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Royal Ballet promotions and joiners for 2013/14 Season

Melissa Hamilton promoted to rank of First Soloist among other changes for coming Season.

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

3 July 2013 at 3.59pm | 29 Comments

The Royal Ballet has announced details of promotions, joiners and leavers for the 2013/14 Season.

Belfast-born Melissa Hamilton has been promoted to First Soloist following a Season of strong performances, most recently in Raven Girl and Mayerling. Listen to an ROH Insights interview with Melissa.

Olivia Cowley, Elizabeth Harrod and Fumi Kaneko have been made Soloists, while Hayley Forskitt, Francesca Hayward and Tristan Dyer have been promoted to First Artists.

Natalia Osipova will join the Company as a Principal from the Mikhailovsky Ballet. Natalia made her Royal Ballet Debut in Swan Lake last Season, partnered by Carlos Acosta.

Annette Buvoli and David Donnelly will join as Artists from The Royal Ballet School, with Masaya Yamamoto joining the Company as a Prix de Lausanne dancer.  Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Luca Acri and Marcelino Sambé joined as Artists during the 2012/2013 Season.

The Royal Ballet is currently on tour in Japan and the new Season will open with Carlos Acosta’s new production of Don Quixote on 30 September.

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

3 July 2013 at 3.59pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged joiners, promotions

This article has 29 comments

  1. Lydia responded on 3 July 2013 at 4:34pm Reply

    Bravo Melissa!!!

  2. Congratulations Melissa Hamilton - we are all so proud of you!!! Xo Jan

  3. anja responded on 3 July 2013 at 5:06pm Reply

    Yuhui for principal :(
    but congrats everyone, well deserved!

  4. Karen responded on 3 July 2013 at 5:49pm Reply

    Well done Melissa, richly deserved. (And if only Macmillan were alive today...what new riches might we enjoy).

  5. Karen responded on 3 July 2013 at 5:53pm Reply

    Good to see these promotions and fwiw after seeing Harrod in Mayerling recently this is another very gratifying promotion.

    Kudos to all.

  6. So pleased that Melissa Hamilton has been deservedly promoted - Principal next! Congrats to all the other promoted artistes too

  7. Sebastian responded on 3 July 2013 at 6:06pm Reply

    What about Yuhui ? :(

  8. Sahlen responded on 3 July 2013 at 6:14pm Reply

    Yuhui for principal!

  9. Jamila responded on 3 July 2013 at 6:21pm Reply

    Congratulations to all. Very well deserved. I have to say I would have loved to have seen Yuhui promoted as principal.

  10. Tony Watts responded on 3 July 2013 at 6:25pm Reply

    So where's Yuhui then? The most obvious promotion of all to my mind.

  11. Ranjana responded on 4 July 2013 at 3:37am Reply

    And what about Romany Pajdak? Shee is a dancer who deserves more than being the subject of various YouTube videos.

  12. Pleased for all who are promoted!! Edward Watson was outstanding in "Mayerling" last month. Would have liked to see more of him next season???

  13. Robert Greensted responded on 4 July 2013 at 11:45pm Reply

    Got to agree with some of the above comments. Thought Yuhui's performances this year warranted a promotion.

  14. Sue responded on 5 July 2013 at 6:19am Reply

    Congratulations Melissa, well deserved promotion and best wishes for the future.

  15. Joanne responded on 9 July 2013 at 6:11pm Reply

    Agree! Why hasn't Yuhui been promoted to Principal? Also, hire Miko Fogarty already!!!

  16. sarah langfield responded on 9 July 2013 at 9:01pm Reply

    what about mayara magri. she danced like a principal in Apollo. An amazingly gifted dancer who is magical to watch..

  17. Desmond Graham responded on 11 July 2013 at 12:47pm Reply

    Cannot understand Yuhui not being promoted to Principal. She, along with Nunez, were the only dancers worth watching in Ashton's BIRTHDAY OFFERING last Summer. Real Ashton style. Delighted about Tristan Dyer

  18. Isabel responded on 13 July 2013 at 2:11pm Reply

    I want Choe as principal!I don't understand why the delay in promoting Yuhui!

  19. Pat Stringer responded on 13 July 2013 at 3:38pm Reply

    Congratulations to all who have been promoted and to the whole company for anther wonderful Season. However I so agree with the comments expressing disappointment that Yuhui has not been promoted to Principal. She has a wonderful grace to her dancing which reminds me of Miyako Yoshida, she deserves to be treasured.

