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British ballet dancer Ruan Crighton was one of the victims on board the Yeti Airlines flight that crashed as it tried to land in Pokhara in Nepal on 15 January, one day after his 34th birthday. Originally from Brentwood in Essex, Ruan trained at the Central School of Ballet and, on graduating in 2008, joined the Slovakian National Ballet. He subsequently joined the Finnish National Ballet.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet has announced that Artistic Director Patricia Barker from the RNZB following the end of the first season of the year, Tutus on Tour. She will return to the USA with her family. In her five and a half years at the helm of the national ballet company, Barker commissioned 12 new main stage ballets from New Zealand-based or born choreographers including six ballets with original scores by New Zealand composers.
Alexei Ratmansky has been appointed Artist in Residence at New York City Ballet from August 2023.
The Brazilian principal dancer Denis Vieira died at the age of 31 on 29 December 2022. Born in Joinville, Vieira trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Brazil and subsequently danced at the Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro, Ballett Zürich, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Staatsballett Berlin and, for a brief spell last year, with Northern Ballet in Leeds. He also performed in many galas, including the Ballet Icons Gala at the London Coliseum where he partnered Staatsballett Berlin principal Ksenia Ovsyanick in George Williamson's Mesh in November 2021. No cause of death has yet been announced.
TAM Teatro Arcimboldi Milan cancels Sergei Polunin show
Sergei Polunin's production of Rasputin, scheduled for 28 and 29 January 2023, has been cancelled. According to the TAM's website, "The cancellation was necessary, in agreement with the same company, due to the pressing social and web mobilization of the past few weeks against the artist's performance. Spectators who have purchased tickets for the show will be able to request a refund according to the instructions given on the event form on the theatre's website."
Alexei Ratmansky will be stepping down as ABT's Artist in Residence when his contract expires in June 2023. The revered choreographer, who has been with the company since January 2009, has created numerous ballets on the company's dancers including: Waltz Masquerade (2009); On the Dnieper (2009); Seven Sonatas (2009); The Nutcracker (2010); Dumbarton (2011); Firebird (2012); Symphony #9 (2012); Chamber Symphony (2013); Piano Concerto #1 (2013); The Tempest (2014); The Sleeping Beauty (2015); Serenade after Plato's Symposium (2016); Whipped Cream (2017); Songs of Bukovina (2017); Harlequinade (2018); The Seasons (2019); Of Love and Rage (2020) and Bernstein in a Bubble (2021). Born in St Petersburg, Ratmansky spent much of his childhood in Kyiv and has spoken out passionately against Putin's war in Ukraine. Earlier this year, he staged his production of Giselle for the United Ukrainian Ballet and has also created many ballets for leading companies around he world. His latest creation, Tchaikovsky Variations, will be premiered on 23 December by the Bayerisches Staatsballett at the Nationaltheater in Munich.
Dame Beryl Grey
With much sadness we share the news that Dame Beryl Grey passed away on 9 December 2022 aged 95. The renowned ballerina joined Sadler's Wells Ballet (as The Royal Ballet was then known) in 1941 and danced her first Odette/Odile on her 15th birthday. She created roles in several of Frederick Ashton's ballets including The Quest, Les Sirènes, the Winter Fairy in Cinderella, Homage to the Queen and Birthday Offering as well as John Cranko's Lady and the Fool. She was the first Western ballerina to perform with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and also in China. She recorded these experiences in two books: Red Curtain Up and Through the Bamboo Curtain. Dame Beryl was the artistic director of London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) from 1968 - 1979.
Nicolas Le Riche
Nicolas Le Riche has agreed to extend his contract as artistic director of the Royal Swedish Ballet for two years and will now remain in the post until summer 2025. Photo: Royal Swedish Ballet / Henrik Halvarsson.
François Alu has announced that he is leaving the Paris Opera in order to pursue personal, artistic projects. LINK
According to a report in the Frankfurter Rundschau, Royal Danish Ballet has ended its contract with John Neumeier following alleged complaints by some of the dancers of racial stereotyping in his ballet Othello. LINK
Former ballerina, teacher, coach and director Patricia Ruanne passed away on 1 November in Rome, aged 77. Born in Leeds on 3 June 1945, Ruanne danced with the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and London Festival Ballet as a principal dancer. On retiring from the stage, she became a ballet mistress and coach, working with various different companies including the Paris Opera.
Arts Council England has announced significant changes with funding diverted from London to the regions as part of the government's 'levelling up' policy. The Royal Opera House has had its grant cut by 9% and English National Ballet loses 5% of its ACE funding. The chart lists dance companies with the first column of figures giving the average annual funding 2018-22 at April 2018; the second annual funding for 2022-23 extension year; and the third annual funding offered for 2023-26 on 4 November 2022. The complete list can be viewed at https://www.artscouncil.org.uk
Prix de Lausanne 2023
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the Prix de Lausanne has announced the names of the dancers selected to participate in the next international ballet competition which will take place from 29 January - 5 February 2023 at the newly refurbished Beaulieu Theatre in Lausanne. A list of the selected dancers can be viewed HERE. As part of the celebrations the Prix de Lausanne will also be presenting a Gala of Stars, including Laura Fernandez, Friedemann Vogel, Mayara Magri, António Casalinho and and others on 5 February 2023.