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Joffrey Ballet Welcomes Four New Dancers


Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, is pleased to announce the addition of four dancers to the Joffrey roster for the 2019-2020 season: Joseì Pablo Castro Cuevas (Queretaro, Mexico), Jonathan Dole (Sacramento, California), Hyuma Kiyosawa (Nagano, Japan) and Miu Tanaka (Chiba, Japan). With these new company members, The Joffrey Ballet totals 45 dancers representing 13 countries.

Three of the new dancers-Cuevas, Dole and Tanaka-are prime examples of the Joffrey's dedication to fostering the talents from within its own Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, which celebrates its 10th anniversary year in October. In the past decade, 19 dancers have been promoted to the Company from the Academy.

"Our Academy is a reflection of our Company with training that generates technically strong, artistically creative and well-versed students," said Wheater. "It is exciting that the talents cultivated within the Joffrey Academy are increasingly making their way to our mainstage productions. I'm pleased to welcome all four new dancers to the Joffrey as we begin our 2019-2020 season."

Joseì Pablo Castro Cuevas was born in Queretaro, Mexico, and started dancing at the age of six. He participated for the first time in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Mexico in 2013 and received scholarships for the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey and for PROVER Programa Profesional de Ballet en Córdoba, Veracruz, Córdoba, where he moved to continue his training under the direction of Martha Sahagun and Adria Velazquez. In 2015, he competed in the National Ballet Competition in Mexico City and received an invitation to the L'Eìcole Supeìrieure de Ballet du Queìbec and was mentioned as an honorific dancer. He attended YAGP Mexico once again in 2015 in which he received a scholarship for the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago.

Cuevas moved to Chicago at the age of 14 to join the Joffrey Academy's Pre-Professional Program Level VI, and then the Conservatory Program, both directed by Karin Ellis-Wentz. Shortly after, Raymond Rodriguez, Joffrey's Head of Trainee and Studio Company offered him a promotion to the Studio Company. During his time at the Joffrey Academy, he had the chance to perform with the main Company several times, including Christopher Wheeldon's world premiere of The Nutcracker in 2016, as well as in the following two seasons, and Wayne McGregor's INFRA. He performed as one of the lead dancers in Gerald Arpino's Viva Vivaldi and as Franz in the ballet Coppeìlia, both during his time as a member of Joffrey's Studio Company.

Jonathan Dole was born in Bellingham, Washington and grew up in Sacramento, California. He began dancing at a small studio doing one tap class a week. By age 15 he had been convinced to try a ballet summer intensive and found a new love, ballet. He then moved to the biggest dance school in the Sacramento area and began training in ballet and contemporary.

In 2016, Dole joined the Joffrey Academy of Dance as a Trainee. In 2017, he attended the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) where he was awarded first place in Chicago and was invited to compete in the YAGP International Finals in New York City. Dole was awarded top 12 senior men in the New York International Finals. Dole continued his training at the Joffrey Academy for two more years as a Studio Company member, taking summer programs with The Bolshoi Ballet, Houston Ballet, and The Royal Ballet. In 2019, Dole was promoted to the main company at The Joffrey Ballet.

During his time with the Academy, Dole performed in Swan Lake as Von Rothbart, Nicolas Blanc's Ferdinand the Bull, Don Quixote, Gerald Arpino's Viva Vivaldi and Suite Saint-Saens, Alexander Ekman's Episode 31, and Bournonville's Napoli.

Hyuma Kiyosawa was born in Soest, Germany, and raised in Nagano, Japan. He began his ballet training at the age of seven at Aoki Chieko Ballet School under the direction of Aoki Chieko. At the age of nine, he placed second at the Japan Ballet Competition in Nagoya while attending MOMOKO Ballet Studio under the instruction of Ms. Momose Momoko. Thanks to the competition, he was offered a scholarship to Kiev State Ballet School in Ukraine and studied there until 2013 under the instruction of Mr. Constantin Edward Costchcov.

From 2012 to 2015, Kiyosawa trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. after receiving a full scholarship at the Japan Grand Prix 2013. He received this training from Mr. Nikolai Kabaniaev, Mr. Nikoloz Makhateli, and Mr. Stanislav Issaev. From 2015 to 2018, he studied under the instruction of Mr. Nikolai Kabaniaev at City Ballet School
in San Francisco.

In 2019, he was a guest artist at Ballet Manila and performed lead roles on Cinderella, Paquita, the Pas de Deux from Diana and Acteon, and many neoclassical pieces. While in school, he also performed Blue Bird from Sleeping Beauty, Cavalier and Snow King from The Nutcracker, Flames of Paris, Flower Festival, and the male lead in Yuri Possokhov's Concerto. He has also performed the Golden Idol in La Bayadere, Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, and one of the lead dancers in Act II of The Nutcracker.

In 2015, he attended YAGP in Philadelphia and received first place in both classical and contemporary divisions. In 2016, he attended YAGP in San Francisco and received first place in the Junior classical division. In 2018, he was certified the Cultural Art Grand Prize from Matsumoto City, Japan and he was offered to join The Joffrey Ballet after receiving the silver medal at the 2018 USA XI International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, at the age of 17.

Miu Tanaka was born in Chiba, Japan, and began dancing at the age of four with Studio En Dehors and trained at the K-Ballet School under the direction of Tetsuya Kumakawa from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, she joined the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany, under the direction of Tadeusz Matacz and Anna Jojic, graduating in 2018. While there, she performed in many roles including Glinka pas de trois and as a soloist in Leonid Lavrovsky's Classical Symphony.

In 2015, Tanaka earned first place in the Machida Ballet Competition and second place in the NBA Ballet Competition in 2016. In 2018, she was Top 12 in the senior category at the New York finals at the Youth America Grand Prix.

In 2018, she joined the Joffrey Academy of Dance's Trainee Program and was promoted to the Studio Company after one month and performed principal roles in Paquita and Coppélia, as well as being featured in Xiang Xu's Winning Works piece Vessels Bearing.

The Joffrey Ballet launches its 64th season with Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre (October 16-27, 2019) followed by Christopher Wheeldon's reimagined The Nutcracker (November 30-December 29).

For its winter engagement in 2020, the Joffrey presents The Times Are Racing, a dynamic mixed repertory program featuring choreography from four of the most influential artists working today, including the Chicago premiere of Justin Peck's 2017 ballet for which the program gets its name, two pieces by Israeli choreographer and former Batsheva Dance Company member Itzik Galili, a Christopher Wheeldon classic, and a new work from Chicago's Stephanie Martinez (2015 winner of the Joffrey's Winning Works choreographic competition).

The Joffrey concludes its season with Yuri Possokhov's Don Quixote.

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