American Ballet Theatre just announced its much-anticipated promotions, and artistic director Kevin McKenzie couldn't have picked more deserving dancers. Soloists Sarah Lane, Christine Shevchenko and Devon Teuscher have been promoted to principal, and Calvin Royal III has been promoted to soloist.
After 10 years as a soloist, Lane's promotion has been the longest time coming. Her loyal fans have been hoping for this day season after season, and after the phenomenal summer she's had—including her New York debut as Giselle and a surprise Odette/Odile debut—it makes sense that it's finally her time.
Shevchenko and Teuscher had their fair share of debuts this season, too—Shevchenko in Don Quixote and Le Corsaire, and Teuscher in Swan Lake. Both dancers have only been soloists since 2014, a rather short time to spend in the rank by ABT standards. We spotted bothwomen as "On the Rise" back in their early days.
Royal caught our eye back in 2014 when we pegged him as a "25 to Watch," and his captivating lyricism and gravity have only grown since then, especially in the work of artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky.
All four dancers came up through the ABT ranks, a shift from previous years when international stars have dominated. With Russian primas Diana Vishneva and Veronika Part leaving the company after this season, the principal women will be more homegrown than ever.
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.