Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen has announced the company’s roster for the 2019–20 season, which will include a new soloist, Tigran Mkrtchyan, from Ballett Zürich and a new second soloist, Chisako Oga, from Cincinnati Ballet. In all there will be 56 dancers in the main company and 13 in the apprentice troupe, Boston Ballet II (BB2).
Eleven countries are represented in this season’s Boston Ballet: Armenia, Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Georgia, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the US. The company continues to have a strong home base: 36 percent of the dancers are alumni of BB2, and 25 percent are Boston Ballet School alumni.
The new soloist, Mkrtchyan, is from Armenia; he was a finalist at the 2009 Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, after which, in 2011, he joined Ballett Zürich. The new second soloist, Oga, trained at San Francisco Ballet School before joining Cincinnati Ballet, where she was a principal.
Joining Boston Ballet as “artists of the company” (the company’s name for its corps members) are Tyson Ali Clark, Georgia Dalton, Madysen Felber, Louise Hautefeuille, Ryan Kwasniewski, Sangmin Lee, Soo-bin Lee, Mallory Mehaffey, Lily Price, My’Kal Stromile, Fuze Sun, Jorge Villarini, Paulina Waski, and Joy Womack. Soo-bin Lee actually joined Boston Ballet midway through the 2018–19 season. Clark (from Somerville), Dalton, Kwasniewski, and Stromile will also be familiar to audiences, since they’ve all graduated to the main company from BB2. And Hautefeuille is joining straight from Boston Ballet School.
Of the rest, Felber comes from Sarasota Ballet and Mehaffey from the National Ballet of Canada. Price has attended Boston Ballet School and the School of American Ballet and has been an apprentice with New York City Ballet. Sun has danced with Tianjin Ballet, Villarini with Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Waski with American Ballet Theatre. Womack, one of the first American women to join the Bolshoi Ballet, was most recently a principal with Universal Ballet in Seoul. Sangmin Lee won a gold medal at the 2018 Youth America Grand Prix in New York.
Eleven of the 13 dancers on this year’s BB2 roster will be new. Joining BB2 from Boston Ballet School are Grace Mullins and Weston native Mia Steedle. Steedle was the opening-night Clara in the company’s “Nutcracker” last year; before that she had starred in act three of “Raymonda” as part of the company’s 2018 “Next Generation” evening. Rounding out the list of new arrivals are George Chadick, Austin Dabney, Juliette Jones, Suzanna Lathrum, Soana Madsen, Boston native Nikolia Mamalakis, Molly Novak, Jethro Paine, and Paul Zusi.