Alexander Campbell, Francesca Hayward, Ryoichi Hirano and Akane Takada have been promoted to Principal, the Company's highest rank.
Kevin O'Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said,
I am delighted to promote these four talented members of the Company to the rank of Principal following their wonderful work with The Royal Ballet this Season. Alexander, Francesca, Ryoichi and Akane each possess singular theatrical gifts which have enriched the artistry of the work we present and I very much look forward to seeing them flourish further at this exciting stage in their careers.
Australian Alexander Campbell joined the Company as a Soloist in 2011 from Birmingham Royal Ballet having previously trained at The Royal Ballet School. His first major role as a Principal will be Colas in La Fille mal gardée on Saturday 15 October.
Francesca Hayward joined the Company in 2011 from The Royal Ballet School. Her first major role as a Principal will be Lise in La Fille mal gardée on Thursday 29 September.
Japanese dancer Ryoichi Hirano joined the Company in 2002 and his first major role as a Principal will be Rasputin in Anastasia on Saturday 29 October.
The second Japanese dancer to be promoted is Akane Takada who first danced with the Company on a Prix de Lausanne scholarship in 2008 and joined permanently the following season. Her first major role as a Principal will be Mathilde Kschessinska in Anastasia on Saturday 29 October.
Claire Calvert, Yasmine Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell have been promoted to First Soloist. Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri are promoted to Soloist. Tierney Heap was promoted to First Artist mid-season and is also now promoted to Soloist.
Reece Clarke, David Donnelly, Benjamin Ella, Isabella Gasparini, Anna Rose O'Sullivan and Demelza Parish are promoted to First Artist.
Joining the Company at the start of the Season will be Joseph Sissens from The Royal Ballet School. All the 2015/16 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers – Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Harry Churches, Leo Dixon, Isabel Lubach and Julia Roscoe – will join the Company on permanent contracts as Artists. All trained at The Royal Ballet School.
Vincenzo Di Primo joins the Company as Prix de Lausanne dancer for the 2016/17 Season.
The Royal Ballet welcomes seven dancers to the Company for the 2016/17 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme. The programme provides recently graduated dancers a year's contract to work and perform alongside the corps de ballet of The Royal Ballet and receive mentoring and coaching. Next Season's Aud Jebsen Young Dancers are Joseph Aumeer, Estelle Bovay, Maria Luisa Castillo Yoshida, Arianna Maldini, Giacomo Rovero, Francisco Serrano and Charlotte Tonkinson, all from The Royal Ballet School.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.