Boston Ballet Announces 2018–2019 Company Roster

Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announces the 2018-2019 season roster. A total of 66 dancers make up the Company roster, with 56 in the main company and ten in Boston Ballet II (BBII), Boston Ballet's second company. Five new dancers join the main company, six new dancers join BBII, and five Boston Ballet dancers received promotions for the upcoming season.

Sixteen nationalities are represented, with dancers hailing from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Paraguay, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the U.S. BBII alumni comprise 32 percent of the Company, and 24 percent are Boston Ballet School alumni.

"In Boston Ballet's 55th season, the talent, versatility, and diversity of the roster represent the evolution of this world-class Company. It is my great honor to welcome new dancers from around the world and promote dancers who have demonstrated exceptional growth," said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. "I am excited to see how the dancers and the audiences embrace this season's colorful array of classical, neo-classical, and new contemporary works in Boston and on tour."

Boston Ballet welcomes Viktorina Kapitonova (Chuvashia, Russia) as a principal dancer, and Lauren Flower (Tucson, Arizona), Emily Hoff (Wellesley, Massachusetts), Sun Woo Lee (Seoul, South Korea), and Benji Pearson (Summit, New Jersey) as artists of the Company. Nikita Boris (River Edge, New Jersey), Georgia Dalton (Columbus, Ohio), Ryan Kwasniewski (Cincinnati, Ohio), My'Kal Stromile (Dallas, Texas), Kyleigh Sudlow (Novato, California), and Nations Wilkes-Davis (Columbia, South Carolina) join as members of BBII.

Nissinen also announced the following promotions: Ji Young Chae (Seoul, South Korea) and Derek Dunn (Glen Burnie, Maryland) have been promoted to principal dancer; Patric Palkens (Lewistown, Montana) has been promoted to soloist; and Chyrstyn Fentroy (Los Angeles, California) and Drew Nelson (Omaha, Nebraska) have been promoted to second soloist.

NEW COMPANY DANCERS

Viktorina Kapitonova of Chuvashia, Russia, joins as a principal dancer. Kapitonova trained at the Kazan Ballet School and Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre Academy. She won the Young Ballet of Russia Competition in 2003 and Russia's Arabesque Contest twice (2006, 2008). Kapitonova started her career as a soloist in Russia's Kazan Ballet before joining Stanislavsky Theatre Ballet in Moscow. In 2010, she joined Ballett Zürich as a principal dancer.

Lauren Flower of Tucson, Arizona, joined Boston Ballet mid-season in 2017 as an artist of the Company. Flower trained with Tucson Regional Ballet, Ballet Tucson, and The School of Ballet Arizona. She received a full scholarship in 2011 to study year-round as a company member of Houston Ballet II and performed internationally in Lausanne, Switzerland and Toronto, Canada. She joined Ballet Arizona as an artist in 2014.

Emily Hoff of Wellesley, Massachusetts, joins as an artist of the Company. Hoff trained with Boston Ballet School, The Royal Ballet School, and San Francisco Ballet's Trainee Program. For three consecutive years, she attended the School of American Ballet Summer Course on full merit scholarship. She was also named a Boston Ballet School Pao Scholar (2013-2015) and was awarded the Mikko Nissinen Artistic Scholarship in 2015.

Sun Woo Lee of Seoul, South Korea, joins as an artist of the Company. Lee trained at Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts, Yewon School, Seoul Arts High School, and Korea National University of Arts. He received the gold medal at the Seoul International Dance Competition (2014), first place in the pas de deux division at the Youth America Grand Prix (2015), second place at the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition in New York City (2015), and third place at the Varna International Ballet Competition (2016).

Benji Pearson of Summit, New Jersey, joins as an artist of the Company. Pearson trained at The Royal Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School. He also trained under Fabrice Herrault in New York City from 2011 to 2014. Pearson has performed at San Francisco Ballet's Unbound Festival and the Gala des Écoles de Danse du XXle Siécle in Paris. He began his professional ballet career in 2017 as an apprentice with San Francisco Ballet.

Nikita Boris of River Edge, New Jersey, joins as a member of Boston Ballet II. Boris trained at Irine Fokine School of Ballet, Petrov Ballet School, and Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York. She was awarded the Grand Prix at Concorso di Danza Internazionale "Citta di Spoleto" in 2016 and at the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (VKIBC) in St. Petersburg in 2017. Boris also received the gold medal at VKIBC New York (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), the gold medal at Yuri Grigorovich Young Ballet of the World Sochi (2016), and the silver medal at the South Africa International Ballet Competition (2016).

