For the first time in many years, Pennsylvania Ballet will have a balanced company of principal dancers, soloists, and corps de ballet members for the 2018-2019 season.
Six corps dancers have been promoted to the middle rank of soloist, joining Alexandra Hughes in what is often the thinnest rank. The only other current soloist, James Ihde, will be retiring on May 13.
The new soloists are Aleksey Babayev, Albert Gordon, Yuka Iseda, Zecheng Liang, Nayara Lopes, and Jack Thomas, all of whom joined the company in the Angel Corella era. (Babayev’s parents, Anastasia Babayeva and Denis Gronostayskiy, briefly ran the School of Pennsylvania Ballet.)
Three apprentices, Sydney Dolan, Federico D’Ortenzi, and Erin O’Dea, have been promoted to the corps de ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet II’s Flavia Morante was moved into the main company as an apprentice.