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Promotions, joiners and leavers at The Royal Ballet for 2015/16

Details of Company changes for the upcoming Season have been announced.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

29 June 2015 at 3.31pm | 20 Comments

Promotions, joiners and leavers have been announced for the 2015/16 Season.

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, has made the following promotions for the forthcoming Season:

Francesca Hayward and James Hay have been promoted to First Soloists.

Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Luca Acri, Nicol Edmonds, and Marcelino Sambé are promoted to Soloists. Camille Bracher, Mayara Magri, Leticia Stock, Matthew Ball, Sander Blommaert, Tomas Mock and Donald Thom are promoted to First Artists.

Joining the Company at the start of the Season will be Chisato Katsura from The Royal Ballet School. Grace Blundell (formerly at The Royal Ballet School) and Ashley Dean (who formerly attended The English National Ballet School), both part of the 2014/15 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme, join the Company alongside 2015 Prix de Lausanne dancer David Yudes. All join as Artists.

The Royal Ballet welcomes five dancers to the Company for the 2015/16 Season as part of the 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 Isabel Lubach, Julia Roscoe, Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Harry Churches and Leo Dixon, all from The Royal Ballet School. Julian MacKay joins the Company as Prix de Lausanne Dancer for the 2015/16 Season.

All remaining Aud Jebsen Young Dancers from the 2014/15 Season have been offered contracts as follows: Maria Barroso joins the National Ballet of Portugal, Grace Horler joins Scottish Ballet and Ashleigh McKimmie joins the Estonian National Ballet.

Charlotte Edmonds will join The Royal Ballet for the 2015/16 Season as the first choreographer to participate in the new Royal Ballet Young Choreographer Programme mentored by Kevin O’Hare and Wayne McGregor. The Young Choreographer Programme is a 12-month position for an emerging choreographer to shadow Royal Ballet and visiting choreographers and utilize the Company resources to create work. Eighteen-year-old Edmonds choreographed the short film The Indifferent Beak for The Royal Ballet as part of Deloitte Ignite 2014 and is currently studying for a BA at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. She trained at The Royal Ballet School and was a finalist in the Ninette de Valois Junior Choreographic competition for three consecutive years. She also won the Kenneth MacMillan Senior Choreographic Competition in 2011 and 2012.

First Soloist Deirdre Chapman retired from the Company mid-Season, with her final performance in Kim Brandstrup’s Ceremony of Innocence in November 2014. First Artists Pietra Mello-Pittman and Ludovic Ondiviela also left the Company mid-season.

First Artists Jacqueline Clark, Elsa Godard, Michael Stojko and Andrej Uspenski leave the Company at the end of this Season. For the 2015/16 Season Andrej Uspenski will be engaged as a photographer for The Royal Ballet and other departments across the Royal Opera House.

First Soloist Melissa Hamilton will take a sabbatical for the 2015/16 Season to spend the year as a principal dancer with the Semperoper Ballett in Dresden.

First Artist Leanne Cope continues her sabbatical for the 2015/16 Season playing Lise Dassin in the Tony Award-winning An American in Paris, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet.

This article has 20 comments

  1. Annabella responded on 30 June 2015 at 4:30am Reply

    Wow, I had been waiting for F Hayward and M Magri to be promoted!!!!
    I´m so glad, they deserve it so much.

    Well, really, I congratulate all the dancers than have been promoted, you're all so good!!!

  2. Denise Nicholson responded on 30 June 2015 at 1:10pm Reply

    Congratulations Francesca, all those years ago competing in various local dance competitions and watching your foot work at age 6 and your attention to detail, we knew you would be first soloist one day. Amazing achievement. Here's to many more successful promotions, much love Denise and Lauren xx

  3. dianne responded on 30 June 2015 at 1:48pm Reply

    Congratulations to Ashley Scott.
    I am so proud of all your achievements!
    Flying CJB and SA flag high!
    bEST wishes to you in the next step with this fantastic Company!xxxx

  4. Dana responded on 30 June 2015 at 11:14pm Reply

    Well done to Meaghan, Matthew, Luca and Marcelino - each has stood out as stars even in minor roles so they're definitely ones to watch

  5. smd responded on 1 July 2015 at 9:32am Reply

    Well done everyone and especially Chi and the Aud Jebsen young dancers Isabel Julia Lukas Harry and Leo xxxxxx . Also well done Charlotte it is good to see female choreographers

  6. Kate responded on 1 July 2015 at 4:26pm Reply

    I am delighted that David Yudes is being kept on! He was such a star at the Prix de Lausanne and is clearly very skilled so I look forward to seeing a lot more of him in the future.

  7. Noel Patrick responded on 1 July 2015 at 6:27pm Reply

    Congratulations 'Francesca Hayward' - a very well deserved promotion. You were sensational in the recent Swan Lake production. Onward and upwards!
    Best wishes for your continuing career with The Royal Ballet.

  8. Roger Handley responded on 1 July 2015 at 7:47pm Reply

    Some very good news with the promotions, particularly Francesca Hayward and James Hay. Well done to everyone'''.

  9. sarah langfield responded on 1 July 2015 at 11:22pm Reply

    Delighted for all especially Mayara Magri who is so gifted and destined for the top.

  10. Derek Normington responded on 3 July 2015 at 1:41pm Reply

    Bravo all!

  11. Kevin responded on 3 July 2015 at 11:42pm Reply

    Ludovic & Andrej, I loved your work. I hope to see more. Thanks.

  12. Kei responded on 22 July 2015 at 12:44pm Reply

    Please make Yuhui Choe a principal !!!

  13. Sharon Keogh responded on 8 November 2015 at 4:49pm Reply

    So Very pleased about Matthew Ball - more than deserved.

  14. Laura Pedro responded on 25 February 2016 at 4:32am Reply

    Congratulation to Mayara Magri for your new position as First Artist, I really enjoy to see your progress as you are an wonderful dancer from inside out since first time I saw you dancing at Rio das Ostra in Rio de Janeiro competition that I was dancing on. Beautiful!

  15. Rosina responded on 1 April 2016 at 9:54am Reply

    Congratulations for promoted and new RB dancers and farewell to leavers.

    I would like to say that Yuhui Choe is a lovely dancer with solid technique and can be very expressive and portray emotions very well if the role requires it, for example when she was a guest with the Korean Ballet and played Odette/Odile, which I hope the Royal Ballet would give Yuhui the chance to do in the company. I and many others would appreciate it if Yuhui is given a bigger chance to play roles where portraying emotions and telling a story is a vital part, for example roles like Odette/Odile.

  16. Rosina responded on 1 April 2016 at 10:32am Reply

    If a dancer is frequently dancing principal roles then it would only make sense to promote him or her to principal if at all possible.

    And an additional note - Many, many people think Yuhui Choe is a wonderful dancer and very deserving of being promoted to principal.

  17. Rosina responded on 1 April 2016 at 10:34am Reply

    Would you please pass my comments to the company.

  18. Daphne responded on 26 April 2016 at 11:32pm Reply

    Congrats to all that have been promoted!!

    As an additional comment - I feel that Yuhui Choe is well deserving of being promoted to principal as she is an amazing dancer. I know I am not alone in feeling this. Most of the ballet's I go to (since around two years back), are to see her dance anyways.

  19. Matthew responded on 29 April 2016 at 7:25pm Reply

    I'm confused. I thought Yuhui Choe was already a principle. She definitely deserves it!

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