American Ballet Theatre promotions

American Ballet Theatre announces five promotions, including Isabella Boylston as principal dancer

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Isabella Boylston

Isabella Boylston Photograph: Gene Schiavone

Isabella Boylston, who made an astonishing debut as Giselle last month—such ballon in her spectacular jumps!—was promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Despite the company’s name, it’s a hard-won title for an actual American. Boylston, who joined the corps de ballet in 2007, is an enthralling mixture of steel and delicacy; her confidence radiates from her beautifully formed feet to the tips of her fingers, but she completes the whole picture of a ballerina, as the fine details of her Giselle are made ever-apparent. Plus, she put Led Zeppelin on her Time Out New York dressing-room playlist. Heed her advice: “Going to California” really helps in moments of stress. Here she is:


In addition, four others—Joseph Gorak, Christine Shevchenko, Devon Teuscher and Roman Zhurbin—were promoted to soloist. The pristine Gorak, who is set to make his debut as Franz in Coppélia on Saturday afternoon, possesses stellar technique—he won, after all, the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2011. His feet kill me. Check them out here.

And watch his curtain call for Cinderella—with Teuscher as the Fairy Godmother:

Zhurbin, who joined ABT in 2005, is a remarkable character dancer; this season, he made his debut as an ugly stepsister in Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. As part of Works & Process at the Guggenheim presentation, he shows what goes into becoming Lord Capulet. (Scroll to 4:40 to see him as Gavrilyich in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Bright Stream.):

Ballet performances are unpredictable, fickle events—you never know what you’re going to see—but when Shevchenko filled in for an injured Gillian Murphy in Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1 in 2013, it was more than a pleasant surprise. Born in the Ukraine, Shevchenko can move. She’s been a member of ABT since 2008. Here’s a clip:

And finally, Teuscher, who joined ABT in 2008, shows how glorious port de bras can be. A full-bodied dancer armed with a natural elegance, Teuscher powerfully reprised the principal role of Myrta in Giselle this season. She has dozens more parts to conquer. As for her promotion? It’s about time.




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