Brendan Saye Promoted To Principal Dancer

Brendan Saye Promoted To Principal Dancer

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced seven promotions for the 2019/20 season: Brendan Saye to Principal Dancer, Ben Rudisin and Donald Thom to First Soloist, Jeannine Haller, Siphesihle November, Kota Sato and Calley Skalnik to Second Soloist.

2019/20 Promotions

Brendan Saye will be promoted to Principal Dancer with The National Ballet of Canada. This season, Mr. Saye made his debut in the title role in Apollo of which the Toronto Star wrote "Mr. Saye struck all the right chords. He not only has the height, noble looks and long, supple limbs so well suited to Apollo but also the co-ordination and fluent musicality needed to make sense of the angularities of Balanchine's choreography." Mr. Saye recently debuted as Karenin in the North American premiere of Anna Karenina, Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Oberon in The Dream and in the company premieres of The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Approximate Sonata 2016. He has danced such lead roles as Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Polixenes in The Winter's Tale, A Man in The Four Seasons and Phlegmatic in The Four Temperaments. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Mr. Saye trained at Canada's National Ballet School and joined the National Ballet as a RBC Apprentice in 2008. In 2012, he represented the company at The International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize and was also awarded the Patron Award of Merit the same year.

Ben Rudisin will be promoted to First Soloist. Mr. Rudisin has danced such lead roles as Diaghilev in Nijinsky, Rothbart in Swan Lake, Prince Gremin in Onegin and the male lead in Being and Nothingness. His repertoire includes Paris in Romeo and Juliet, Icicle in The Nutcracker, the Magician/Mad Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and L'Allumeur in Le Petit Prince. Born in Woodbridge, Virginia and trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and Houston Ballet II in Texas, Mr. Rudisin joined the National Ballet as a RBC Apprentice in 2013.

Donald Thom will be promoted to First Soloist. Recently, Mr. Thom made his debut as Puck in The Dream. His repertoire includes the Magician/Mad Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Uncle Nikolai in The Nutcracker, Diamond Man in The Sleeping Beauty and Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire. Born in Kanata, Ontario and trained at Linda Jamieson School of Dance and The Royal Ballet Upper School, Mr. Thom danced with The Royal Ballet as a First Artist before joining the National Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2015. His repertoire with The Royal Ballet includes Lensky in Onegin, Sandman in Hansel and Gretel and the pas de six in Giselle. Mr. Thom also created roles in Untouchable by Hofesh Shechter and Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor.

Jeannine Haller will be promoted to Second Soloist. This season, Ms. Haller made her debut as Polyhymnia in Apollo and represented the National Ballet at The International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize. Her repertoire includes the Second Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty as well as roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Giselle, The Winter's Tale, La Sylphide, The Four Seasons, Paquita and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Ms. Haller trained at Place des Arts in Coquitlam, British Columbia and Canada's National Ballet School before joining the company as a RBC Apprentice in 2015.

Siphesihle November will be promoted to Second Soloist. This season, Mr. November represented the National Ballet at The International Competition for The Erik Bruhn Prize where he won the male prize. He recently made his debut as Lewis Carroll/White Rabbit in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Puck in The Dream and Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty. Mr. November's repertoire includes The Nutcracker, Nijinsky, The Winter's Tale, Anna Karenina, The Four Seasons, Emergence, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Being and Nothingness and Paz de la Jolla. Mr. November was born in Worcester, South Africa, trained at Canada's National Ballet School and joined the National Ballet's Corps de Ballet in 2017.

Kota Sato will be promoted to Second Soloist. Recently, Mr. Sato made his debut as Levin in the North American premiere of Anna Karenina. He has danced such roles as The Fool in Swan Lake, Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Brother Clown in The Winter's Tale, Icicle in The Nutcracker, Golden Slave/the Faun in Nijinsky and L'Ivrogne in Le Petit Prince. Born in Tokyo, Japan and trained at the Shimura Ballet School in Japan and Canada's National Ballet School, Mr. Sato joined the National Ballet as a RBC Apprentice in 2012.

Calley Skalnik will be promoted to Second Soloist. This season, Ms. Skalnik made her debut as Calliope in Apollo and Kitty in the North American premiere of Anna Karenina. Her repertoire includes such roles as The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Russian Princess in Swan Lake and such ballets as Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Onegin, Giselle, Manon, La Sylphide, The Four Temperaments, Genus and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and trained at Tulsa Ballet in Oklahoma and Canada's National Ballet School, Ms. Skalnik joined the National Ballet as a RBC Apprentice in 2014 and represented the National Ballet at The International Completion for the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2016.

Awards

Ms. Kain announced that Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu, who retires at the end of the season after 22 years with the company, is the 2018/19 recipient of the David Tory Award. The award is named after the late David Tory, former Vice-Chairman of The National Ballet of Canada's Board of Directors, who passed away in 2006. Ms. Yu is recognized for her consummate professionalism, dedication to the company and the inspiration her exemplary behaviour provides for her fellow company members. In addition to the award, she will receive $3,500.

Hannah Galway and Kota Sato have been awarded the Patron Award of Merit by the Patrons' Council Committee of The National Ballet of Canada. The award is given to one male and one female Corps de Ballet member at the end of each season for their progress. Ms. Galway and Mr. Sato each receive $1,000 and an additional donation of $1,000 is made in their names to the Dancer Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation. Their names will be inscribed on an award generously donated by Myles Mindham that is on display at The Walter Carsen Centre.

Retirements

Andreea Olteanu and Rui Huang will retire from the National Ballet at the end of the season.

After 20 years with the company, Ms. Olteanu retires from the stage and will join the National Ballet's administrative staff as Associate, Artistic Scheduling. As a senior member of the Corps de Ballet, Ms. Olteanu has danced in countless ballets during her tenure with the company, excelling in both the classical and contemporary repertoire. Ms. Olteanu has performed in such ballets as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Giselle, Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew, Jewels, Etudes, The Firebird, Manon, Madame Butterfly, Serenade, The Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations, Symphony in C, La Bayadère, 24 Preludes by Chopin and Emergence. Her impeccable technique, generosity and depth of experience will be missed onstage.

Ms. Huang joined the National Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2011. With her energetic attack, powerful technique and effortless athleticism, Ms. Huang excelled in such roles as Perdita in The Winter's Tale, Bee in The Nutcracker, Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, Moss in Cinderella, and Le Renard in Le Petit Prince. She has danced in such ballets as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Onegin, Nijinsky, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, La Fille mal gardée, La Sylphide, Opus 19/The Dreamer, Rubies, Allegro Brillante, The Second Detail, Chroma, Emergence and The Dreamers Ever Leave You. The National Ballet wishes Ms. Huang the best as she pursues a career in personal training.

Brendan Saye Promoted To Principal Dancer



Related Articles View More Toronto Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram
   
popup