News: Promotions, joiners and leavers at The Royal Ballet

Tuesday 30 June 2015 by Carmel Smith

Included in Royal Ballet Director Kevin O’Hare’s statement about Company promotions, joiners and leavers for 2015/16 season is news of a new Royal Ballet Young Choreographer Programme – a 12 month position for an emerging choreographer to shadow Royal Ballet and visiting choreographers and utilise the Company resources to create work. Its first participant will be 18 year old Charlotte Edmonds. Currently studying for a BA at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Charlotte trained at The Royal Ballet School, but wasn’t allowed to continue her studies into the upper school. She was a finalist in the Ninette de Valois Junior Choreographic Competition for three consecutive years; won the Kenneth MacMillan Senior Choreographic Competition in 2011 and 2012 – and was the Causeway Young Artist in Residence with Yorke Dance Project in 2013. She choreographed the short film The Indifferent Beak for The Royal Ballet as part of Deloitte Ignite 2014.

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.

At the start of the 2015/16 season Chisato Katsura will join the Company from The Royal Ballet School. Grace Blundell (formerly Royal Ballet School) and Ashley Scott (formerly English National Ballet School), both part of the 2014/15 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme, also 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 participants 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 with other companies: Maria Barroso joins The National Ballet of Portugal; Grace Horler joins Scottish Ballet and Ashleigh McKimmie joins The Estonian National Ballet.

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.

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