By Xinming Li, bostonese.com
June 6, 2016, Boston, — A group friends held a celebration dinner at Purple Bamboo restaurant in Billerica with renowned ballet dancer Junxiong Zhao recently. Zhao thanked his friends and fans for treating him for a delicious dinner, including a few Sichuan dishes from his hometown.
Beatrice Lee (3rd from left), Junxiong Zhao(middle) and friends (photos by Xinming Li).
Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director of Boston Ballet, has announced six promotions from within the company for the 2016–2017 season recently. Soloists Anaïs Chalendard and Seo Hye Han have been promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer, Second Soloist Junxiong Zhao to Soloist, and Corina Gill to Second Soloist. Samivel Evans and Desean Taber, two dancers from Boston Ballet II—Boston Ballet’s second company—will join the Company as Corps de Ballet dancers. All promotions are effective August 15, 2016. The full 2016–2017 roster of dancers will be announced at a later date.
Beatrice Lee, columnist of bostonese.com, has covered performances of Boston Ballet over past 25 years for various media outlets. She was very pleased to see the rising star in Junxiong Zhao over the past two seasons at Boston Ballet. “He will always be my prince,” said Ms. Lee speaking of Zhao’s brilliant performances in Swan Lake this past season.
Junxiong Zhao of Chongqing, China, began his training at age 11 with Shanghai East Ballet School. In 2010, he began training with Kee Juan Han and Carlos Vacarcel at the Washington Ballet School, where he later joined the Washington Ballet’s studio company. In 2012, Zhao joined Ballet Arizona. He has received many national and international accolades including Senior Silver Medal at World Ballet Competition 2012; Senior Gold Medal at the 2012 Cape Town International Ballet Competition in classical and contemporary categories; Senior Gold Medal in the Classical Category at the 2011 Youth American Grand Prix Semifinals, Torrington, Connecticut; Junior Bronze Medal at the 2009 Helsinki International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland; and Top 12 at the 2009 Youth American Grand Prix Finals, New York, among others.
In 2014, Zhao joined Boston Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet and was promoted that same year to Second Soloist. For the 2016–2017 season, he will be a Soloist with the Company.
For full biographies of all the dancers who got promoted, please visit www.bostonballet.org.
Since 1963, Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world class dance education and community initiative programs, have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 52-year history of promoting excellence and access to dance.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Max Hodges, the Company maintains a diverse repertoire, ranging from full-length ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.
Programming for Boston Ballet’s 2015–2016 season includes Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler: A Ballet by John Neumeier, making Boston Ballet the first North American Company to perform the work; captivating classical works such as John Cranko’s Onegin and Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake; masterpieces by world-renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine and 20th century masters Leonid Yakobson and Léonide Massine; and two highly anticipated world premieres by Karole Armitage and Yury Yanowsky.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access. Led by Director Margaret Tracey, the School reaches more than 5,000 students (toddler to adult) each year through Boston Ballet School classes, the Summer Dance Workshop, Pre-professional Summer Dance Program and the Pre-Professional Training held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead.
Boston Ballet’s nationally-acclaimed education programs include Citydance, Adaptive Dance, and ECI On Location. The programs are offered in partnership with the Boston Public Schools and in communities throughout the city and region.
For more information, please visit www.bostonballet.org.