Ronald K. Brown, here teaching at The School at Jacob's Pillow, received the 2020 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award.

Noor Eemaan, Courtesy Jacob's Pillow

News of Note: What You Might Have Missed in May and June 2020

Here are the latest promotions and appointments, plus notable awards and accomplishments from the last two months.


Comings & Goings

Ma Cong has been named associate artistic director at Richmond Ballet. He will serve in an adjunct capacity before joining full-time in 2022.

New Zealand Dance Company has appointed Victoria Colombus and James O'Hara co-artistic directors, and Janine Dijkmeijer executive director, beginning part-time in June and full-time in 2021.

Annette Shun Wai has been appointed artistic director of the OzAsia Festival.

Bobby Asher has been appointed director of Duke Performances, effective Sept. 1.

Jared Redick has been appointed interim dean of dance at University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

At National Ballet of Canada, Spencer Hack and Siphesihle November have been promoted to first soloist, Hannah Galway to second soloist.

Siphesihle November, a young Black man with spiky hair, wearing a black henley shirt, looks cooly at the camera.

Siphesihle November

Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada

Elena Lobsanova will join Miami City Ballet as a principal, Hannah Fischer as a principal soloist, beginning with the 2020–21 season.

Julian McKay will join San Francisco Ballet as a principal, beginning with the 2021 season.

Longtime Atlanta Ballet dancer Nadia Mara has left the company to join National Ballet of Uruguay as a principal.

Caili Quan has left BalletX to pursue choreography. Savannah Green and Ashley Simpson have joined the company.

Sarah Ricard Orza has retired from Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Jane Moss will step down from her position as artistic director of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in August.

Louis Robitaille will step down from his post as artistic director of Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal in June 2021.

Awards & Honors

Karen Sherman stands on what appears to be a blank stage in dark jeans and a white t-shirt, wearing an angular wooden contraption with a silver chain dangling from the left side on her chest.

Karen Sherman

Aaron Rosenblum, Courtesy C4 Global Communications

Karen Sherman was among the recipients of a Herb Alpert Award for the Arts, which comes in the form of a $75,000 grant.

Ronald K. Brown was awarded the 2020 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, which includes a $25,000 unrestricted cash prize.

Sonya Tayeh received the 2020 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Australian Ballet physiotherapist Dr. Susan Mayes has been named a member of the Order of Australia.

Colleen Smith has received the 2020 Randolph A. Frank Prize for the Performing Arts, which includes a $10,000 prize.

Performance Garage has named Joe González its 2020–21 DanceVisions' Resident Artist.

The International Association of Blacks in Dance received a $50,000 Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, to fund its Preserving the History and Legacy of Black Dance in America archive digitization project.

Recipients of Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, each of which comes in the form of a $150,000 grant, include Joanna Haigood (with Dancers' Group), Ishmael Houston Jones (Circo Zero), Margaret Jenkins (Margaret Jenkins Dance Company), Yayoi Kambara (Japanese American Citizens League), Liz Lerman (Green Music Center), Patrick Makuakāne (Nā Lei Hulu | Ka Wēkiu), Prumsodun Ok (Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants and ARTogether), Alleluia Panis (Filipino-American Development Foundation), Vanessa Sanchez (Brava! for Women in the Arts) and Amara Tabor-Smith (EastSide Arts Alliance).

At the 2020 Association of Teaching Artists Awards, Nai-Ni Chen received the Distinguished Service to the Field Award.

Recipients of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards for the 2019–20 season included Rock Bottom Movement (Outstanding Production and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, hollow mountain), Crystal Pite (Outstanding Original Choreography, Angels' Atlas for National Ballet of Canada), Jay Gower Taylor (Outstanding Achievement in Design, Angels' Atlas), Josh Martin (Outstanding Performance by an Individual, Leftovers), and Eliot Britton and Rick Sacks (Outstanding Original Sound Composition, Red Sky Performance's AF).

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Paulo Arrais rehearsing Agon with Lia Cirio. Photo by Brooke Trisolini

Fear of Reinjury Could Make You More Prone to Hurting Yourself Again. Here's How to Avoid It

It was Boston Ballet's first full run-through of its upcoming show, Kylián/Wings of Wax. As he prepared with a plié for a big saut de basque, principal dancer Paulo Arrais, 32, heard a Velcro-like sound and suddenly fell to the floor. He went into a state of shock, hyperventilating and feeling intense pressure on his knee. It turned out to be a full patellar tendon rupture, requiring surgery and an entire year off before he could return to the company.

Though his physical condition continues to improve, Arrais' mental recovery has also been challenging. "Treating your mind is just as important as treating your body," he says.

Feeling safe when returning to the studio can be tricky for any dancer. Some researchers believe a fear of reinjury can actually make athletes more prone to hurting themselves again. We talked to several medical professionals to understand why that might happen and what dancers can do to overcome that anxiety.

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