elleG responded on 14 June 2016 at 6:01pm Reply

    Jakegee..... I believe that Yuhui Choe was born in Japan (Fukuoka) to Korean parents and has previously been counted by the RB on tour as being Japanese.

  47. Kevin responded on 14 June 2016 at 10:56pm Reply


    Yet again the Royal Ballet management shows that they don't understand the audience.

    Who is the most popular dancer in modern works? Eric Underwood.

    Who charms audiences? Yuhui Choe.

    The most thoughtful, intellectual, subtle dancer? Benjamin Ella.

    The most selfish, career obsessed dancer? Yes it's *****. Paid a fortune.


  48. Bali Rai responded on 15 June 2016 at 8:55pm Reply

    Well done everyone but want to add my voice to express disappointment that Yuhui has been overlooked.. I often book to see her so a great shame.

  49. Michael Cooke responded on 16 June 2016 at 5:43pm Reply

    Brilliant choices for promotions with so many of the former RBS pupils now in the company It is nice to see Guest Artists occasionally but not at the cost of the hard working RBS former students I unfortunately not had the pleasure of seeing Yuhui dance so cant comment on that topic but congratulations all round

  50. Judge responded on 16 June 2016 at 5:59pm Reply

    What wonderful news. Congratulations to Francesca and Ryoichi in particular, both such a joy to watch.

    One question - that is happening with Melissa? I had been holding out hope that she would be returning from Dresden as Principal. Hopefully she is at least returning?

  51. jill white responded on 16 June 2016 at 6:19pm Reply

    At last cambell and Hayward have been promoted but what a shame about Choi. I don't understand it at all don't let her go somewhere else if other opportunities come her way. She is a lovely dancer and lights up the stage. Come on let's have some more ballets like steadfast tin soldier or a bit of Twyla Tharp for a change. Or maybe some new symphonic dance not necessarily to the classics but modern music but with a tune not minimalist electronic boring drones.Most of Wayne mcgegors stuff is pretty average nothing to write home about. We appear to be losing the beauty of ballet for more acrobatic movements. Thank God for the likes of McMillan who was modern but with beauty.

  52. Amanda Selby responded on 16 June 2016 at 8:26pm Reply

    Delighted for all the talented dancers promoted but gutted that Yuhei Choe is not promoted to principal status - this is a huge oversight - I hope it is rectified before the new season commences.

  53. Peter Hill responded on 16 June 2016 at 9:49pm Reply

    Again congratulations to all on their promotions but also thanks to the rest of the company for the joy given to audiences by their ever-improving standard of performance. However, Yuhui has also given us some wonderful performances and recognition of this by promotion is now overdue.

  54. Mo Strangeman responded on 17 June 2016 at 10:42am Reply

    WHAT a shame Yuhui Choe and Marcelino Sambe are not included in an otherwise congratulatory list...they are both superb and demand your attention on stage in anything they do...we need to ensure they stay with us!!!

  55. Katherine responded on 17 June 2016 at 10:45am Reply

    I agree with the other comments about Yuhui - she is the most beautiful graceful dancer and deserves to be principal after all this time.

  56. Michael Sharpe responded on 17 June 2016 at 10:57am Reply

    No word on any of the leavers!

  57. ElizabethJ responded on 17 June 2016 at 11:43pm Reply

    Wonderful news about all the promotions and appointments. Disappointed though that Valentino and Marcelino aren't on the list. Hopefully next time!

  58. M.T. responded on 19 June 2016 at 2:30am Reply

    Congratulations to everyone who has been promoted. It is heartening to see that the Director has selected his new Principal dancers from within the ranks of the company. Given the wealth of talent that there is within the company at present it is to be hoped that this will now be the norm. I trust that there are now systems in place which will ensure that the company is able to "grow" its own in the future.

    May I respectfully .point out to the fans of dancers who have not been promoted this year that there are inevitably many good dancers who never make it the rank of Principal. A company that is in good artistic health should have as its Principal dancers those who do far more than reproduce steps efficiently. Its Principal dancers should, between them, provide exemplars for the full range of ballets that form the company's core repertory while bringing an element of individuality to their performance.

