Yesterday, Boston Ballet announced the promotion of five dancers for the 2018–19 season: Soloists Ji Young Chae and Derek Dunn are promoted to principal, Patric Palkens is promoted two positions from artist to soloist, and Artists Chrystyn Fentroy and Drew Nelson are promoted to second soloist.
Three of the five dancers—Mr. Dunn, Mr. Palkens and Ms. Fentroy—receive this honor after only months with Boston Ballet, having joined the Company last fall. All three have performed leading roles on opening nights this season. The captivating Mr. Palkens and arresting Ms. Fentroy impressed in the season premiere, taking lead roles to replace injured dancers in Wayne McGregor’s Obsidian Tear and Jorma Elo’s Fifth Symphony of Jean Sibelius, respectively.
“This promotion is not only thrilling for me but also immensely humbling,” Mr. Palkens told The Boston Dance Journal through email. “To be included in such a group of remarkably talented professionals that have been inspiring every single day is a dream come true. I am excited for many things coming next season and particularly appreciative for the opportunity to perform and share my love of dance with this wonderful community.”
Like Mr. Palkens and Ms. Fentroy, the athletic Mr. Dunn, who joined Boston Ballet from the Houston Ballet, has proven a reliable new hire, skillfully dancing lead roles in each program this season. Most recently, he stole the show as the clear crowd favorite as Mercutio in John Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet. Later this season he will perform the titular role in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son as part of Boston Ballet’s Classic Balanchine program, May 17 through June 9.
Since joining Boston Ballet in 2013, Ms. Chae has proven a capable dancer. Frequently appearing in lead roles, she is tremendously versatile, and consistently strikes a balance of strength with lighthearted delight. Last season she gave a performance to remember as Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, weightless and luminous.
Mr. Nelson, now in his third season with Boston Ballet, has been increasingly featured in the Company’s programs. Most notably, he performed in opening night casts of Jorma Elo’s world premieres of Creatures of Egmont (2016–17) and Fifth Symphony of Jean Sibelius.
See Boston Ballet perform next in The Sleeping Beauty, May 11 through 19. Learn more and purchase tickets >>