June 22, 2011

San Francisco Ballet: Promotions and New Company Members

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s  
Romeo & Juliet ©Erik Tomasson

San Francisco Ballet has announced four company promotions, two new company members, and six new apprentices for the 2012 Repertory Season.
Soloist Vito Mazzeo has been promoted to principal dancer effective July 1, 2011. In addition,Patricia Keleher, Raymond Tilton, and Caroline Diane Wilson, apprentices during the 2011 Repertory Season, will join the ranks of the corps de ballet effective July 1, along with former SFB School Trainees Francisco Mungamba and Wan Ting Zhao. A complete and updated announcement and company roster will be distributed in July.
Principal Dancer — Vito Mazzeo
SFB soloist Vito Mazzeo has been promoted to principal dancer effective July 1, 2011. Mazzeo performed the role of Albrecht in Giselle. His repertory with the company also includes Symphony in C (Balanchine), Trio (Tomasson), Artifact Suite (Forsythe), Winter Dreams (MacMillan),Chroma (McGregor), and Number Nine (Wheeldon).
Born in Italy, Mazzeo began his training at La Scala Ballet School in Milan. In 2005, he joined Britain’s Royal Ballet, where he danced for several years, and in 2008, he joined the Rome Opera Ballet. In 2010, Mazzeo received the Premio Positano Leonide Massine Award for Best Italian Dancer as well as the Danza & Danza Award for Best Dancer of the Year.

Corps de Ballet
Apprentices Patricia Keleher, Raymond Tilton, and Caroline Diane Wilson will join the SFB corps de ballet effective July 1, 2011.
Patricia Keleher attended SFB School Summer Session in 2007, after which she attended the school full time from 2007–10. She previously trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C.
Raymond Tilton began his training at San Elijo Dance Academy and attended the SFB School Summer Session in 2004 and 2008. He became a full-time student with the SFB School in 2008, becoming a Trainee in 2009.
Caroline Diane Wilson has received a number of honors, including being named a national finalist and scholar at the Youth America Grand Prix. She trained on a full scholarship at the John Cranko Ballet School and at other institutions, including the National Ballet School of Canada, also on scholarship. In 2007, she attended the SFB School Summer Session.

New Company Members

Francisco Mungamba is a graduate of Spain’s Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danze, and the SFB School Trainee Program. In 2010, he was a Prix de Lausanne Prize Winner in Switzerland.

A graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy in China and the Rock School for Dance in Philadelphia,WanTing Zhao, most recently a Trainee with the SFB School, will also join the company as a member of the corps de ballet. She was also a silver medal winner in the 2010 Youth America Grand Prix.

New Apprentices
SFB Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson has named six new apprentices for the 2012 season: Sean Bennett, Megan Amanda Ehrlich, Ellen Rose Hummel, Elizabeth Powell, Henry Sidford, and Shion Yuasa. As apprentices, these dancers will take company class and perform corps de ballet roles in the company’s diverse repertory. Notably, five of the newly appointed apprentices were members of the SFB School Trainee Program.

Subscriptions are currently on sale for the 2012 Repertory Season, January 27 through May 5, at the War Memorial Opera House. For information, call the Ticket Services Office at 415.865.2000, or visit www.sfballet.org.

[Originally published at California Literary Review, June 26, 2011.]

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