August 15, 2012

Press Releases


boston ballet 

BOSTON, MA – DATE – Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announced the 2012-2013 Season roster, featuring 4 new Company members, 12 Boston Ballet II dancers and 9 internal promotions. The  Company and BBII returned to rehearsals at Boston Ballet’s studio headquarters on Monday, July 30 to prepare for the 2012-2013 Season.


“As we approach our 50th Anniversary Season, Boston Ballet continues to progress as a world-class company,” said Nissinen. “Our expanding roster contains some of the finest performers in the world, each bringing their unique talent and artistry to the Company. We have a phenomenal season ahead of us, including a World Premiere by Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo, exciting Company premieres by Jiří Kylián and introducing the work of Wayne McGregor to Boston, classics from George Balanchine to Sleeping Beauty,   and a re-imagined production of The Nutcracker, with exquisite new sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola. I am also pleased to announce the launch of BB@home, our new lecture-performance-event series, The Company and I are excited to be back at work in the studios, and very eager to take the stage this fall.”


Nissinen continues Boston Ballet’s tradition of developing a strong, versatile ensemble by cultivating talent from within the Company, Boston Ballet II, and Boston Ballet School while recruiting artists from around the world. Boston Ballet features dancers from 18 different countries with the majority of the Company members hailing from the United States. The Ballet’s 63-dancer roster also includes 18 dancers who trained with Boston Ballet School or the junior company, Boston Ballet II.


For the 2012-2013 Season, Boston Ballet soloists Paulo Arrais and Jeffrey Cirio have been promoted to the rank of principal dancer; second soloists Ashley Ellis and Tiffany Hedman have been promoted to soloist; company dancers Isaac Akiba and Bradley Schlagheck have been promoted to second soloist; and Boston Ballet II dancers Maria Alvarez, Matthew Poppe, and Brittany Stone have been promoted to the senior Company. Nissinen announced the addition of Avetik Karapetyan (Armenia) as a soloist; Anais Bueno (Mexico), Dao Yuan Chen (China), and Seo Hye Han (Korea) as Company corps dancers. Dawn Atkins (U.S.), Emily Entingh (U.S.), Beau Fisher (U.S.), Brett Fukuda (U.S.), Andres Garcia (U.S.), Christina Ghiardi (U.S.), Hannah Keene (U.S.), Alyssa Leger (U.S.), Kathryn McDonald (U.S.), Marcus Romeo (U.S.), Christopher Scruggs (U.S.), and Christopher Warhuus (U.S.) join Boston Ballet II.


The Company returns to The Boston Opera House stage on October 25 with Fall Program, featuring a World Premiere by Jorma Elo and the smash hits Rooster by Christopher Bruce and The Second Detail by William Forsythe. Fall Program will be followed by Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, which returns to the stage with spectacular new sets and elegant costumes by award-winning designer Robert Perdziola.


Boston Ballet Dancer Promotions


Principal dancer Paulo Arrais of Goiania, Brazil joined Boston Ballet in 2010 from Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. He has previously danced with the Norwegian National Ballet and trained at the Centro Cultural Gustav Ritter in Brazil, the Paris Opera Ballet School, English National Ballet School, and the Royal Ballet School. Arrais was a finalist in the 2007 New York International Competition and the 2003 Youth America Grand Prix.


Principal dancer Jeffrey Cirio joined Boston Ballet in 2009. He previously trained with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Boston Ballet School before joining BBII in 2007. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Grand Prix award from the 2009 Youth America Grand Prix, gold medals at the 2009 World Ballet Competition and Helsinki International Ballet Competition and the prestigious Princess Grace Fellowship in 2009. He was called “one to watch” by The Boston Globe after his first performance with the Company in the 2009 Night of Stars. Most recently, Cirio was acclaimed for his debut performances as Basilio in Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, with Boston Ballet Principal Misa Kuranaga. Jeffrey is the brother of Boston Ballet Principal dancer Lia Cirio.


Soloist Ashley Ellis of Santa Monica, California joined Boston Ballet in 2011 as a second soloist. She began her professional career dancing with American Ballet Theatre’s studio company and later joined ABT. She has performed in Spain with Angel Corella’s touring group and joined Corella Ballet in 2008 as a soloist. Ellis received her dance training at the South Bay Ballet under the direction of Diane Lauridsen, other instruction included Alicia Head, Mario Nugara, Charles Maple, and Kimberly Olmos. She was the recipient of the Coca Cola scholarship award in 2000 and 2001, and won the first prize at the Los Angeles’ Music Center’s Spotlight Awards in 1999.


Soloist Tiffany Hedman  of Fresno, California joined Boston Ballet in 2008 after dancing with Miami City Ballet for four seasons. Hedman previously trained at Boston Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet and, in 2002, was a member of Boston Ballet II. She was spotlighted by The Boston Phoenix for her impressive speed and clarity in Boston Ballet’s 2009 production of Balanchine’s Jewels and 2010 performances of The Four Temperaments.


