Seattle, WA – Before the start of this evening’s opening night performance of The Sleeping Beauty, Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal stepped out in front of the curtains to make a special announcement. “It gives me great pleasure to announce five well-deserved promotions.” To hearty rounds of applause, Mr. Boal informed the audience that soloists Lindsi Dec and Laura Tisserand have been promoted to principal dancers, and William Lin-Yee, Margaret Mullin, and Elizabeth Murphy are moving from the corps de ballet to the rank of soloists.

Lindsi Dec – Principal Dancer

Lindsi Dec has been an audience favorite since she entered her first dance competition as a kid,” continued Mr. Boal. “Lindsi’s stage presence is as enveloping as her spirit. Her growth as a dancer and as an artist has been a lesson in how talent, dedication and passion can triumph. Red Angels, Lady Capulet, everything Kiyon Gaines ever choreographed, and tonight, Silver in Act III of The Sleeping Beauty: Lindsi is a creature of the stage and we are all fortunate to be part of her audience. Brava, Lindsi and our warmest congratulations on your promotion to principal dancer.”

Lindsi Dec is from Fairfax, Virginia and trained at Washington School of Ballet, and on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She joined the Company as an apprentice in 2001, was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2002, and soloist in 2009. Ms. Dec has performed as a guest artist with Ballet Hawaii, California Ballet, Corpus Christi Ballet, Dance Arts Theatre, Grand Rapids Ballet, Lafayette Ballet, and Mid-Columbia Ballet.

Laura Tisserand – Principal Dancer

“I also had the pleasure of teaching Laura Tisserand as a student. By the time I arrived in Seattle, Francia Russell had already pegged Laura as a future ballerina. Watching her command the stage with keen focus, pristine technique, and record-breaking legs, has been a true joy. She is elegance personified in Diamonds, fire and steel as the Siren in The Prodigal Son, geometric precisionin The Four Temperaments, and wickedly funny as the demanding diva in Christopher Wheeldon’s Variations Sérieuses. Tonight, Laura will bring her signature warmth and generosity to the stage as the Lilac Fairy. Laura, congratulations on your promotion to principal dancer.”

Laura Tisserand is a native of Hammond, Louisiana, and trained with Phoebe Brantley in Baton Rouge, Joseph Giacobbe and Richard Rholdon in New Orleans, and on scholarship at the School of American Ballet (SAB) and PNB School.  She joined the Company as an apprentice in 2003, was promoted to corps de ballet in 2004, and soloist in 2010. Ms. Tisserand has performed as a guest artist with Lafayette Ballet Theatre.

(l-r) Elizabeth Murphy in George Balanchine’s Agon. Choreography © The George Balanchine Trust; Joshua Grant and William Lin-Yee in Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven; Margaret Mullin in Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land

William Lin-Yee – Soloist

William Lin-Yee was a student of mine 13 years ago on the other side of the country. Even in his student days, he offered clean technique, reliable partnering skills, and a dangerous sense of humor. Of late, perhaps starting with a star turn as Friar Laurence in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, he’s taking his artistry to new heights. Please join me in congratulating Will on his well-deserved promotion to soloist.”

William Lin-Yee is from San Francisco, California, and trained at the Contra Costa Ballet Centre, San Francisco Ballet School, and SAB. In 2004 he became an apprentice with New York City Ballet and was also a Mae L. Wien Award recipient. Mr. Lin-Yee joined PNB as a member of the corps de ballet in 2008.

Margaret Mullin – Soloist

Margaret Mullin attended five summer courses at our School before becoming a Professional Division student. Since joining the Company, she has captured our eye with her signature ability to devour space. She also possesses a refined musicality and a refreshingly genuine stage presence. Unfortunately, due to a short-term injury, Maggie’s not able to perform tonight, but please join me in congratulating her on her promotion to soloist.”

Margaret Mullin is from Tucson, Arizona, and studied on scholarship at Ballet Arts Tucson and at PNB School. Ms. Mullin joined PNB as an apprentice in 2008, and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2009. She has choreographed works for PNB’s mainstage and Next Step choreographers’ showcase. Ms. Mullin is a recipient of the 2011 Princess Grace Award.

Elizabeth Murphy – Soloist

“From her first moments on stage with the Company in 2011, people started asking me who the new girl was. They were talking about Elizabeth Murphy. It’s not just her gravity-defying jumps, held balances and elegant pirouettes, it’s a winsome stage presence and a rare vulnerability. It’s no longer ‘Who’s that girl?’ It’s ‘When’s she going to get promoted to soloist?’ Well the answer is, right now.”

Elizabeth Murphy is from Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  She studied at Academy of Ballet Arts and the Rock School for Dance Education, and on scholarship at PNB School and Chautauqua Summer Program.  She was an apprentice with North Carolina Dance Theater and also danced with Pennsylvania Ballet before joining Ballet West II in 2006 and Ballet West in 2007. Ms. Murphy joined PNB as a member of the corps de ballet in 2011.

PNB congratulates all five of our newly promoted dancers!

Featured photo: Lindsi Dec in George Balanchine’s Rubies, photo © Angela Sterling.