Skylar Campbell And Francesco Gabriele Frola Promoted To Principal Dancer at the National Ballet of Canada
Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced six promotions for the 2018/19 season: Skylar Campbell and Francesco Gabriele Frola to Principal Dancer, Jack Bertinshaw to First Soloist, Christopher Gerty, Spencer Hack and Miyoko Koyasu to Second Soloist.
Skylar Campbell will be promoted to Principal Dancer with The National Ballet of Canada. Recently, Mr. Campbell danced in the world premiere of Frame by Frame by Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté. Mr. Campbell created the title role in the world premiere of Pinocchio by Will Tuckett last season and has also danced the title roles in Le Petit Prince and Nijinsky. The Toronto Star wrote Mr. Campbell "offers a different dramatic perspective. His is a Nijinsky of childlike innocence, conveyed in dancing of unaffected, almost angelic purity. He simply breaks your heart." His repertoire includes Peter/The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Hilarion in Giselle, Gurn in La Sylphide, White Rabbit in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Florizel in The Winter's Tale, Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty and Alan in A Streetcar Named Desire. A California native, Mr. Campbell trained with Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky in Orange County before he joined The National Ballet of Canada as a RBC Apprentice in 2009. He was awarded the Bronze Medal in the Pas de Deux category at the 2009 Youth American Grand Prix and was a finalist at the 2009 Prix de Lausanne.
Francesco Gabriele Frola will be promoted to Principal Dancer with The National Ballet of Canada. Mr. Frola's roles include the title role in Nijinsky, Albrecht in Giselle, Peter/The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker and Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty. Of his portrayal of Florimund, DanceTabs.com hailed Mr. Frola "a prodigious talent... demonstrating a flair for fluid phrasing and high jumps. His solos felt like a firework of youthful exuberance." His other roles include Lensky in Onegin, Florizel in The Winter's Tale, James in La Sylphide, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Lescaut in Manon. Born in Italy, Mr. Frola joined the company as a RBC Apprentice in 2010 after training at Professione Danza Parma in Italy, The School of the Hamburg Ballet in Germany and Fomento Artistico Cordobés in Mexico. His awards include the Silver Medal at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition in 2012, Bronze Medal in the 2010 International Ballet Competition in Cuba, semi-finalist at 2008 Prix de Lausanne and the prize for Best Male at the Grand Prix Pavlova in 2006 and 2003.
Jack Bertinshaw will be promoted to First Soloist. Recently, Mr. Bertinshaw made his debut as Norman McLaren in the world premiere of Frame by Frame by Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté. Of his debut, Ludwig van Toronto wrote "[Frame by Frame] has made Bertinshaw a star given his luminous performance and... rousing chorus of cheers during his solo bows." Mr. Bertinshaw's repertoire includes the title role in Pinocchio, Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire, Benno in Swan Lake and Uncle Nikolai in The Nutcracker. His repertoire also includes Gurn in La Sylphide, Brother Clown in The Winter's Tale, Lescaut in Manon, Diamond Man in The Sleeping Beauty and Mad Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Born in Sydney, Australia and trained at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy in Australia and the Tanz Akademie Zürich in Switzerland, Mr. Bertinshaw joined The National Ballet of Canada in 2015. In 2011, Mr. Bertinshaw was a finalist at the Prix de Lausanne and won the Mary Day Artistry Award at the Youth America Grand Prix.
Christopher Gerty will be promoted to Second Soloist. This season, Mr. Gerty made his debut as Peter/The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker, A Man in The Four Seasons and Diamond Man in The Sleeping Beauty. Last season, he made his debut in the role of Siegfried in Swan Lake and "found a poetic expressivity that had scope and depth, showcasing long lines and fine turns" (The Globe and Mail). Born in Watford, England and trained at Newcastle Dance Academy in Australia, New Zealand School of Dance and San Francisco Ballet School in California, Mr. Gerty joined The National Ballet of Canada as a RBC Apprentice in 2014.
Spencer Hack will be promoted to Second Soloist. This season, Mr. Hack performed in The Dreamers Ever Leave You by Robert Binet and Cacti by Alexander Ekman. His repertoire includes Uncle Nikolai in The Nutcracker, Le Géographe in the world premiere of Le Petit Prince as well as roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Onegin, Alice's Adventure in Wonderland, The Winter's Tale, Nijinsky, Genus and Rubies. Mr. Hack was born in Toledo, Ohio and trained at Canada's National Ballet School before joining The National Ballet of Canada as a RBC Apprentice in 2014.
Miyoko Koyasu will be promoted to Second Soloist. Recently, Ms. Koyasu made her debut as Princess Florine and the Second Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and she performed in the world premiere of Frame by Frame. She has danced such roles as Petal in Cinderella, Olga in Onegin and Sheep in The Nutcracker. Ms. Koyasu's repertoire includes Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, The Winter's Tale, A Streetcar Named Desire, Nijinsky, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Allegro Brillante and The Four Temperaments. Born in Chiba, Japan and trained at Hashimoto Ballet and Shimada Ballet Institute in Japan and Canada's National Ballet School, Ms. Koyasu joined The National Ballet of Canada as a RBC Apprentice in 2011.
Joining the Corps de Ballet from the RBC Apprentice Programme are Brenna Flaherty, Hannah Galway, Larkin Miller, Teagan Richman-Taylor and Alexander Skinner.
In addition to being promoted to Principal Dancer, Francesco Gabriele Frola will dance with both The National Ballet of Canada and the English National Ballet next season as a Principal Dancer. Emma Hawes will also perform with both The National Ballet of Canada and English National Ballet as a First Soloist. Principal Dancer Jurgita Dronina, who performed with both companies last season, will continue to perform in both Toronto and London in 2018/19.
First Soloist Alexandra MacDonald is the recipient of the 2017/18 David Tory Award, named for David Tory, former Vice-Chairman of The National Ballet of Canada's Board of Directors, who passed away in 2006. Ms. MacDonald is recognized for her consummate professionalism and dedication to the company as well as the inspiration her exemplary behaviour provides for her fellow company members. Ms. MacDonald receives an award of $3,500.
Miyoko Kayasu and Christopher Gerty 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. Koyasu and Mr. Gerty each receive $1000 and an additional donation of $1000 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.
Guillaume Côté is sponsored through Dancers First by Emmanuelle Gattuso, C.M. and Allan Slaight, C.M.
Skylar Campbell is sponsored through Dancers First by Tricia Younger.
Francesco Gabriele Frola is sponsored through Dancers First by Sherry and Edward Drew.
Emma Hawes is sponsored through Dancers First by JJ Dayot & Rick Schiralli.
Alexandra MacDonald is sponsored through Dancers First by an anonymous donor.
Christopher Gerty is sponsored through Dancers First by Ms. Nancy Viner & Dr. Raymond Stein.
The RBC Apprentice Programme is sponsored by The RBC Emerging Artists Project.
The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada - Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages; and the Government of Ontario through the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.