Second soloist Isaac Akiba joined Boston Ballet in 2009. The Boston native started dancing in Boston Ballet’s Citydance Program at age 9 and began his training at Boston Ballet School in 1998.  He joined Boston Ballet II in 2007, becoming the first Citydance graduate to join the Company.  Akiba was awarded the Harry Wilcott Scholarship in 2006 based upon his determination, perseverance, and discipline at Boston Ballet. He participated in The World Ballet Competition in Orlando where he won the Silver Medal in the Pas de Deux category.

Second soloist Bradley Schlagheck of Orlando, FL joined Boston Ballet in 2006. He began his training at The School of Performing Arts in Maitland, FL, and continued at Boston Ballet School where he was awarded the Pao Scholarship. In 2005, Schlagheck joined Boston Ballet II, where he danced for one season before joining the Company. He was called “a new discovery” by the Patriot Ledger after his performance in George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements in 2012.


Maria Alvarez of Madrid, Spain joined Boston Ballet II in 2010 and was promoted to the Company in 2012. She studied with the Carmina Ocaña Dance School and the Royal Conservatory of Dance in Madrid. Alvarez has received the second prize in the Concurso Nacional de Danza de Castellón and the first prize in the Concurso Nacional de Danza Clásica Torrelavega.


Matthew Poppe of Phoenix, AZ joined Boston Ballet II in 2010 and was promoted to the Company in 2012. He began his training at the Royal Academy of Dance and completed his pre-professional training at the School of American Ballet before dancing with Ballet Arizona as an apprentice. Poppe has attended summer intensive programs at American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Miami City Ballet.


Brittany Stone of East Hartford, CT joined Boston Ballet II in 2010 and was promoted to the Company in 2012. She began her training at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and attended summer intensives on scholarship at Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Boston Ballet. Stone has been featured in Pointe Magazine’s “In the Wings” column.


New Company Dancers


Avetik Karapetyan of Yerevan, Armenia joins Boston Ballet in 2012 as a soloist. He began his training at Yerevan National Ballet Academy of Armenia under the direction of Hovannes Divanyan. He was then invited to study at the Heinz Bosl Ballet Academy of Munich where he trained with Alexander Prokofiev. Karapetyan previously danced with the Royal Swedish Ballet as a soloist.  He has received many awards throughout his career, including first place in the 2009 Rome Primo Ballet Competition, and the 2012 International Istanbul Ballet Competition.


Anais Bueno of Córdoba, Mexico joins Boston Ballet in 2012 as a company dancer. She began her training at the Fomento Artistico Cordobes in 1994. In 2003 Bueno continued her education at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart where she graduated in 2007. The same year, Bueno joined Stuttgart Ballet. Throughout her career Bueno has received many awards, including the IV Concurso Nacional infantil y Juvenil de Mexico and first prize at the V Concurso Nacional infantil y Juvenil de Mexico.


Dao Yuan Chen of Shanghai, China joins Boston Ballet in 2012 as a company dancer. He began his training at the Shanghai Ballet School before receiving a merit scholarship to study with Hamburg Ballet School in Germany. Upon graduation in 2009, Chen joined Hamburg Ballet at the invitation of artistic director John Neumeier. He has received a myriad of awards throughout his career, including a silver medal at the Beijing National Ballet Competition, 3rd place at the 2007 Seoul International Ballet Competition as well as achieving the distinction of a finalist at the 35th annual Prix de Lausanne.


Seo Hye Han of Seoul, Korea joins Boston Ballet in 2012 as a company dancer. She began her training at the Korea National University of Arts and graduated in 2009. Han was then invited to join the Universal Ballet Company, where she danced as a soloist for three seasons. She has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Joffrey Prize in the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition and the Gold Medal in the 2012 Boston International Ballet Competition. Han has performed in the World Ballet Star Festival in Korea with Daniil Simkin, and the Havana Ballet Festival in Cuba.


Dancers Joining Boston Ballet II


Dawn Atkins of Chesterfield, VA joins Boston Ballet II in 2012. She studied as a Trainee with Boston Ballet School after being awarded the Pao Scholarship. Atkins was invited to the Professional Dance Festival in Banff, Canada, and was a scholarship student at summer intensives at Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. , Dawn has performed in Boston Ballet’s productions of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, and  George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements.


Emily Entingh of San Clemente, CA joins Boston Ballet II in 2012 after dancing with Houston Ballet II for two seasons. In 2011, she represented Houston Ballet at the International Youth Dance Festival in Budapest, Hungary.  She was among the top 12 in the senior age division of the Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York City in 2010, and that same year was a semi-finalist in the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.


Beau Fisher of San Diego, CA joins Boston Ballet II in 2012 after dancing with ABT’s Studio Company for one season. He began his training at San Diego Academy of Ballet under the direction of former Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Maxim Tchunychev. He was awarded scholarships to  the Washington Ballet School, ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, and Prince Gray’s Academy of Dance.


