Francesca Hayward, who won a 2019 UK National Dance Award, in rehearsal

Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy Royal Opera House

News of Note: What You May Have Missed in February 2020

Here are the latest promotions, appointments and transfers, plus notable awards and accomplishments from the last month.


Comings & Goings

Alejandro Cerrudo has been named Pacific Northwest Ballet's first resident choreographer. Kyle Davis has been promoted to principal.

Paris Opéra Ballet étoile Eleonora Abbagnato will give her final performance May 18.

Manuel Legris has been appointed artistic director of La Scala Ballet.

Christopher Anderson has been appointed artistic director designate at Alberta Ballet. He and current artistic director Jean Grand-Maître will become co-artistic directors in July 2021. For the 2022–23 season, Grand-Maître will become artist-in-residence as Anderson takes on full artistic director duties.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland artistic director Dianna Cuatto will retire in June. Her successor will be longtime company member Nicole Kelsch.

RIOULT Dance NY has appointed Jane Penn executive director.

Jane Penn smiles slightly as she looks seriously at the camera, arms crossed.

Jane Penn

Whitney Browne, Courtesy RIOULT

Dancewave executive and artistic director Diane Jacobowitz will step away from her roles in September.

DANCECleveland executive director Pamela Young will retire this August.

Yorgos Loukos has been dismissed from his post as director of Lyon Opera Ballet after he was convicted for pregnancy discrimination. Julie Guibert has been named artistic director.

Awards & Honors

Winners of the UK's National Dance Awards for 2019 are Marion Tai (De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement), Marcelino Sambé, Francesca Hayward, San Francisco Ballet, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Alexei Ratmansky (for Shostakovich Trilogy), William Forsythe (for A Quiet Evening of Dance), Stina Quagebeur, Katja Khaniukova, Gary Avis, Solène Weinachter, Jonathan Goddard and conductor Gavin Sutherland (Outstanding Creative Contribution Award).

Ben Vereen will be honored by Inside Broadway with a Lifetime Achievement Award on March 16.

Opera Atelier co-artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg have been awarded the French Officers of the Order of Arts and Letters. The ceremony of investiture will take place in December 2021.

Recipients of this year's Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography are McIntosh Jerahuni, NEVE Mazique and Majesty Royale. The fellowship grants them a travel stipend and monthly allowance to allow them to work with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Marc Brew and Gerard & Kelly, respectively.

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

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When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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