The New York City Ballet announced on Saturday that it is promoting three dancers for the role of principal, replenishing their roster of male dancers after a series of retirements.
Harrison Ball, Jovani Furlan and Peter Walker have been elevated from solo artists to lead dancers, the company said in a press release. The promotions come as the company wraps up winter, delayed because of disruptions due to the spread of the Omicron variant, but then continues uninterrupted.
Veteran City Ballet Principal Ask la Cour retires in the fall; and another, Gonzalo Garcia, will retire on Sunday. Amar Ramasar, who was temporarily fired and later reinstated following the nude photo-sharing scandal, is leaving in the spring. Last year, Unity Phelan and Indiana Woodward has been promoted; 4 female principals recently left the company.
Furlan, who joined the company in 2019 as a solo artist from the Miami City Ballet, said he was told about the promotion on Saturday, but he knew it might be coming because he has recently collaborated with some of the top lead dancers at the company, including Tiler Peck and Sterling Hyltin.
“It gives me peace of mind with my position at the company where I can really focus on my work,” says Furlan.
Furlan, 28, was born in Brazil and began training at the age of 11 at the Bolshoi Theater School there. After competing in an international ballet competition in Mississippi, he received a scholarship to train at the Miami City Ballet School and soon joined the company. He was promoted to principal there in 2017.
Shortly after Furlan joined the City Ballet, New York Times dance critic Gia Kourlas wrote about his performance of “Swan Lake” that he is “noble, lithe and musically sensitive” in his choreography and that he “proves his worth with each new role”.
Shortly after he performed in “Swan Lake,” the pandemic swept through New York City, and because of visa issues, Furlan had to return to Brazil, return 14 months later, and rush to get vaccinated before catching up. start rehearsals (vaccines are far less accessible in their homeland).
“It was a very difficult year,” he said.
Walker, 29, is one of the few City Ballet dancers whose pieces have been choreographed for the company. Raised in Fort Myers, Fla., Walker began learning machine dance at age 8 and later switched to ballet. He started as a full-time student at the School of American Ballet, City Ballet’s academy, in 2007 and joined the company in 2012.
Walker’s first work for the City Ballet, “ten of seven,” came out in 2016; he followed it up with another ballet, “Dance odyssey” two years later.
Ball, 28, promoted in the City Ballet at the same pace as Walker. Born in Houston, he began taking dance lessons at age 4 in South Carolina, moving to New York City in 2007. Ball joined the company as a member of the ballet troupe in 2012 before he was elevated to soloist in 2017. The Times’s Alastair Macaulay Bell described it as “elegant and striking” in “Symphony in C.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-promotes-three-men-to-principal-dancers.html New York City Ballet introduces three men to lead dancers