Nikisha Fogo

Younsik Kim, Courtesy SFB

The Actually-Good News You Might Have Missed in the Last Month

With the circumstances created by the pandemic changing from day to day, looking to the future right now can feel particularly fraught, if not downright farcical. But in the face of so much uncertainty, pausing to celebrate the good news when it comes is as important as it's ever been. Here are the latest promotions and appointments, plus notable awards and accomplishments from the last month.


Comings & Goings

At San Francisco Ballet, Wona Park and Max Cauthorn have been promoted to principal, Ellen Rose Hummel, Diego Cruz, Lucas Erni and Myles Thatcher to soloist. Nikisha Fogo has joined as a principal.

At Ballet West, Jenna Rae Herrera and Hadriel Diniz have been promoted to first soloist, Emily Neale to soloist.

Susan Jaffe has been appointed artistic director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She takes the helm beginning with the 2020–21 season after longtime director Terrence Orr retires in June. Tommie Lin Kesten, Lucius Kirst and Jessica McCann have been promoted to soloist.

Susan Jaffe, an older white woman with short brown hair and bright blue eyes, smiles at the camera.

Susan Jaffe

Courtesy Jaffe

Dante Puleio will succeed Colin Connor as artistic director of the José Limón Dance Foundation on July 1.

Claudia Schreier has been named resident choreographer at Atlanta Ballet, beginning with the 2020–21 season.

Benjamin Akio Kimitch has been appointed program director and associate curator of Danspace Project.

At the Petronio Residency Center, Marya Warshaw has been appointed director, Sophie Henderson development consultant.

Tania Wilmer has been appointed executive director of Dance Umbrella.

Racheal Nye has been appointed school director of Oklahoma City Ballet's Yvonne Chouteau School. Ryan Jolicouer-Nye has been appointed ballet master at the company.

Awards & Honors

Alex Ketley, Gabrielle Lamb and Shamel Pitts have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships.

Works & Process at the Guggenheim has granted $40,000 in commissioning funds for virtual projects from Ephrat Asherie, Brandon Stirling Baker, LaTasha Barnes, Hope Boykin, Brian Brooks, Rena Butler, Dylan Crossman, Michelle Dorrance, Tom Gold, John Heginbotham, Gabrielle Lamb, Pontus Lidberg, Ryan McNamara, Andrea Miller, Caili Quan, Penny Saunders, Claudia Schreier and Gus Solomons Jr., as well as collaborative projects by Evita Arce and Michael Jagger; Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung; Joshua Bergasse, Sara Mearns, Zoe Sarnak and Margot Siebert; Nora Brown and Caleb Teicher; Nathan Bugh and Gaby Cook; Tony Buck, Jamar Roberts and David Watson; Alejandro Cerrudo and Ana Lopez; Adrian Danchig-Waring and Joseph Gordon; Simone Dinnerstein, Isaac Mizrahi and Pam Tanowitz; Jack Ferver and Jeremy Jacob; Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott; Ashley Laracey and Troy Schumacher; Carson Murphy and Nicholas Van Young; Michael Novak and Josh Prince; Kamala Sankaram and Preeti Vasudevan; and Karma Styles and Omari Wiles.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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