    As far as selecting dancers for promotion is concerned the Director of the company has far more opportunity to watch his dancers in performance than any of us do and he knows the direction in which he wants to take the company. Should a rather bland dancer be promoted merely because the dancer's fans believe it should happen? I don't think so. Fortunately promotion to Principal is not in the gift of the dancer's fans nor an automatic reward for audience popularity.

    • Rob G responded on 20 June 2016 at 1:56pm

      Responding to :

      "A company that is in good artistic health should have as its Principal dancers those who do far more than reproduce steps efficiently. Its Principal dancers should, between them, provide exemplars for the full range of ballets that form the company's core repertory while bringing an element of individuality to their performance."

      I think that is the point being made by Yuhui's supporters though. As you notice Yuhui does perform the steps correctly (some others principals don't- especially in the Ashton repertory) but the comments here aren't about that. It's about their eye being drawn to Yuhui's performance in a variety of ballets. I think it is more a conflict between different fans' viewpoints. In my eyes there are many principals who are flamboyant and overact and don't really follow the British or Royal style. In my eyes the "soft sell" and more genuine style of Yuhui is far more engaging. As you say there should be a range of principals who bring their own individuality to the ballet and one thing is for sure there aren't many of Yuhui's style in the principal ranks currently. Certainly don't think I saw a better interpretation of young girl in two pigeons nor as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. Also to my surprise Yuhui also managed to carry of the "harlot" role in Romeo and Juliet, despite critics saying she can only do innocent roles (see also her black swan on youtube). But as you say I don't think that is Mr O'Hare's point of view. In my opinion if she can't be made a principal I hope she can at least be given some more principal roles rather than having to fill in when somebody gets injured again leaving Yuhui to do the job with an unfamiliar partner.

    • ML responded on 22 July 2016 at 4:01pm

      Audience popularity is certainly a key factor. Stars like Fonteyn, Makarova, Osipova, Vishneva and Guillem weren't just promoted because one director and a few coaches and critics thought highly of them- they can sell out houses. Guillem herself while being a megastar clearly had many detractors but nobody would ever call her bland - and she could sell out houses even without the programme being announced. Likewise the dancers who are popular with audiences are anything but bland (or else they wouldn't have fans, obviously).. Not being fond of them is one thing, but blandness is a subjective opinion rather than fact.

  59. Anna C responded on 19 June 2016 at 2:48pm Reply

    I can't help but echo the comments about Yuhui. She draws my eye every time she's onstage, and exudes such joy. For me, she certainly has star quality and her partnership with the exceptional Alexander Campbell is surely one to be nurtured and continued. For a long time people have been suggesting she should be promoted so I cannot understand why she has been passed over yet again. Wonderful news about Yasmine in particular and I hope we have plenty more opportunities to see her partnered with Matthew Ball. Well done everybody (and Mr O'Hare, please promote Yuhui).

  60. Kate responded on 20 June 2016 at 4:58am Reply

    Delighted for so many of these promotions - particularly the 'home grown' and longer-standing members of the company (hooray for Ryo)!

    I confess that I too was surprised to see Yuhui's name missing from the list of new principals. My eye goes to her every time she's on stage, and in the intervals I often hear other people talking about her! I used to think that maybe she wasn't promoted because, whilst she's perfect in Ashton and the more classical roles, perhaps she wasn't so suited to the more dramatic roles or contemporary. And then I saw her dance both styles and she stole the show both times, so now I'm completely puzzled. I don't think I've ever rooted for someone's promotion more!

    I'm also with others who'd like to see Valentino Zucchetti make it to the top tier, although I don't feel *too* hard done by that it hasn't happened this time around - hopefully next year. I'm more sad that Valeri Hristov hasn't been promoted - I've seen him in several performances where, for me, he outshone an existing principal.

    But there you go - we all see different things in different dancers!

    Looking forward to another year of excellent performances from a strong company full of exciting and much-loved dancers :)

    • ML responded on 25 July 2016 at 11:23pm

      I agree about both Yuhui and Valeri, Kate! There's a brilliant recording on DVD of his performance in Elite Syncopations where is in the lead role, partnering Sarah Lamb. Both wonderful! It's the DVD of MacMillan ballets which also includes Yuhui and Steven McRae dancing the first movement of Concerto.

