PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal Announces Three Promotions during First Look to the Future Gala.
Seattle, WA – “It gives me tremendous pleasure to be able to promote three dancers in our company this evening.” As part of the festivities at First Look to the Future, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s first-ever all-digital gala, Artistic Director Peter Boal announced corps de ballet dancer Cecilia Iliesiu has been promoted to the rank of Soloist, and Angelica Generosa and Dylan Wald have been promoted to Principals.
Each promotion announcement was accompanied by performance excerpts of Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels (Ms. Iliesiu), Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake (Ms. Generosa), and George Balanchine’s Apollo (Mr. Wald). These performances and more can be viewed by signing up to “virtually attend” the First Look gala at PNB.org/first-look. (The digital gala will be viewable online for five days, through November 24.)
“Cecilia joined PNB in 2015 after dancing for several years with Carolina Ballet, where she also achieved the rank of Soloist” said Mr. Boal. “CC has been a treasured presence at PNB both onstage and off. Her range is impressive; capable of dynamic power and quiet lyricism. Most of you are familiar with the onstage triumphs including her brilliant technical display as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as the glittering Dewdrop in The Nutcracker, a heart-wrenching poignancy in Love and Loss by Donald Byrd, and a powerful debut in The Moor’s Pavane by José Limón. Offstage, CC, who recently graduated with a degree in Communications and Media Studies, helps in a myriad of ways by coaching and encouraging peers and mentoring students in our School. Tonight we see CC in Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels. Our sincerest congratulations to CC on her well-deserved second promotion to Soloist.”
Following the excerpt of Ms. Iliesiu in Red Angels, Mr. Boal then addressed Ms. Generosa. “Angelica was noticed from the start. She can light up a room: her presence is both genuine and luminous. Even before she stepped into our studios as a Professional Division student, she’d taken to the stage in New York as a teenager in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and The New York Times gave notice that a major artist and a major force had arrived. Angelica has performed a tremendous range of repertoire. We think of her playfulness and attack in Tarantella and her allure in Rubies. We recall with fondness the humor she adds to Jerome Robbins’ The Concert. Many of you will remember years ago she took on and triumphed in Molissa Fenley’s 34-minute solo, State of Darkness. The technique is within her – part of her dancing and her character. Recently Angelica added full-lengths to her repertoire, enjoying a triumph opposite Seth Orza in her debut as Aurora in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty. Tonight we’ll watch her debut as Odile, a role that she will dance as soon as Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake comes back to our stage. Angelica, our sincerest congratulations on your promotion to Principal.”
Finally, Mr. Boal turned the spotlight on Mr. Wald: “Dylan came to us from Minneapolis to join our School as a Professional Division student. When he was first in the Company, we were staging a piece for Carla Körbes’ retirement performance. The piece was The Calling by Jessica Lang. Generally it is reserved for seasoned artists, but I told Jessica we had a young dancer, still an apprentice in his first year, who I thought would be right for the role. It was a memorable debut, giving notice of the arrival of a true artist and the launch of a stellar career. Dylan is so much more than talent. His work ethic and support for those around him and for his Company is evident in everything he does. It’s been a pleasure to watch this young man ascend to the challenges of Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/The Dreamer, Theme and Variations, David Dawson’s Empire Noir, and Siegfried in Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake. He’s a natural in the works of Alejandro Cerrudo who’s often paired Dylan to great effect with Elizabeth Murphy in little mortal jump, Silent Ghost and One Thousand Pieces. And tonight we see Dylan take on another role he seems born to dance – the title role of Apollo. He will perform alongside frequent partner Lesley Rausch. Dylan, it has been an absolute joy to watch your career in these early stages and to know that there’s so many rewards ahead for all of us. Congratulations on your promotion to Principal.”
Prior to the gala, Mr. Boal also hired Kuu Sakuragi to join the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. We will also be welcoming three new apprentices to the Company, from the PNB School Professional Division: Malena Ani, Connor Horton, and Noah Martzall.
PNB congratulates all of our newly promoted and hired dancers!
Cecilia Iliesiu is from New York, New York. She studied at the School of American Ballet and also with Francois Perron and Deborah Wingert at Studio Maestro. She attended summer courses at Boston Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Chautauqua Institute, San Francisco Ballet School, and William Forsythe’s ART of workshop under Kathryn Bennetts. Ms. Iliesiu joined Carolina Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2009 and was promoted to soloist in 2014. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015.
Ms. Iliesiu has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Hippolyta), George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® and Rubies; David Dawson’s Empire Noir; Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels; William Forsythe’s New Suite; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane; Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements and Appassionata; Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert; Price Suddarth’s Signature; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella and Swan Lake; Twyla Tharp’s Afternoon Ball and Waiting at the Station; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic. She originated leading roles in Donald Byrd’s Love and Loss and Untitled, Jessica Lang’s Her Door to the Sky, and Eva Stone’s F O I L. Ms. Iliesiu holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University. This degree was funded in part by Second Stage, PNB’s career transition program for dancers.
