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Towards the end of another exciting season, – where we opened Akram Khan’s brand new version of Giselle, had another record-breaking season at the London Coliseum, and became the first UK company to perform Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre du printemps – we’re pleased to announce promotions and new joiners for next season.
Cesar Corrales promoted to Principal dancer in Tokyo © Laurent Liotardo

Promotions within the Company

As previously announced, Cesar Corrales has been promoted to Principal following performances as Hilarion in Akram Khan’s Giselle, the Nephew in Nutcracker, Albrecht in Mary Skeaping’s Giselle, Ali in Le Corsaire, Franz in Coppélia, and in William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. At 20, Corrales becomes the youngest of our Principal dancers.

Alison McWhinney as Juliet in Nureyev's Romeo & Juliet © Laurent Liotardo
Fernando Bufalá in English National Ballet's Nutcracker © Photography by ASH

Big congratulations are in order for our other dancers being promoted within the Company:

Katja Khaniukova in Le Corsaire © Photography by ASH
Aitor Arrieta © Laurent Liotardo

On these promotions, Tamara Rojo said:

“I am thrilled to announce these promotions within the Company. It has been a pleasure to watch our incredibly talented dancers grow and develop as artists over the last season, and I look forward to seeing them perform over the coming season.”

Ken Saruhashi as Lankendem in Le Corsaire © Photography by ASH

Joining the Company

Joining as Guest Artists next season are Jeffrey Cirio, Principal at American Ballet Theatre, who performs with the Company for the Autumn/Winter season, and Oscar Chacon who reprises his role as Hilaron in Akram Khan’s Giselle.

Tiffany Hedman and James Streeter in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated © Laurent Liotardo

As previously announced, new Lead Principal Aaron Robison joined in June, and Jurgita Dronina joins as new Lead Principal from July. Their first performances as part of the Company will be in the roles of Romeo and Juliet during the matinee performance of Rudolf Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet on Saturday 5 August at Southbank Centre.

Rina Kanehara rehearsing La Sylphide © Laurent Liotardo

Also announced earlier this month, Joseph Caley joins the Company as Principal from Birmingham Royal Ballet. During his career, Caley has performed much of the leading roles in repertoire including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella and Nutcracker, and has been a guest artist with the Australian Ballet and with Star Dancer Ballet in Japan dancing with Miyako Yoshida.

Guilherme Menezes performing La Sylphide pas de deux at Emerging Dancer 2017 © Laurent Liotardo

Joining English National Ballet as Soloist is Skyler Martin who joins from Dutch National Ballet. Claire Barrett and Eireen Evrard join as Artists of the Company following their performances with the Company over the 2016/2017 season.  Also joining the Company as Artists of the Company are Alice Bellini (The Royal Ballet School), Daniel McCormick (Houston Ballet Company), Henry Dowden (Scottish Ballet), and Rhys Antoni Yeomans (English National Ballet School). Julia Conway joined as Artist of the Company mid-season.

Precious Adams in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated © Laurent Liotardo

Bidding Farewell

Leaving the Company at the end of the 2016/2017 season is Principal Yonah Acosta. Acosta, who joined in 2011 as First Artist, was promoted to Junior Soloist later that year, and to Principal in 2014.

During his time at English National Ballet Acosta has performed in many productions including Roland Petit’s Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, as Nephew/Prince in Nutcracker,  as Conrad, Ali and Birbanto in Le Corsaire, as Franz in Coppélia and Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake and as Albrecht in Mary Skeaping’s Giselle. Acosta leaves English National Ballet to join as Principal of Bavarian State Ballet.

Isabelle Brouwers performing Paquita pas de deux in Emerging Dancer 2017 © Laurent Liotardo

Principal Laurretta Summerscales will take a sabbatical during the 2017-2018 season to perform with Bavarian State Ballet.

Jung ah Choi rehearsing Mary Skeaping's Giselle © Laurent Liotardo

Also leaving at the end of the 2016/2017 season is Soloist Emilio Pavan, First Artist Jinhao Zhang, and Artist of the Company Jeanette Kakareka who join Bavarian State Ballet, while Artists of the Company Vitor Menezes joins the Royal Danish Ballet, and Daniele Silingardi joins Stuttgart Ballet. First Artist Tamarin Stott and Artist of the Company Yoko Callegari leave to pursue other opportunities, and Artist of the Company Grant Rae retires at the end of the current season.

Junior Soloist Juan Rodrigues and First Artist Makoto Nakamura left the Company mid-season.

Francesca Velicu in Pina Bausch's Le Sacre du printemps © Laurent Liotardo