  61. Kate responded on 20 June 2016 at 5:03am Reply

    Actually, whilst I'm think about Choe and Hristov, I saw a comment on a Youtube video (one of the Two Pigeons ones?) where someone asked for the clip of them dancing Ondine from that livestream about Myths - I'd like to second this request! There were some great performances generally that evening and it'd be great to be able to revisit them.

  62. kj responded on 21 June 2016 at 2:22pm Reply

    I have to agree this time round, it is disappointing to see Yuhui overlooked, she has a unique quality and a warmth that is infectious and brings sheer joy to an audience. An asset and a real trouper to the company in recent seasons in many roles and indeed invaluable Ashton repertoire, so why is she overlooked now? some of those promoted this time to Principal are strange choices and they do not move me and didn't see them as principal material, it makes me wonder why powers that be don't feel what we feel sometimes. Whereas before I was hesitant about her because of certain limitations, now I feel her time has come, maybe she is too modest and happy or something. Will she be like Morera, overlooked for a very long time for being different and having a bit of a weakness in one area while completely outshining many in other roles.

  63. Noel Patrick responded on 22 June 2016 at 7:02am Reply

    Francesca-'Bravo'-up there where you belong.
    All the hard work and dedication has paid off.
    Bravo-Bravo-Bravo. '

  64. Grainne Gilmore responded on 3 July 2016 at 8:13am Reply

    Wonderful new principals. Will I ever see Melissa dance with the Royal again?

  65. Cita responded on 16 July 2016 at 2:04am Reply

    Glad to see Alexander Campbell promoted to principal however this makes me wonder why Yuhui Choe has been overlooked. Their partnership is one of the best I have seen and in my opinion Yuhui Choe should have been promoted a long time ago. She is a beautiful dancer and my eyes are always drawn to her. I am very disappointed.

  66. Lucy responded on 21 July 2016 at 3:14am Reply

    Who actually reads these comments?

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 21 July 2016 at 10:21am

      Hi Lucy,

      The digital team monitor the comments and pass them on to the relevant parties as appropriate. Thank you for getting in touch.

      Kind regards


    • Lee McLernon responded on 24 July 2016 at 3:54pm

      I do (sometimes)

  67. Mark whelan responded on 25 July 2016 at 6:16pm Reply

    Congratulations to on perpetuating the excellence of the artform, and long may it continue....

  68. Josephine Snell responded on 25 July 2016 at 6:20pm Reply

    I would like to add my own to all those comments in appreciation of Yuhui Choe and regretting that she has yet to be promoted to Principal. She is clearly valued to a degree that is not reflected in her ranking, which is a shame.

  69. Olivia Lai responded on 27 July 2016 at 5:49pm Reply

    I do hope the digital team passes the comments down to the relavant parties as promised. It is good to see so many people voicing their opinions, it is important that ROH acknowledges that there is feedback from the audience. We trust that you will not disappoint again.

    Once again, many gems exist in the Royal Ballet (many have been undervalued) and it is questionable to why it is so. A breath of fresh air would do wonders. If it is a matter of leadership, is it time for ROH to switch things up?

  70. Jam D responded on 16 August 2016 at 8:25am Reply

    I sincerely hope that the Royal Ballet remains an institution led by its director
    and professional staff and does not bow to the pressure of some well meaning fans. Most of these fans do not attend performances of a variety of casts and most would not be able to describe the defining characteristics of the Ashtonian style of ballet so why should they be allow to tell the management of the company who should be promoted. How many of them have been to see other ballet companies and dancers of the caliber that they claim for Yuhui Choe.
    This is not a post against Yuhui but rather a post against ill conceived social media campaigns and armchair experts thinking they know better than the people who deal with the nitty gritty on a daily basis And have trained for years to do so.
    Does the RB management really need a shake up because your favourite dancer was not promoted. For everyone who writes in to say that a dancer should be promoted, others can counter with reasons against the promotion. This just gets unnecessarily ugly... My eyes are drawn to many dancers including Yuhui when I attend performances but that doesn't mean she should be promoted. She's not an exemplar of the Ashtonian style as one poster asserts and she did not give the best performance of the lead role in Two Pigeons. These are my opinions and I could go on. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but that does not make it correct for the company because it's just an opinion.
    I appreciate Yuhui's performances and those of other dancers who have not been promoted this time but I respect the director's decision and I can see (from my vantage point) what he's trying to do.

