THIS WEEK'S TOP BALLET NEWS
● Boston Ballet Celebrates William Forsythe
● Pacific Northwest Ballet Announces Kiyon Ross as New Associate Artistic Director
● English National Ballet Prepares for Swan Lake
● World Ballet Day 2022 Date Announced
Boston Ballet Celebrates William Forsythe
Citizens Bank Opera House will be home to the world premiere of William Forsythe’s Défilé, a tradition in the Paris Opera Ballet, on November 3. Boston Ballet‘s season opener As Anticipated also features two other works by the choreographer – Artifact Suite (2004) and Approximate Sonata (1996).
“This highly anticipated program encapsulates the cutting-edge artistry that Boston audiences have experienced with William Forsythe ballets, and introduces new audiences to his revelatory style,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “I am proud of the longstanding relationship we continue to enjoy with Forsythe, which has cultivated the richest collection of his ballets in the United States. Forsythe’s aesthetic is interwoven into the fabric and DNA of Boston Ballet artists. It is truly an honor to have him here, working with our dancers and creating a new work for our Company. A world premiere from him is an international event you won’t want to miss.”
The three works on the program span thirty-eight of Forsythe’s fifty-eight-year creative career, his latest a prequel to Artifact Suite. New music has been composed by Boston Ballet Music Director Mischa Santora, based on Variation 15, Canon of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
Pacific Northwest Ballet Announces Kiyon Ross as New Associate Artistic Director
Artistic Director Peter Boal has promoted current Pacific Northwest Ballet Director of Company Operations Kiyon Ross to the company’s Associate Artistic Director. Ross will work alongside Boal in all aspects of artistic decision making which includes programming, hiring, and casting. He will supervise PNB’s special projects such as Next Step, PNB Dance Film Festival, and digital programming and continue to co-lead PNB’s I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) committee.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Kiyon Ross as PNB’s new Associate Artistic Director,” said Mr. Boal. “Kiyon first came to PNB as a student almost 25 years ago. Since then, he has worn more hats than anyone at the company: celebrated dancer, gifted choreographer, inspired teacher and, most recently, Director of Company Operations. His devotion to this organization runs deep. My relationship with Kiyon dates back even further, starting when he was a student of mine in New York. I felt the connection on day one. We have been working side by side ever since, and a day does not pass when I’m not seeking his advice, perspective, and support. As Associate Artistic Director, Kiyon will be an invaluable resource in all aspects of creating and fulfilling artistic programming, while helping to develop a vision for PNB that carries us forward through this 50th Anniversary season and beyond.”
Kiyon Ross (née Gaines) is from Baltimore, Maryland. He trained at Baltimore School of the Arts, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, the School of American Ballet (under Peter Martins, Jock Soto, Peter Boal, and Andrei Kamarevski), and Pacific Northwest Ballet School (under Kent Stowell, Francia Russell, Flemming Halby, Victoria Pulkkinen, Bruce Wells, and Sonia Dawkins). His career in ballet started at Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2001. He was promoted to soloist in 2012, and retired from the stage in 2015. Upon retiring, Mr. Ross graduated Summa Cum Laude from Seattle University with a degree in Non-Profit Leadership. From 2015-2019 he taught on the faculty of PNB School, worked with PNB’s DanceChance program to bring classical dance training to the students of Seattle Public Schools, and was the program manager of PNB’s annual NEXT STEP choreographers’ showcase since 2012. In 2019 he was promoted to the position of Director of Company Operations. In this role he worked closely with artistic leadership, dancers, and visiting artists on setting the stage for artistic collaborations. He managed all the contracting, negotiations, and scheduling with individuals and work groups, and also oversaw tour operations for the Company.
“I am honored to be appointed PNB’s Associate Artistic Director,” said Mr. Ross following the announcement. “For the past 22 years, I have been part of the PNB family and in that time have been provided opportunities that not only challenged me as a student, company artist, faculty member, administrator, and leader but also allowed me to grow as a person. I am proud of the work that PNB does both onstage and off and constantly inspired by the dedication and hard work of the entire PNB team that brings the artistic vision to life each season. Peter and Ellen are excellent partners, role-models, and mentors and I look forward to our continued collective work together ensuring that PNB remains a successful organization now and well into the future.”
English National Ballet Prepares for Swan Lake
Along with the announcement of principal casting for their upcoming performances in Liverpool and Manchester, English National Ballet has released a video in which we listen to Stina Quagebeur, Georgia Bould and Amber Hunt share what it’s like dancing in the corps de ballet of Swan Lake.
Principal pairings for Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried are:
- Erina Takahashi & Francesco Gabriele Frola
- Shiori Kase & Lorenzo Trossello
- Fernanda Oliveira & Ken Saruhashi
- Emma Hawes & Aitor Arrieta
- Natascha Mair & Brooklyn Mack
These are debuts for Mair, Trossello, and Mack.
The role of Rothbart will be danced by James Streeter, Junor Souza and Fabian Reimair.
World Ballet Day 2022 Date Announced
The Australian Ballet has announced that November 2, 2022 will be #WorldBalletDay. In its ninth edition, as in the previous, ballet fans from all around the world will be able to tune in to dozens of ballet companies via their YouTube channels or Facebook pages to get a glimpse of the working life of a professional dancer. Find details on The Ballet Herald here.
Photo Credits: 1) Boston Ballet in William Forsythe’s Artifact 2017; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet; 2) English National Ballet in Swan Lake © Laurent Liotardo; 3) Photo of Dancers of The Royal Ballet from the World Ballet Day website.