Four NYCB Principal Dancers to Retire during 2014 Winter and Spring Seasons
New York City Ballet announced today that Principal Dancers Jenifer Ringer, Janie Taylor, Sebastien Marcovici, and Jonathan Stafford will retire from the Company during the 2014 Winter and Spring Seasons. All four of these Principal Dancers joined the Company during the 1990s as members of the corps de ballet, and have performed countless roles by numerous choreographers during careers spanning from 15 to 24 years with New York City Ballet.
Ringer will give her final performance with NYCB on Sunday, February 9 at 3 p.m. performing in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering and George Balanchine's Union Jack. Taylor and Marcovici, who were married in 2012, will dance their final performances on Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m., performing together in Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun and Balanchine's La Valse. Stafford will give his final performance on Sunday, May 25 at 3 p.m. performing in Balanchine's Emeralds and Diamonds, from NYCB's full-length production of Jewels.
Ringer is planning to announce details about her future plans later this year, and Viking Press will also publish her memoir, Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet, in February 2014. Following their final performances with NYCB, Taylor and Marcovici will relocate to Los Angeles, California, where Marcovici will begin a new position as a ballet master with L.A. Dance Project, the artist collective that was co-founded in 2012 by the choreographer and former NYCB Principal Dancer Benjamin Millepied. Stafford, who has been a member of the faculty at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, since 2006, will become a Ballet Master with NYCB and will also continue to teach at SAB following his retirement from dancing.
Jenifer Ringer was born in New Bern, North Carolina, and was raised in Summerville, South Carolina, where she began her dance training at age 10 with local teachers. At age 12 she entered the Washington School of Ballet, where she studied for two years. After attending a summer session at the School of American Ballet, Ringer was invited to attend the winter session at SAB on a full scholarship. She became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in October 1989 and a member of the corps de ballet in January 1990. She was promoted to soloist in January 1995 and to principal dancer in spring 2000.
During her career with NYCB, Ringer has originated featured roles in works by Melissa Barak, Eliot Feld, Robert La Fosse, Miriam Mahdaviani, Peter Martins, Kevin O'Day, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Helgi Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon. She has also danced an extensive repertory of leading roles in works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. In 2011 Ringer was the recipient of both the Dance Magazine Award and the Jerome Robbins Award.
In December 1997 Ringer received her B.A. in English from Fordham University; and in July 2000 she married former NYCB principal dancer James Fayette. Ringer has also taught at the School of American Ballet and is the Artistic Director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts, which is located in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Janie Taylor was born in Houston, Texas, where she began her ballet training at the age of 4, and at the age of 12, she moved to New Orleans and trained at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance. She entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1995. In June of 1998, Taylor received the Mae L. Wien Award at SAB's Annual Workshop performance and was invited to become an apprentice with NYCB. She became a member of the Company's corps de ballet only one month later. Taylor was promoted to soloist in February 2001, and was named a principal dancer with NYCB in January 2005.
During her career with NYCB, Taylor has originated featured roles in ballets by Martins, Millepied, Justin Peck, and Richard Tanner. She has also danced an extensive repertory of featured roles in ballets by Balanchine and Robbins, as well as in works by Ratmansky, Susan Stroman, and Wheeldon. Taylor also appeared in Columbia Pictures' feature film Center Stage in 2000.
Sebastien Marcovici was born and raised in Paris, France, where he began his ballet training at the age of 8 with local teachers, and at the age of 12 he enrolled at the School of the Paris Opera Ballet. During the summer of 1993, while studying with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride at the Chautauqua School of Dance in upstate New York, Marcovici was invited by Martins, NYCB's Ballet Master in Chief, to take company class during NYCB's annual summer residency in Saratoga Springs. In November of 1993 Martins invited Marcovici to join the NYCB corps de ballet. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1998, and named a principal dancer in May 2002.
During his career with NYCB, Marcovici originated roles in Jerome Robbins' Brandenburg and West Side Story Suite, as well as in work by Martins, Mauro Bigonzetti, Bonnefoux, La Fosse, Mahdaviani, Millepied, Angelin Preljocaj, Twyla Tharp, and Wheeldon. He has also performed featured roles in numerous works by Balanchine and Robbins, as well as additional works by Martins, Millepied, David Parsons, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and Wheeldon.
Jonathan Stafford was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began his dance training at the age of 8 with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. Stafford attended the School of American Ballet summer sessions in 1996 and 1997, and entered SAB full-time in the fall of 1997. He was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in the fall of 1998, and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in February 1999. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in March 2006 and became a principal dancer in May 2007.
Since joining New York City Ballet Stafford has originated roles in works by Bigonzetti, Martins, and Ratmansky, and has also danced numerous featured roles in works by Balanchine, Robbins, Martins, and Wheeldon.
In 2006 Stafford became a guest faculty member at the School of American Ballet, and has been a member of SAB's permanent faculty since 2007. Stafford is the brother of NYCB principal dancer Abi Stafford and is engaged to NYCB soloist Brittany Pollack.
Tickets for all of the farewell performances are currently available online at www.nycballet.com, by phone at 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater box office, located at Columbus Avenue and West 63rd Street.