    I'm looking forward to the new season!

  71. I remember my first RB show years ago, and Yuhui caught my eye with her performance. I was a regular RB attendee until I moved to New York 3 years ago, and I saw their show when toured. Yuhui had a lot of fans waiting for her at the stage door, more so than some of the principals. She's a talented and popular dancer who clearly sells tickets, and she seems like she has a good work attitude. I'm puzzled at the continued refusal to promote her.

    Also want to give a shoutout to Ryoichi! He's such a sensuous and elegant dancer, so glad to see him promoted.

  72. Avesraggiana responded on 20 September 2016 at 6:39am Reply

    Dear, Mr. O’Hare. Please promote Yuhui Choe to the rank of Principal Dancer effectively immediately. It has been many years now that Ms. Choe has worn the mantle of Prima Ballerina in every way but name, and she has done so with distinction. Thank you.

  73. Kit Pepin responded on 23 September 2016 at 9:56pm Reply

    I was scrolling through YouTube videos, and I (quite randomly) came upon Yuhui Choe and Alexander Campbell practicing The Two Pigeons. I had no idea who the dancers were or what the ROH was or anything about dance really, but I remember being immediately and inexplicably drawn to Ms. Yuhui Choe. It's because of her performance that I've made it one of my goals to travel to London and watch this beautiful, vivid, passionate art form live and in person. Thank you, Yuhui Choe, for your joy and grace, and for giving me something new to seek.

  74. PROMOTE YUHUI ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Sophia A responded on 29 September 2016 at 5:27pm Reply

    Yuhui Choe is such a superb, captivating dancer. She has a truly fascinating quality about her; there is an eloquence in her movements that makes it hard–if not nearly impossible–to look away. A large portion of my love of the Royal Ballet is reserved for Choe, and it's a shame that she has been passed over yet again. I simply do not understand why she is denied her birthright as a dancer.

  76. Emmer Lednicky responded on 2 October 2016 at 9:22am Reply

    Unbelievable. Yuhui Choe has been overlooked...again. She should have been promoted YEARS ago. This is very disappointing. A brilliant dancer's career continuously buffering due to the questionable judgement of Mr. O'Hare.

  77. Brian responded on 6 October 2016 at 9:34pm Reply

    I agree with the comments about the bewildering failure to promote Yuhui Choe. She isn't in the mould of most other RB dancers and brings something different to the company. She has a luminosity and an upper-body expressivity second only to Nunez. She is a subtle actress with a fine sense of comedy. She also has a natural instinct for Ashtonian style that few other dancers have. Her connection with the audience is obvious from the comments made here. Her neglect is really shocking.

  78. Jo Hillier responded on 18 October 2016 at 10:30am Reply

    I've never before posted a comment on any website but felt compelled to join the many people protesting at the failure to promote Yuhui Choe, my favourite Royal dancer. Since leaving London, I rely on live cinema screenings and we get the same three Principals featured over and over, two of whom simply don't live up to their hype. Promote Yuhui and give the people who can't get to the ROH more variety in classical roles!

  79. Promote yuhei!! She one of my favs!

  80. Ed Neunzehn responded on 17 January 2017 at 11:48am Reply

    Congratulations to those amazing talented dancers... They deserved that!!!!

  81. Mimi responded on 6 February 2017 at 2:28pm Reply

    Where is my beloved Yuhui Choe? Is she just too talented to be promoted?

  82. Annisa Muthiya responded on 3 May 2017 at 8:51pm Reply

    I first saw Yuhui Choe on youtube recently and fall in love right away, cant stop looking for another and other of her dance videos, I dont really get it why she's not in the principle yet, just hope for the best of Yuhui then love from Indonesia!
    Hope I could watch you soon enough

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