News of Note: What You Might Have Missed in July 2023

August 1, 2023

Here are the latest promotions, appointments, and departures, as well as notable awards and accomplishments, from July 2023.

Comings & Goings

Brandon Ragland has been appointed artistic director of Dayton Ballet and the affiliated Dayton Ballet School, succeeding Karen Russo Burke on August 1.

Following the retirement of sjDANCEco co-artistic director and founder Gary Masters, former co-artistic director Maria Basile has been named sole artistic director.

Robert Curran has stepped down as artistic director of Louisville Ballet. Former artistic director Bruce Simpson and associate artistic director Helen Starr are serving as interim artistic advisors while the search for a replacement is underway.

Celia Fushille and Amy Seiwert smile at the camera. Both lean against a ballet barre. Fushille wears a red suit jacket over a black shirt and pants; Seiwert wears a loose black tank top and dark yellow pants.
Celia Fushille and Amy Seiwert. Photo by Chris Hardy, courtesy Smuin Contemporary Ballet.

Celia Fushille will retire from her post as artistic director of Smuin Contemporary Ballet in June 2024. She will be succeeded by Amy Seiwert, who joins as associate artistic director in August.

Christopher Anderson will step down as artistic director of Alberta Ballet at the end of 2023.

Natasha R. Moreland Spears has been named co-executive director of the International Association of Blacks in Dance, alongside previously announced co-executive director Omar Ingram, following the departure of former president and CEO Denise Saunders Thompson.

Boston Ballet executive director Meredith “Max” Hodges will depart to join The Shed as chief executive officer in October.

Marianna Tcherkassky has retired as rehearsal director at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

At The Royal Ballet, Isabella Gasparini has been promoted to first soloist, Mica Bradbury, Hannah Grennell, Sae Maeda, Joonhyuk Jun, and Taisuke Nakao to soloist.

Sarasota Ballet principal Danielle Brown has retired.

Awards & Honors

2023 Princess Grace Awards, which include a $15,000 unrestricted grant, have been awarded to Alexandria Best, Mark Caserta, Naomi Funaki, Keerati Jinakunwiphat, Madison Olguin, and Andrew Robare. Honoraria, which include a $1,500 unrestricted grant, have been awarded to Emily Adams and Emani Drake. Nancy Bannon and Marjani Forté-Saunders received Special Project Awards, while Chanel DaSilva and James Gregg received Works in Progress–Residency Awards.

Virginia Johnson will receive the 2023 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance and Michele Byrd-McPhee the award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance at the New York Dance and Performance Awards (“The Bessies”) ceremony on August 4.

Washington Performing Arts awarded 2023 Pola Nirenska Awards to Ralph Glenmore (Outstanding Achievements in Dance, which includes a $5,000 prize) and George Jackson (Lifetime Achievement in Dance).

Deborah Goffe received a 2023 Rebecca Blunk Fund Award, which comes with a $5,000 unrestricted grant, from New England Foundation for the Arts.