Boston Ballet's New Roster Includes Some Surprising Names

August 13, 2017

With summer drawing to a close, companies are finalizing their rosters for the 2017–18 season. Boston Ballet announced their dancer lineup this morning, and we’re more than a little excited about a number of well-deserved promotions and new company members.

From within the company ranks, there are now three new principals: Paul Craig, Patrick Yocum and Junxiong Zhao. Roddy Doble (featured in “On the Rise” in 2014) has been promoted to soloist. And we were delighted to see that Hannah Bettes and Lawrence Rines, both of whom gave us a peek into the day in the life of the Boston Ballet corps back in our November 2016 issue, are now second soloists! There are also a number of Boston Ballet II dancers who have been moved up to the rank of artist (Boston’s equivalent of the corps de ballet).

Above: Junxiong Zhao and Misa Kuranaga in an excerpt from Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations.

In addition to these internal promotions, several dancers are joining from other companies. Derek Dunn, who joins as a soloist, comes as something of a surprise. One of our 2014 “25 to Watch” picks, he has been making major waves at Houston Ballet the past few years with the kind of momentum that boded well for his career in Texas. (We know it’s a long shot, but maybe he’ll get to dance “Shades” at his new company!)

Another surprise: Chrystyn Fentroy, one of our faves at Dance Theatre of Harlem, is joining Boston Ballet as an artist. We’re going to miss seeing her onstage here in New York. Also joining as artists are a couple of Dunn’s colleagues from Houston, Daniel Durrett and Michael Ryan, as well as Jessica Burrows (Hong Kong Ballet), Patric Palkens (Cincinnati Ballet) and Haley Schwan (Staatsballett Berlin/Twyla Tharp).

Congrats to all of the promoted dancers, and best wishes to the new company members on their first season in Boston!