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

July 3, 2023

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

Comings & Goings

Texas Ballet Theater acting artistic director Tim O’Keefe has been appointed artistic director as of July 1.

Christopher Stuart has been named artistic director of Alabama Ballet.

Li Cunxin stands with one hand on the barre. He reaches his outside arm forward, palm up.
Li Cunxin. Photo by Ali Cameron, courtesy Queensland Ballet.

Li Cunxin will retire from his post as artistic director of Queensland Ballet at the conclusion of the company’s 2023 season. His wife, Mary Li (née McKendry), will also retire as ballet mistress and principal répétiteur. Both cited health concerns as the motivation behind the decision.

Janet Rollé resigned from her post as executive director and CEO of American Ballet Theatre. Artistic director Susan Jaffe will serve as interim executive director.

Kirstin Kapustik has been named executive director of Trisha Brown Dance Company, succeeding Barbara Dufty on July 1.

At Tulsa Ballet, Jaimi Cullen, Nao Ota, and Jun Masuda have been promoted to principal, Aina Oki to soloist, Yuki Toda and Michael Paradiso to demi-soloist. Aubin Le Marchand has joined as a soloist.

At English National Ballet, Aitor Arrieta and Emma Hawes have been promoted to lead principal, Julia Conway to first soloist, Lorenzo Trossello to soloist, Ivana Bueno, Henry Dowden, Noam Durand, Rentaro Nakaaki, and Victor Prigent to junior soloist. Sangeun Lee, Gareth Haw, and Anna Nevzorova join from Dresden Semperoper Ballett, Lee as lead principal, Haw as first soloist, Nevzorova as junior soloist. Vsevolod Maievskyi, formerly of the Mariinsky Ballet, also joins as a junior soloist. Carmen Piqueras has joined from Birmingham Royal Ballet as ballet master. Cynthia Harvey has been named associate guest répétiteur, and Alessandra Ferri and Alejandro Parente join as guest répétiteurs.

At National Ballet of Canada, Christopher Gerty has been promoted to principal, Josh Hall, Peng-Fei Jiang, and Larkin Miller to second soloist. Principal character artist Stephanie Hutchison has retired. She will return to the company as a rehearsal director for the 2023–24 season.

At Carolina Ballet, Rachel Robinson, Mia Domini, and Madeline Rogers have been promoted to soloist.

At Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Michel Lavoie and Peter Lancksweerdt have been promoted to first soloist, Katie Simpson and Liam Saito to second soloist.

At Birmingham Royal Ballet, Gabriel Anderson, Rosanna Ely, Sofia Liñares, and Lucy Waine have been promoted to first artist. Yasiel Hodelin Bello has joined as a soloist.

John-Paul Simoens has joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as a soloist from San Francisco Ballet.

At San Francisco Ballet, Joanna Berman, Pascal Molat, Tiit Helimets, Kristi DeCaminada, and Jeffrey Lyons have been appointed character artists.

New York City Ballet principal Russell Janzen will retire from the company this fall. His final performance is currently slated for September 24.

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery will close by March 31, 2024, after completing planned programming through December. As previously reported, Seiwert will begin as associate artistic director of Smuin Contemporary Ballet on August 1.

Awards & Honors

Julie Tolentino is among the recipients of a 2023 Joyce Award, which includes a $75,000 project grant.

Joe Chvala, Rita Mustaphi, and Deneane Richburg have been named 2023 McKnight Choreographer Fellows. Demetrius McClendon, Sam Aros-Mitchell, and Yuki Tokuda have been named 2023 McKnight Dancer Fellows.

Casey Nicholaw won the Tony Award for Outstanding Choreography for his work on Some Like It Hot. Cast member J. Harrison Ghee won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

Winners at the UK’s 2023 National Dance Awards included Jeffrey Cirio (Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer), Laura Morera (Best Female Dancer), Scottish Ballet (Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company), Lost Dog (Best Mid-Scale Company), Alleyne Dance (Best Independent Company), Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple, aka Jess and Morgs (Best Classical Choreography, Coppélia for Scottish Ballet), Ben Duke (Best Modern Choreography, Ruination for Lost Dog), Musa Motha (Emerging Artist Award), Zeleidy Crespo (Outstanding Female Modern Performance), Israel Galván (Outstanding Male Modern Performance), Constance Devernay-Laurence (Outstanding Female Classical Performance), Marcelino Sambé (Outstanding Male Classical Performance), and Jonzi D (The De Valois Award for Outstanding Contribution).

The short film Sean Dorsey Dance: Dreaming Trans and Queer Futures won a Northern California Area Emmy Award.

Svetlana Lunkina and Harrison James received the National Ballet of Canada’s 2022/23 David Tory Award, which includes a $3,500 prize. Emma Ouellet and Albjon Gjorllaku received the company’s Patron Award of Merit, which includes a $1,500 prize.

Ballet Hispánico received the American Immigration Council’s Immigration Impact Award.