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Boston Ballet announces dancer promotions for the 2020-2021 season

Tigran Mkrtchyan has been promoted to principal dancer for Boston Ballet's 2020-2021 season
Tigran Mkrtchyan has been promoted to principal dancer for Boston Ballet's 2020-2021 seasonLiza Voll

Even as Boston Ballet copes with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company gave the good news of promotions to seven of its most promising dancers. Company artistic director Mikko Nissinen announced today that Soloist Tigran Mkrtchyan has been promoted to the rank of principal dancer. Second Soloist Chisako Oga has been promoted to the rank of soloist. Artists Soo-bin Lee, Sun Woo Lee, and Haley Schwan have been promoted to Second Soloists. Boston Ballet II dancers Molly Novak and Nations Wilkes-Davis have been promoted to Artists of the Company.

“I am looking forward to their continued growth as they take on the diversity of repertoire in our upcoming season,” Nissinen says.


It is an internationally diverse lineup, with five of the performers joining the company just last year. The Armenian-born Mkrtchyan, a finalist at the 2009 Prix de Lausanne, was formerly with Ballet Zurich. Soo-bin Lee, winner of the Vaganova-Prix International Competition in 2016, and Sun Woo Lee , a guest principal dancer with Russia’s Primorsky Ballet Theatre, were both born and trained in South Korea.

Though Hayley Schwan grew up in Michigan, she trained at Washington’s Kirov Academy of Ballet and the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, before joining Staatsballett Berlin. Following two years as a freelance dancer/choreographer, she joined Boston Ballet in 2017 and has been recognized for her contributions to the company’s BB@home: ChoreograpHER initiative. Chisako Oga trained at San Francisco Ballet School and was named one of Dance Magazine’s 2019 “25 to Watch.” California-born Molly Novak and Nations Wilkes-Davis, from South Carolina, had training from Boston Ballet School, and both were members of Boston Ballet II before joining the company.

Karen Campbell can be reached at karencampbell4@rcn.com.