2022/23 Promotions: Genevieve Penn Nabity Promoted to Principal Dancer

Christopher Gerty Promoted to First Soloist 
Selene Guerrero-Trujillo and Tirion Law Promoted to Second Soloist
David Tory Award and Patron Award of Merit Winners Announced 

June 27, 2022… Hope Muir, Joan and Jerry Lozinski Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced promotions for the 2022/23 season.  

Immediately following the final performance of Swan Lake yesterday, Muir surprised Genevieve Penn Nabity and delighted the audience by promoting her from Second Soloist to Principal Dancer onstage. 

“Genevieve gave one of the most assured debuts in the lead role of Odette/Odile I have ever seen. She is a truly exceptional young dancer and it is my absolute pleasure to promote her to Principal Dancer,” said Muir. 

Later, at the Season Closing Party in the lobby of the Four Seasons Centre, Muir announced Christopher Gerty is promoted to First Soloist and Selene Guerrero-Trujillo and Tirion Law to Second Soloist.  

“Christopher has danced many leading roles with the company including sensitively partnering Genevieve in Swan Lake in a nuanced portrayal of Siegfried,” said Muir. “In her 15 years with the company, Selene has excelled in soloist roles across the full range of our repertoire. She is a leader in the studio, setting an example for young dancers in the Corps de Ballet with both her exemplary work ethic and her artistry. With her precise technique and vibrant stage presence, Tirion shines in each new role she takes on, including the leading role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. It is with great excitement that I can promote these four exceptional artists for my inaugural 2022/23 season. My sincere congratulations to them all. I look forward to their continued growth and development in their new ranks.”  

2022/23 Promotions

Genevieve Penn Nabity is promoted to Principal Dancer. Born in Casco, Michigan and trained at Main Stage Center for the Arts in Armada, Michigan and Canada’s National Ballet School, Penn Nabity joined The National Ballet of Canada in 2018 as an RBC Apprentice and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2021. Hailed for her “lovely classical technique and wonderful musicality” (Ludwig van Toronto), Penn Nabity has shone in roles such as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Principal Fairy, Third Fairy and Diamond Lady in The Sleeping Beauty as well as soloist roles in Crystal Pite’s Angels’ Atlas and Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain.  

Genevieve Penn Nabity’s Biography >

Christopher Gerty is promoted to First Soloist. Gerty was born in Watford, England and trained at Newcastle Dance Academy in Australia, New Zealand School of Dance and San Francisco Ballet School. He joined The National Ballet of Canada as an RBC Apprentice in 2014 and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2018. Noted for his “poetic expressivity” and “long lines and fine turns” (The Globe and Mail), Gerty’s roles include Siegfried in Swan Lake, Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter/The Nutcracker in The Nutcracker, A Man in The Four Seasons, Stiva in Anna Karenina and Diamond Man in The Sleeping Beauty. In 2018, Gerty was awarded the Patron Award of Merit

Christopher Gerty’s Biography >

Selene Guerrero-Trujillo is promoted to Second Soloist. Born in Mexico City, Mexico and trained at The National Ballet School of Mexico and Canada’s National Ballet School, Guerrero-Trujillo joined The National Ballet of Canada’s Corps de Ballet in 2007. Guerrero-Trujillo recently performed in The Spanish Dance in Swan Lake and has excelled in such featured roles as Bee in The Nutcracker, Second Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Blossom in Cinderella and Peasant in Giselle.

Selene Guerrero-Trujillo’s Biography >

Tirion Law is promoted to Second Soloist. Born in Hong Kong and trained at The New Zealand School of Dance, she danced with Hong Kong Ballet before joining The National Ballet of Canada’s Corps de Ballet in 2018. Recently, Law made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and performed Celia and The Neapolitan Dance in Swan Lake. In 2010, Law won two gold medals at The Star Award Competition in Hong Kong, won the Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong in 2012 and was first runner up at the Alana Haines Australasian Ballet Competition in 2015.

Tirion Law’s Biography >

2021/22 Award Winners

Trygve Cumpston and Selene Guerrero-Trujillo are the 2021/22 recipients 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. Cumpston and Guerrero-Trujillo are recognized for their consummate professionalism, dedication to the company and exhibiting the many qualities that inspired the creation of the award. Each will receive $5,000.

Tirion Law and Teagan Richman-Taylor 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 female and one male Corps de Ballet member at the end of each season for their progress. Law and Richman-Taylor will each receive $1,500. Their names will be inscribed on an award generously donated by Myles Mindham that is on display at The Walter Carsen Centre.

Retirements and Departures

As previously announced, Principal Dancers Sonia Rodriguez and Jillian Vanstone retired from the National Ballet stage in the 2021/22 season. Rodriguez retired after a 32-year career with the company, saying farewell with the role of Blanche DuBois in John Neumeier’s A Streetcar Named Desire in March. Vanstone retired with Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, a ballet acquired in her honour, after 22 years with the company in March. Principal Dancer Brendan Saye departs The National Ballet of Canada to join Wiener Staatsballett as a Principal Dancer at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Corps de Ballet Member Antonella Martinelli will be retiring after nine years with the company. Martinelli was born in Santa Fe, Argentina, trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and joined the company in 2007 as an RBC Apprentice, was a Corps de Ballet member from 2008 to 2010, rejoining in 2016. Martinelli has performed in ballets throughout the company repertoire, including such featured roles as Kitty in Anna Karenina and Fourth Fairy and Pussycat in The Sleeping Beauty. Following her retirement, Martinelli plans on taking time to travel and see the world with her husband.

Corps de Ballet Member Meghan Pugh will be retiring from the stage to pursue a nursing degree at Toronto Metropolitan University. Pugh was born in Ottawa, Ontario and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined the company as an RBC Apprentice in 2012 and became a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2014. Pugh’s repertoire includes such roles as Effie in La Sylphide, Shepherdess in The Winter’s Tale, Kitty in Anna Karenina, Sheep in The Nutcracker and Fourth Fairy and Pussycat in The Sleeping Beauty

Corps de Ballet Member Jaclyn Oakley departs the National Ballet after 13 years with the company to join Houston Ballet as part of the Corps de Ballet.

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BMO Financial Group presents the 2021/22 and 2022/23 Seasons.

The RBC Apprentice Programme is sponsored by The RBC Emerging Artists Project. 

Brendan Saye is sponsored through Dancers First by Robin Vaile Robinson. 

Jillian Vanstone is sponsored through Dancers First by George & Kathy Dembroski. 

Christopher Gerty is sponsored through Dancers First by Ms. Nancy Viner & Dr. Raymond Stein.

Teagan Richman-Taylor is sponsored through Dancers First by Devida & Derek Smith.

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 Toronto Arts Council; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage with The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage; and the Government of Ontario with The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Genevieve Penn Nabity in Swan Lake. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic. 

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Chang
Associate Director, Communications and Content Strategy
416 345 9686 x302
Anastasia Kolotova
Officer, Communications and Media Relations
416 345 9686 x359

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