News of Note: What You Might Have Missed in August 2022

September 1, 2022

Here are the latest promotions, appointments and departures, as well as notable awards and accomplishments, from August 2022.

Comings & Goings

Melissa Barak sits with her hands clasped below her chin, gazing seriously at the camera. Her dirty blonde hair is loose and disappears behind her shoulders. She wears a black, long-sleeved shirt, and is seated in a burgundy armchair.
Melissa Barak. Photo by Jin Lee, courtesy Los Angeles Ballet.

Melissa Barak has been appointed artistic director of Los Angeles Ballet, succeeding co-founders Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, who have left the company. Barak Ballet has merged with Los Angeles Ballet, and works in progress will be integrated into LAB’s new season.

Gili Navot has stepped down from her post as artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company. She has been succeeded by the company’s former school director Lior Avizoor.

Nashville Ballet artistic director Paul Vasterling will retire at the end of the 2022–23 season. Associate artistic director Nick Mullikin has been named CEO, and will succeed Vasterling as artistic director in June 2023.

Dresden Semperoper Ballet artistic director Aaron S. Watkin will be the next artistic director of English National Ballet, commencing in August 2023. He succeeds Tamara Rojo, who will depart for San Francisco Ballet in November.

Danni Gee has been named director of programming at The Joyce Theater, succeeding Aaron Mattocks on September 12.

Current Kaatsbaan Cultural Park chief executive and artistic officer Sonja Kostich has been named executive director of Baryshnikov Arts Center, succeeding Cora Cahan in October.

Rachel Fine will depart her post as executive director and CEO of The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts to become executive director of the Schwarzman Center at Yale University in October.

Erin Alarcón has been named ballet master at American Midwest Ballet.

Hope Mohr Dance has been renamed Bridge Live Arts. Cherie Hill, Karla Quintero and Hope Mohr have been named co-leaders of the organization, and Mohr has shifted from artistic director to resident choreographer.

Shaun Keylock Company has acquired Conduit Dance, Inc., effective in September.

Micaela Taylor has been named artist in residence at BODYTRAFFIC.

At Philadelphia Ballet, Austin Eyler, Alexandra Heier and Pau Pujol have been promoted to soloist, Isaac Hollis, Gabriela Mesa and Nick Patterson to demi-soloist.

Rasmus Ahlgren has joined Boston Ballet as a principal.

Xander Parish has joined Norwegian National Ballet.

Brooklyn Mack will join English National Ballet as a guest artist for its autumn/winter season.

Awards & Honors

Recipients of 2022 Fini Awards include Louise Cantrell (Lifetime Achievement Award), Lloyd Knight (Extraordinary Dancer Award) and Bianca Delli Priscoli (Rising Star Award).

Jacqulyn Buglisi has been awarded the Juilliard President’s Medal.

Dance historian Dr. Honey Crawford is one of the inaugural fellows of the Rebuild Foundation’s Mellon Archive Fellowship Program.