The National Ballet of Canada announces promotions

June 11, 2012

Press Releases

The National Ballet of Canada announces promotions

Rebekah Rimsay Promoted to Principal Character Artist
Naoya Ebe Promoted to First Soloist
Alexandra MacDonald and Christopher Stalzer Promoted to Second Soloist
Winners of the David Tory Award and the Patron Award of Merit Announced

ballet in canada logoJune 11, 2012… Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced promotions for the 2012/13 season. Rebekah Rimsay has been promoted from First Soloist to Principal Character Artist.

Rebekah Rimsay joined the company in 1990 after graduating from Canada’s National Ballet School. During her 22 years with the National Ballet, Ms. Rimsay has captivated audiences with her brilliant characterizations, from comedic roles such as the Stepsister in Cinderella to great dramatic roles like Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty.  She recently danced the role of the Nurse in the world premiere of Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky and the Cook in the North American premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In addition to the many featured roles created in works by James Kudelka, Ms. Rimsay’s has also danced such lead roles as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Queen of Wilis in Giselle, Olga in Onegin, Mercedes in Don Quixote, Lise in La Fille mal gardée and Valencienne in The Merry Widow.

Naoya Ebe has been promoted to First Soloist. This season, Mr. Ebe made his debut as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky and as Colas in La Fille mal gardée. He has also danced featured roles in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Mr. Ebe also danced in the North American premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the company premieres of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons.

Alexandra MacDonald and Christopher Stalzer have been promoted to Second Soloist. This season, Ms. MacDonald made her debut as the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and has danced the Principal Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and Petal in Cinderella. Her repertoire also includes Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, The Four Temperaments, The Four Seasons, West Side Story Suite and the North American premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This season, Mr. Stalzer made his debut as Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky, Guildenstern in the North American premiere of Hamlet by Kevin O’Day and as Alain in La Fille mal gardée. He has also danced the roles of Tony in West Side Story Suite, The Fool in Swan Lake, Garcia in Carmen and Sancho Panza in Don Quixote.

Larissa Khotchenkova, James Applewhite, Jack Bertinshaw, Francesco Gabriele Frola and Asiel Rivero, who are members of The National Ballet of Canada’s RBC Apprentice Programme and YOU dance, will join the company as members of the Corps de Ballet.

First Soloist Patrick Lavoie is the recipient of the 2012 David Tory Award, named for David Tory, former Vice-Chairman of The National Ballet of Canada’s Board of Directors, who passed away in 2006. Mr. Lavoie is recognized for exemplifying all the qualities this Award strives to acknowledge: mentorship, humility, optimism, compassion, leadership, honesty, integrity, enthusiasm and generosity of spirit. Mr. Lavoie receives an award of $2,500.

Corps de Ballet members Adji Cissoko and Brendan Saye 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 male and one female Corps de Ballet member or Apprentice at the end of each season for their progress. They each receive $1000 and an additional donation of $1000 is made in their names to the Dancer Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation.

The 2011/12 Season is presented by CTV and The Globe and Mail.

Celebrating 60 Years of Partnership with The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.

Naoya Ebe is sponsored through Dancers First by Gretchen Ross.
Brendan Saye is sponsored through Dancers First by Robin & Ross Robinson.

The RBC Apprentice Programme is sponsored by The RBC Foundation.

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 through the Honourable James Moore, Minister, the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Government of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Foundation; the Ontario Trillium Foundation; and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.

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