  20. Li responded on 15 July 2013 at 12:28pm Reply

    Mayara is lovely isn't she? But if I recall correctly she only joined as an artist last year. I am sure her turn will come soon, her and Marcelino were the absolute highlights of the RBS matinee last year for me.

    Cannot wait for Natalia and Carlos this September! I think I actually squealed in excitement when I heard the news of her joining!

  21. Roslyn Martin responded on 16 July 2013 at 9:36am Reply

    I went to see the Ashton programme at the cinema last night. Yuhui Choi is sublime, an utter delight to watch. It seems so clear that she should be a principal that it makes me wonder why she hasn't been promoted yet?

  22. Judith Gemmill responded on 20 August 2013 at 6:58am Reply

    Just wondering why Matthew Ball has been left off the joiners list, I realise he has had an injury but he has worked like a trojan from JA to WL to US - home grown talent at its best. He is one to watch! Agree re Yuhui Choe. Thrilled about Miss Hamilton but I think there are always a few unsung heros in companies. They will get their chances, I'm sure. And I agree Miko Fogarty needs to forget about winning medals and audition, though she could do with a year of English styling at US first she is very young. But totally ready!

  23. Melissa had been one of the dancers when I attended an introduction to ballet and have followed her in the last couple of years. Congratulations Melissa

  24. gloria dale responded on 22 August 2013 at 10:07am Reply

    Melissa has been promoted ever since she joined the Royal Ballet so it is no surprise that she has been made a principal. However, it amazes me that Yuhui ,who is a natural star, has not been promoted. Shame on you.

  25. Anna responded on 2 February 2014 at 6:36am Reply

    Yuhui for principal! Such a shame that she's stuck in the first soloist position for years. It's time to promote this lovely dancer.

  26. Ioly de karly responded on 3 April 2014 at 9:09pm Reply

    Yuhui Choe has to be director please

  27. David responded on 7 July 2014 at 1:07pm Reply

    So, I was not going to post on this PR announcement, but as ballet companies across the world are releasing their line up for 2014-2015 I am really disappointed across the board (excluding New York City Ballet as their list isn't released till next week). I am not trying to sound horrible and awful, but I feel that of all the dancers at ROH, Yuhui should have been promoted to principal. I don't know if it is racism within the ballet world, or simply lack of funding, but I think it is odd that you hire Natalia Osipova, instead of promoting from within. Royal Ballet is going to end up like American Ballet Theatre, and never promoting from within and constantly having "superstar" guest artists for the season. I find it quite alarming that Royal Ballet is falling into this trend. Next thing you know, Paris Opera Ballet will be hiring Americans as Etoiles... Insanely disappointed that this is the route that even Royal Ballet has chosen to go: Ticket Sales....
    It is sad to see that not even Royal Ballet has faith enough in their dancers to fill seats.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 9 July 2014 at 10:43am

      Dear David

      Thank you for your comment. The world of ballet is an international one, with dancers often training in one country and joining a company in another. At The Royal Ballet we are fortunate in being able to draw the greatest artists to our ranks – whether Brazilian, Cuban, Russian or British – and ability is the only criteria we use in deciding who will become a Principal.

      We value all the members of the Company, and consider decisions about promotions very carefully. While you may feel disappointment in the short term, I hope that this will not spoil your enjoyment of Royal Ballet performances in the coming Season.

      Best wishes


  28. Stevie responded on 27 June 2018 at 2:44pm Reply

    It is now 5 years since this news and we are quickly approaching the early July annual promotions. So what is the case for Melissa's time for promotion again. My 10 point case for Melissa.
    1. Her obvious talents and stage presence.
    2. Her repertoire
    3. Great classical performer.
    4.Probably the best contemporary dancer around.
    5. What an Ambassador for the breadth of talent in the Royal ballet, during her secondment as Principle in Germany.
    6. Has performed and with the Worlds L'Etoile, on stage and on film and matched them all.
    7. Has already provided service and has experience of Principle in a major company.
    8. Much to the relief of many attendees, has shown her loyalty and dedication by returning to the Royal Ballet.
    9. Has this season performed beautifully in the principle role of Manon.
    10. Vast versatility and resourcefulness makes her a great asset to the Company.

    Probably many more case points which I have missed and which you will be aware of.

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