2019/20 Season Roster Announced
September 10, 2019
Karen Kain’s 50th Anniversary Season
Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced the 2019/20 season roster which features 68 dancers and 10 RBC Apprentices.
The promotions this season include Brendan Saye to Principal Dancer, Ben Rudisin and Donald Thom to First Soloist and Jeannine Haller, Siphesihle November, Kota Sato and Calley Skalnik to Second Soloist.
Joining the National Ballet this season are Koto Ishihara as First Soloist and Shaelynn Estrada, Monika Haczkiewicz, Ayano Haneishi, Shené Lazarus and Isaac Wright as members of the Corps de Ballet.
Promoted to the Corps de Ballet from the RBC Apprentice Programme are Genevieve Penn Nabity, Tene Ward and Jennifer Watembach.
The RBC Apprentice Programme this season features new dancers Nina Gentes, Albjon Gjorllaku, Sophie Lee, Arielle Miralles, Shelby Tzung and Christopher Waters.
After seven years with the National Ballet, Second Soloist Félix Paquet has left the company to join The Hamburg Ballet. Corps de Ballet member Mallory Mehaffey, who joined the company in 2017, departed to dance with Boston Ballet.
The 2019/20 season features several milestone anniversaries. Principal Dancers Greta Hodgkinson and Sonia Rodriguez mark their 30th anniversaries with the company. Principal Character Artists Lorna Geddes and Tomas Schramek celebrate their 60th and 50th anniversaries, respectively. Principal Dancer Jillian Vanstone and Second Soloist Tiffany Mosher mark their 20th anniversaries with the National Ballet. Details regarding celebrations will be revealed during the season.
The National Ballet of Canada’s 2019/20 season celebrating Artistic Director Karen Kain’s 50th anniversary with the company opens with Giselle, November 6 – 10, 2019 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
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BMO Financial Group presents the 2019/20 Season.
Giselle was produced as a memorial to the late William P. Walker and was made possible through the courtesy of many generous friends of the National Ballet.
Tricon Capital Group presents Swan Lake.
Lead philanthropic support for Swan Lake is provided by The Walter Carsen New Creations Fund, with generous underwriting from Richard M. Ivey, C.C., an anonymous friend of the National Ballet, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, Nancy Pencer, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Gretchen Ross & Donald Ross, O.C., Tim & Frances Price and Kevin & Roger Garland. Additional support provided by The Producers’ Circle.
The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, The Thor E. and Nicole Eaton Family Charitable Foundation, Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, Kevin & Roger Garland, Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry & Joan Lozinski, The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lynda & Jonas Prince, Susan Scace & Arthur Scace, C.M., Q.C., The Harry and Lillian Seymour Family Foundation, Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.
The National Ballet also acknowledges additional support for Swan Lake provided by Anne-Marie Canning, Judi Conacher and Julie Medland.
Brendan Saye is sponsored through Dancers First by Robin Vaile Robinson.
Jillian Vanstone is sponsored through Dancers First by George & Kathy Dembroski.
Hannah Fischer is sponsored through Dancers First by an anonymous donor.
Ben Rudisin is sponsored through Dancers First by an anonymous donor.
Jeannine Haller is sponsored through Dancers First by Devida & Derek Smith.
Siphesihle November is sponsored through Dancers First by Jerry & Joan Lozinski.
Kota Sato is sponsored through Dancers First by Tony Arrell, C.M. & Anne Arrell.
Calley Skalnik is sponsored through Dancers First by an anonymous donor.
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 Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.