Georgia Dalton of Columbus, Ohio, joins as a member of Boston Ballet II. Dalton trained at Dublin Dance Centre, Columbus City Ballet, and the Indiana University Ballet Theater. She has also attended summer intensive programs with American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Ballet Met Columbus, and the Chautauqua Institute. Dalton graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she was awarded the school's prestigious Premier Young Artist Award (2015-2018).

Ryan Kwasniewski of Cincinnati, Ohio, joins as a member of Boston Ballet II. Kwasniewski trained at Mason Dance Center and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She also studied under Oliver Arana in Cincinnati from 2008 to 2014. She placed fourth in the pre-professional division of the 2012 World Ballet Competition and received a silver award at the 2013 YoungArts Program in Miami, where she was nominated as a Presidential Scholar.

My'Kal Stromile of Dallas, Texas, joins as a member of Boston Ballet II. Stromile studied under Kim Abel in Dallas/New York, Ceyhun Ozsoy in Dallas, and Anna-Marie Holmes in Boston. He attended The Juilliard School from 2014 to 2018, where he received Choreographic Honors three years in a row and was awarded the school's Hector Zaraspe Prize in Choreography (2018). Stromile was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts (2014) and has danced with Bruce Wood Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, Disney Productions, and Repertory Dance Company I.

Kyleigh Sudlow of Novato, California, joins as a member of Boston Ballet II. Sudlow studied at Dance Theatre 7 and Marin Dance Theatre before attending Boston Ballet School's Summer Dance Program in 2015. She later enrolled in Boston Ballet School's Pre-Professional Program and participated in an apprenticeship with the Dresden Semperoper Ballett.

Nations Wilkes-Davis of Columbia, South Carolina, joins as a member of Boston Ballet II. He trained at Kelly/Creek Dance Studio, Pavlovich Ballet School/Columbia Classical Ballet, and Boston Ballet School. At the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition, he received second place in the student division in 2013 and won the gold medal for the junior division in 2015. He was awarded the bronze medal in the pre-professional category at the 2015 World Ballet Competition in Florida.

COMPANY PROMOTIONS

Ji Young Chae of Seoul, South Korea, trained at Seoul Arts High School and Korea National University of Arts. In 2011, she joined Washington Ballet. She has performed at the Paris Conservatory Ballet Festival and the International Baltic Ballet Festival Gala. Chae was awarded the gold medal at the 2010 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, and first prize at the 2010 International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. In 2011, she received the gold medal at the Boston International Ballet Competition. Chae joined Boston Ballet in 2013, was promoted to soloist in 2015, and to principal dancer in 2018.

Derek Dunn of Glen Burnie, Maryland, began his training at Edna Lee Dance Studio in Maryland, later studying at The Rock School for Dance Education. He joined Houston Ballet in 2012 and was promoted to soloist in 2016. Dunn has received several awards at the Youth America Grand Prix, was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2014, and was featured on the cover of Pointe magazine in 2016. Dunn joined Boston Ballet in 2017 as a soloist and was promoted to principal dancer in 2018.

Patric Palkens of Lewistown, Montana, has trained at the Municipal Theatre Ballet School in Santiago, Chile; Pacific Northwest Ballet; Ballet Chicago; and Orlando Ballet II. In 2011, he joined Cincinnati Ballet, where in quick succession, he was promoted to soloist and then senior soloist for the 2012-2013 season. He returned to Cincinnati Ballet as a principal dancer after spending a year with Salzburg Ballet in Austria. Palkens joined Boston Ballet in 2017 as an artist of the Company and was promoted to soloist in 2018.

Chyrstyn Fentroy of Los Angeles, California, began training with her mother, Ruth Fentroy, before studying at Joffrey Ballet School in New York on scholarship. She danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem for five years. Fentroy was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" issue in 2015 and received the Princess Grace Honoraria Award in Dance in 2016. Fentroy joined Boston Ballet in 2017 as an artist of the Company and was promoted to second soloist in 2018.

Drew Nelson of Omaha, Nebraska, trained at the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. In 2009, Nelson moved to Florida to train with Peter Stark, Olivier Munoz, and Ivonne Lemus. He and Boston Ballet dancer Hannah Bettes were awarded the silver medal for pas de deux at the 2011 Youth America Grand Prix finals. He was awarded a scholarship to The Royal Ballet School in London and upon graduation in 2014, Nelson joined the Royal Danish Ballet. He joined Boston Ballet as an artist of the Company in 2015 and was promoted to second soloist in 2018.



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