Brett Fukuda of Washington, D.C. joins Boston Ballet II in 2012. She trained at the School of American Ballet for four years, before attending the Kirov Academy of Ballet on scholarship in 2008. The following year she attended the San Francisco Ballet School on the Eric Hellman Memorial Scholarship, and later went on to join the San Francisco Ballet Trainee Program. As a Trainee, Fukuda toured and performed in San Francisco Ballet productions, including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Giselle, Don Quixote, George Balanchine’s Symphony in C and Coppélia.


Andres Garcia of Austin, TX joins Boston Ballet II in 2012. He began his training at Ballet Austin and attended pre-professional training programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet as a Professional Division Student. Garcia was awarded scholarships to summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, Canada’s National Ballet School, and Boston Ballet. He had the honor of representing Pacific Northwest Ballet at Canada’s National Ballet School.


Christina Ghiardi of Morgantown, WV joins Boston Ballet II in 2012, after completing four years of pre-professional training at The School of American Ballet (SAB). During her final year at SAB, Ghiardi was awarded the Lisa and Richard Perry Scholarship. Prior to this, she attended the Joffrey Ballet School Trainee Program on full scholarship, for one year. Ghiardi spent two summers training with Boston Ballet School on scholarship.


Hannah Keene of Wellesley, MA joins Boston Ballet II in 2012. She has been a student at Boston Ballet School since age five, and was a Trainee during the 2011-2012 season. As a Trainee, Keene performed in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements, and Harald Lander’s Études. She was the recipient of the Mikko Nissinen Artistic Director Scholarship in 2010 and 2011.


Kathryn McDonald of Allen, TX joins Boston Ballet II in 2012. She attended three summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB) on full merit scholarship and was invited to stay for the winter course on scholarship in the fall of 2009. During this time, McDonald performed in the School of American Ballet’s annual workshop featuring Christopher Wheeldon’s Scenes de Ballets, George Balanchine’s Bourree Fantasque, Who Cares?, Cortege Hongrois, and Peter Martin’s Les Petits Riens.


Alyssa Leger of Lafayette, LA joined Boston Ballet II in 2012, after studying as a Professional Division student at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She was awarded full scholarships to summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Boston Ballet School. She also trained at Miami City Ballet School on scholarship. With Miami City Ballet School, Leger performed leading roles productions of George Balanchine’s Harlequinade and Swan Lake.


Marcus Romeo of Carlisle, PA joins Boston Ballet II in 2012, after graduating from the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City. He completed his pre-professional training at The School of American Ballet where he was awarded several scholarships, including the Columbus Citizen Foundation Scholarship, the Linda and Arthur Collins Scholarship, and the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation Scholarship. In 2011, Romeo appeared as a guest artist in the Eglevsky Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, as the Nutcracker Prince. He has also performed in The School of American Ballet’s annual workshops, 2011 New York City Ballet Lecture Demonstrations, and was selected to dance in several New York Choreographic Institute sessions.


Christopher Scruggs of Annapolis, MD joins Boston Ballet II in 2012, after graduating from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet, an outside field in Political Science, and a minor in Spanish Language. Scruggs began his training with the Maryland Youth Ballet. He attended summer programs with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Washington Ballet, and Next Generation Ballet. He has performed principal roles in numerous ballets, including Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty, and Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco.


Christopher Warhuus of San Francisco, CA joins Boston Ballet II in 2012, after attending San Francisco Ballet School on merit scholarship. He began his early training at Berkeley Ballet Theater where he performed principal roles in numerous productions, including in Sally Streets’ Chopin Pas de Deux and The Nutcracker. Warhuus has attended summer sessions at the San Francisco Ballet School, American Academy of Ballet, and American Ballet Theater.


2012-2013 Season Tickets

Subscriptions for the 2012-2013 season and individual tickets to the World Premiere of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker featuring all new sets and costumes are on sale now.  Individual tickets to season ballets go on sale on August 27.  Subscriptions and tickets are available for sale online 24 hours a day at or by phone at 617.695.6955 or in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm and on performance days on Sat and Sun, 11am – 4pm.  Prices for season ballets start at $29.  Tickets to The Nutcracker start at $35.  Discounted group tickets (10 or more) are available by calling the box office or the Group Sales Associate at 617.456.6343.



BB@home is a lecture-event-performance series that takes place at Boston Ballet’s recently renovated 19 Clarendon Street headquarters in Studio 7. This grand studio has been transformed into a 144 seat state-of-the-art black box theatre, designed to provide an unmatched and intimate perspective for the Boston community to experience a variety of programming, including dance, performance art, and educational programs..


About Boston Ballet

Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community.  Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and one of the largest ballet schools in the world, Boston Ballet School.


Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting lecture-demonstrations and special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.


Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access and reaches more than 10,000 students ages two to adult each year through Boston Ballet School classes, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps and Adaptive Dance.  The wide array of dance programs are held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton and Marblehead with additional programs throughout New England, as well as community centers and in Boston Public Schools.

Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

State Street Corporation, 2012 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker

Barr Foundation

The Boston Foundation

Massachusetts Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts

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