Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen announces seven dancer promotions for the 2020–2021 season. Soloist Tigran Mkrtchyan has been promoted to the rank of principal dancer. Second Soloist Chisako Oga has been promoted to the rank of soloist. Artists Soo-bin Lee, Sun Woo Lee, and Haley Schwan have been promoted to second soloists. Boston Ballet II dancers Molly Novak and Nations Wilkes-Davis have been promoted to artists of the Company.
“As Artistic Director, it is truly rewarding to see our talented dancers develop into accomplished, versatile, and exceptional artists,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “I am looking forward to their continued growth as they take on the diversity of repertoire in our upcoming season. Audiences can also look forward to plenty of exciting performance opportunities to enjoy and connect with these wonderful dancers.”
Tigran Mkrtchyan of Yerevan, Armenia trained at the Armenian Ballet School for seven years before receiving a scholarship to study at the Zürich Dance Academy. He was a finalist at the Prix de Lausanne in 2009. Mkrtchyan joined Ballet Zürich in 2009. He joined Boston Ballet as a soloist in 2019 and will return next season as a principal dancer.
Chisako Oga of Carlsbad, California trained at San Francisco Ballet School prior to being promoted to trainee and then apprentice. In 2016, Oga joined Cincinnati Ballet, where she quickly rose to the position of principal dancer. She was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2019. Oga joined Boston Ballet as a second soloist in 2019 and will return next season as a soloist.
Soo-bin Lee of Seoul, South Korea began her training at age 11 at the Korea National Ballet Academy in 2010. She continued at the Sunhwa Arts School and the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts between 2011 and 2014. Lee graduated from the Korea National University of Arts. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including first place in the Vaganova-Prix International Competition in 2016 and Seoul International Dance Competition in 2012. Lee joined Boston Ballet in 2019 as an artist of the Company and will return next season as a second soloist.
Sun Woo Lee of Seoul, South Korea trained at Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts, Yewon School, Seoul Arts High School, and Korea National University of Arts. In 2016, Lee won third place at the Varna International Ballet Competition. At the invitation of competition judge Eldar Aliev, Lee joined Russia’s Primorsky Ballet Theatre as a guest principal dancer, and performed as Conrad in Le Corsaire at the Vladivostok Mariinsky Theatre. Lee joined Boston Ballet in 2018 as an artist of the Company and will return next season as a second soloist.
Haley Schwan of Dearborn, Michigan began her dance training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and later at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2010, she joined Staatsballett Berlin as a member of the corps de ballet. Schwan moved to New York City in 2015 to explore her art form from a new perspective as a freelance dancer and choreographer. She joined Boston Ballet as an artist of the Company in 2017 and participated in Boston Ballet’s BB@home: ChoreograpHER in 2018. She will return next season as a second soloist.
Molly Novak of Santa Monica, California trained at Westside School of Ballet. She attended summer intensives at the School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and Boston Ballet School (BBS). In 2017, Novak joined the trainee program at BBS. She was named the BBS Pamela Jones Scholar of 2018–2019. Novak joined Boston Ballet II in 2019 and will return next season as an artist of the Company.
Nations Wilkes-Davis of Columbia, South Carolina studied with Radenko Pavlovich, artistic director of Columbia Classical Ballet, for several years. He also trained at Kelly/Creek Dance Studio and Pavlovich Ballet School/Columbia Classical Ballet. In 2017, Wilkes-Davis joined Boston Ballet School’s Pre-Professional program and served as an exchange guest apprentice with the Dresden Semperoper Ballett. He joined Boston Ballet II in 2018 and will return next season as an artist of the Company.