Friday, 19 July 2013

ENB Dancer Promotions

English National Ballet yesterday announced its dancer promotions for the 2013/14 season: 
Ksenia Ovsyanick

James Forbat is promoted to First Soloist
Shiori Kase is promoted to Soloist
Nancy Osbaldeston is promoted to First Artist
Ksenia Ovsyanick is promoted to First Artist
Guilherme Menezes is promoted to 8th Year Artist
Ken Saruhashi is promoted to 8th Year Artist
Laurretta Summerscales is promoted to First Soloist

I recently reviewed Summerscales in Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall, and she was superb. Many congratulations to her on a well-deserved promotion. However, I cannot understand the logic in giving Summerscales such a big leap up the ladder when another extremely talented dancer, Ksenia Ovsyanick, is promoted only to first artist.

Ovsyanick starred recently as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, receiving excellent reviews, as well as creating the title role in George Williamson's Firebird. Earlier this year, she also won the Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical). If Ovsyanick remains undervalued at ENB, I wouldn't be surprised if she is rapidly snapped up by another ballet company.

I also question the logic behind promoting corps de ballet dancers within the corps de ballet; Guilherme Menezes and Ken Saruhashi, who both performed in this year's Emerging Dancer Awards, are promoted to from second year artists to eighth year artists. Presumably a pay rise is involved, but not enough to warrant an actual step up to first artist!

I greatly admire English National Ballet's director Tamara Rojo, but I find it hard to understand her reasoning in this list of promotions. I can only hope that her plans for the company's young talents become clearer over time.

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