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Let us present our new dancers

18 new dancers have started at the Finnish National Ballet this autumn, with 11 in the dance company proper and 7 in the FNB Youth Company.

Jun, Shunsuke ja Adam
Jun, Shunsuke and Adam

Chinese dancer Jun Xia was appointed as the principal soloist of the Finnish National Ballet. Jun, who has studied in Shanghai and at the American Ballet Theatre dancer training in New York, has previously worked as part of the ABT Studio Company and as a soloist at Hong Kong Ballet. At the Finnish National Ballet, Jun’s debut roles include The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

Shunsuke Arimizu has studied at the Minori Ballet Studio in Japan. Prior to the Finnish National Ballet, he has worked in two Japanese dance groups and as a coryphée at Hong Kong Ballet. Arimizu’s first roles at the Finnish National Ballet include a Gardener in Alice in Wonderland.

Adam Ashcroft started his ballet education at the Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, England. He graduated as a dancer from the Royal Ballet School in London. Adam has worked at the Estonian National Ballet and the Northern Ballet in Leeds. In the Finnish National Ballet’sAlice in Wonderland, Ashcroft is seen in the roles of a Red Bishop chess piece and a Playing Card Soldier.

 

Thomas Carolina ja Nao
Thomas, Carolina and Nao

Thomas Brun first studied ballet at the Conservatoire de Lyon and continued his education at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris for Music and Dance and the American Ballet Theatre dancer training in New York. Before joining the Finnish National Ballet, Brun danced at the ABT Studio Company. Brun’s first role at the FNB is a Playing Card Soldier in Alice in Wonderland.

Carolina Cortesi has studied ballet at the Ateneo Danza school at Forlì in Italy and the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. Before joining the Finnish National Ballet, she held a soloist tenure at the Czech DJKT Pilsen Ballet.

Nao Harada, originally from Japan, received her ballet education at the Ballet Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich, the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart and the European School of Ballet in Amsterdam. Harada’s first appearance at the Finnish National Ballet is as a White Castle chess piece in Alice in Wonderland.

 

Miao Miao, Francesca ja Meghan
Miao Miao, Francesca and Meghan

Miao-miao Liu, educated at the Peking Ballet Academy, has previously worked in Hong Kong Ballet, first as a coryphée and more recently as a soloist. She will first be seen at the Finnish National Ballet as the enchanting Butterfly in Alice in Wonderland.

Francesca Loi studied to be a dancer at Rome Opera Ballet School and La Scala Theatre Ballet School. Earlier in her career she has danced at La Scala Theatre Ballet and the Bordeaux Opera Ballet. Loi’s debut role at the Finnish National Ballet is a Red Castle chess piece in Alice in Wonderland.

Meghan Lynch has studied ballet at the Academy of Dance Arts in Illinois in the United States. In her career to date, she has held a trainee position at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and danced at the ABT Studio Company in New York, Texas Ballet Theater in Fort Worth, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

 

Benjamin ja Martina
Benjamin and Martina

Benjamin Thomas completed his ballet education at Royal Ballet School in London. Before joining the Finnish National Ballet, he honed his skills as a trainee at Stuttgart Ballet and as a dancer in the Estonian National Ballet. Thomas’s debut role at the FNB is a Playing Card Soldier in Alice in Wonderland.

Martina Verbeni has studied at La Scala Theatre Ballet School and the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart. After debuting as a dancer at the Dutch National Ballet, she worked at the Norwegian National Ballet and the Royal Swedish Ballet before coming to Finland.

Seven new dancers in the Finnish National Ballet Youth Company

Taru ja Ellen
Taru and Ellen

Taru Hiitola and Ellen Mäkelä are debuting in the FNB Youth Company. The two graduated last spring from the FNB Ballet School. Hiitola began her ballet studies at the Dance Academy of Lappeenranta, and Mäkelä was educated at the Dance Academy of Espoo and Helsinki Ballet Academy. Hiitola has earlier performed the role of little Clara in the FNB’s Nutcracker, and now she dances as a White Pawn in Alice in Wonderland. Mäkelä is seen in the same ballet in the role of The Pianist.

 

Shae ja Mischa
Shae anf Mischa

Shae Berney started his ballet education at Chilton Dance Centre in Wellington, New Zealand, and continued on to the training programme of the Dutch National Ballet. Berney will perform the roles of a White Knight chess piece and a Playing Card Soldier in Alice in Wonderland. Mischa Goodman, meanwhile, has attended the Royal Ballet School in London and the Dutch National Ballet Academy. His debut roles will be Pat the Monkey and a Playing Card Soldier in Alice in Wonderland.

 

Satoru, Yuka ja Edoardo
Satoru, Yuka and Edoardo

Satoru Iwasaki and Yuka Masumoto both initiated their ballet studies in Japan. Iwasaki went on to study at the Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago, and Masumoto to the Dutch National Ballet Academy and the Junior Company of the Dutch National Ballet. Masumoto will debut as a White Pawn in Alice in Wonderland.

Edoardo Pavoni has studied at La Scala Theatre Ballet School in Milan and the English National Ballet School. At the Finnish National Ballet, his first roles will be a White Bishop and a Playing Card Soldier in Alice in Wonderland.

Text by JUSSI ILTANEN
Photos by MIRKA KLEEMOLA