Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced the promotions for the 2020/21 season: Spencer Hack and Siphesihle November to First Soloist and Hannah Galway to Second Soloist.
Spencer Hack will be promoted to First Soloist. This season, Mr. Hack performed in the world premiere of the Dora Mavor Moore Award-nominated Angels’ Atlas by Crystal Pite and created the role of Eurydice in the world premiere of Orpheus Alive by Robert Binet. A versatile dancer who approaches the classical and contemporary repertoire with equal accomplishment, Mr. Hack has excelled in such roles as Bottom in The Dream, Allan Gray in A Streetcar Named Desire and Uncle Nikolai in The Nutcracker. Born in Toledo, Ohio, Mr. Hack trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and joined The National Ballet of Canada as an RBC Apprentice in 2014.
Siphesihle November will be promoted to First Soloist. This season, Mr. November performed a featured role in Crystal Pite’s Angels’ Atlas and made his debut as Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet. With his “buoyant jump and clean lines” (Dance Magazine) and charisma, Mr. November has been turning heads since he joined the company’s Corps de Ballet in 2017. Born in Zolani, South Africa, Mr. November was featured in a documentary, Beyond Moving, which follows his journey from Zolani to Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto.
Ms. Kain announced that Alexander Skinner is the 2019/20 recipient of the David Tory Award. The award is named after the late David Tory, former Vice-Chairman of The National Ballet of Canada’s Board of Directors, who passed away in 2006. Mr. Skinner is recognized for his consummate professionalism, dedication to the company and exhibiting the many qualities that inspired the creation of the award. Mr. Skinner will receive $3,500.
Hannah Galway and Isaac Wright have been awarded the Patron Award of Merit by the Patrons’ Council Committee of The National Ballet of Canada. The award is given to one female and one male Corps de Ballet member at the end of each season for their progress. Ms. Galway and Mr. Wright will each receive $1,000 and an additional donation of $1,000 in total will be made in their names to the Dancer Fund of The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation. Their names will be inscribed on an award generously donated by Myles Mindham that is on display at The Walter Carsen Centre.
As previously announced, Principal Dancer Greta Hodgkinson retires from the National Ballet stage after an international career that has spanned 30 years. Her final performance with the company was in March, dancing the role of Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand, for which she earned a Dora Award nomination. In 2020/21, Ms. Hodgkinson will assume the position of Artist-in-Residence, teaching and coaching the National Ballet’s next generation of dancers.
Principal Character Artist Lorna Geddes retires after a remarkable 60-year career with the National Ballet. She joined the company as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1959 under then Artistic Director and company founder Celia Franca and has worked under every National Ballet Artistic Director since.
Principal Character Artist Hazaros Surmeyan retires from the National Ballet after 54 years. Mr. Surmeyan danced with the Skopje Opera Ballet, Belgrade Opera Ballet, Mannheim Opera Ballet and Cologne Opera Ballet before he joined the company as a Principal Dancer in 1966, performing many of the lead male classical roles with the company. He became a Principal Character Artist in 1986.
After 20 years with the National Ballet, Second Soloist Tiffany Mosher retires from the stage. Ms. Mosher joined the company in 1999 as an RBC Apprentice and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2013. During her tenure with the company, she excelled in both the classical and contemporary repertoire with her charming stage presence and comedic flair in such roles as the Stepsister in Cinderella, Spanish Princess in Swan Lake and Anita in West Side Story Suite. Ms. Mosher will be moving back to her home province of Nova Scotia with her family and will be attending Dalhousie University in the fall with the intention to study architecture the following year.