Over the summer there have been quite a few changes to the roster. Below are some highlights and intros to new dancers.
Principal Mads Blangstrup reached pension age after the 2013-24 season, but fortunately he is now listed as a character dancer. Apparently he is also teaching in the school. I am thrilled that funds have been found to keep on such a wonderful dancer, especially one with such deep roots in the Bournonville tradition.
The company has also bid farewell to soloists Tina Højlund (pension age) and Jody Thomas. Thomas who spend much of her last year with the company on maternity leave has moved back to the United States. Fernando Mora is no longer listed on the company website, but is listed as a teacher with the school.
Corps dancers Chris Rickert and Julien Ringdahl have also departed. Rickert has returned to Australia and other opportunities, while Ringdahl would have reached pension age. Ringdahl had been dealing with injuries in the last few years as well. Louise Midjord is no longer listed, and one hopes she is enjoying more choreographic opportunities. Rebecca Labbe is also no longer listed, and is apparently now focusing on acting: http://www.rebeccalabbe.se
Other dancers who have left include Laure Dougy and Josee Bowman (pension age). It would appear that Dougy is now married and possibly a mother. Bowman has been very active with a charity that uses Pilates to help injured Danish soldiers.
Coralie Grand, who must have been a new hire last season is no longer listed.
Calista Ruat - trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School, but did not place high enough in the concours for a contract
Beila Ungar- American who trained at the Maryland Youth Ballet and PNB School. She was an exchange student to the RDB in the summer of 2013
Katerina Placha - Czech, trained at the Dance Conservatory of Prague and prize winner at several ballet competitions including a gold medal at Brno. Formerly with the Dreseden SemperOper Ballett
Matteo di Loreto - Italian, 22 years old and danced with the Estonian National Ballet
Ariel Merkuri - Albanian, trained at La Scala, 19 years old
Drew Nelson - American, 19, trained at SAB, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, Orlando Ballet, Next Generations Ballet and Royal Ballet School. Joined in February 2014.
Liam Readhead - Canadian, 19, one of the original Billy Elliots in the Broadway production and trained at the National Ballet School in Toronto
Samuel Rees - trained at the Royal Ballet School, started with RDB in February 2014