Angelica Generosa is from South River, New Jersey. She studied on scholarship at the School of American Ballet and Princeton Ballet, and she attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, Chautauqua Summer Program, and New Jersey Ballet. She also studied with Gina Forcella in Sayreville, New Jersey. Ms. Generosa joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2011. She was promoted to corps de ballet in 2012 and soloist in 2016.
Ms. Generosa has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Coppélia, Emeralds, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Rubies, La Source, Symphony in C, Tarantella, and Theme and
Variations; Peter Boal’s Giselle; Alejandro Cerrudo’s little mortal jump, Memory Glow, One Thousand Pieces, and Silent Ghost; Kyle Davis’ A Dark and Lonely Space; David Dawson’s Empire Noir and A Million Kisses to my Skin; Nacho Duato’s Rassemblement; Molissa Fenley’s solo State of Darkness; William Forsythe’s New Suite and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Kiyon Gaines’ Sum Stravinsky; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land; Jessica Lang’s Her Door to the Sky and Ghost Variations; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon; Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements; Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Before After; Justin Peck’s Debonair and Year of the Rabbit; Miles Pertl’s Wash of Gray; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH, Don Quixote, and Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, Dances at a Gathering, and West Side Story Suite; Eva Stone’s F O I L; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella, Nutcracker and Swan Lake; Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; and Twyla Tharp’s Afternoon Ball and Brief Fling. She originated leading roles in Andrew Bartee’s arms that work, Donald Byrd’s Love and Loss, Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus, Price Suddarth’s Signature, and Tharp’s Waiting at the Station. Ms. Generosa was the recipient of the Youth American Grand Prix Regional Hope Award in 2005, and she was a YAGP New York finalist in 2007. She also was the recipient of the School of American Ballet Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Ms. Generosa has performed as a guest artist with the Vail International Dance Festival, American Academy of Ballet, and Ballet Hawaii. She has performed at the Chautauqua Dance Alumni Gala and Gala de ballet de Buenos Aires.
Dylan Wald is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied at Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He attended summer courses at PNB School, the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Mr. Wald joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2014 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2015 and soloist in 2019.
Mr. Wald has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Emeralds, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Square Dance, and Theme and Variations; Alejandro Cerrudo’s little mortal jump, One Thousand Pieces, and Silent Ghost; Kyle Davis’ A Dark and Lonely Space; David Dawson’s Empire Noir; Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels; Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, William Forsythe’s New Suite, One Flat Thing, reproduced, and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land; Jessica Lang’s The Calling; Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements; Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings; Miles Pertl’s Wash of Gray; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Jerome Robbins’ Dances at Gathering, In the Night, and Opus 19/The Dreamer; Eva Stone’s F O I L; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella, and Swan Lake; Price Suddarth’s Signature; Twyla Tharp’s Afternoon Ball; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic. He originated leading roles in Donald Byrd’s Love and Loss, Lang’s Her Door to the Sky and Ghost Variations; Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus, Noelani Pantastico’s Picnic, Penny Saunders’ Wonderland, and Robyn Mineko Williams The Trees The Trees. In 2017, Mr. Wald participated in the Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive. Locally, he has also performed with Seattle Dance Collective.
Kuu Sakuragi is from Bellevue, Washington. He studied on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, where he began as a DanceChance student at the Francia Russell Center. He attended summer courses at Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet, the School of American Ballet, and PNB School. He was a recipient of the Flemming Halby Exchange with the Royal Danish Ballet School. In 2017, Mr. Sakuragi joined Alberta Ballet as an apprentice and was promoted to company dancer in 2018. At Alberta Ballet, Mr. Sakuragi performed leading roles in Christopher Anderson’s Cinderella, Jean Grand-Maître’s Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and The Drum, Helen Pickett’s Petal, Edmund Stripe’s The Nutcracker, and Wen Wei Wang’s Futureland.
Malena Ani is from Los Angeles California. She studied with Olga Tozyiakova, Natalia Sinitsyna, and Zippora Karz, and at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She attended summer courses at the Chautauqua
Institution, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and PNB School. Ms. Ani is a Youth America Grand Prix and California Dance Classics award winner.
Connor Horton is from Kansas City, Missouri. He studied at Kansas City Ballet School and Kansas School of Classical Ballet, and on scholarship at Miami City Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and he attended summer courses at Kansas School of Classical Ballet, Miami City Ballet School, and PNB School.
Noah Martzall is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He studied at Walnut School of the Arts and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and he attended summer courses at the Chautauqua Institution, Nutmeg Conservatory, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Mr. Martzall has also performed with Amanda Morgan’s Seattle Project.
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2020-2021 digital season is proudly sponsored by Browne Family Vineyards, ArtsFund, Microsoft, and Peter & Peggy Horvitz. Special thanks also to 4Culture, National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and The Wallace Foundation.
Featured photo: PNB Principal Dancer Angelica Generosa. Photo ©Lindsay Thomas.