Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Steven Loch has announced that he will be leaving the company at the end of the 2020-2021 season, following a 10-year career with PNB. He has recently accepted an offer to join Miami City Ballet and will begin dancing with MCB in their 2021-2022 season. Mr. Loch joined PNB as an apprentice in 2011, becoming a corps de ballet dancer in 2012. He was promoted to soloist in 2018.
“As I prepare to fly across the country to join the Miami City Ballet, I reflect on all the amazing experiences I’ve had as a professional ballet dancer, all thanks to PNB,” said Mr. Loch in his announcement. “PNB has been my artistic home my entire career, and I would not be the artist that I am today without it. This company has and will always be a place that I cherish, and all the incredible people here that I’ve had the pleasure to work with will forever hold a special place in my heart. I will miss performing on the breathtaking McCaw Hall stage for everyone in Seattle and am forever grateful for all who have come to watch our shows and given so much love and support to me and my fellow dancers. Thank you, PNB, for making my dream of being a professional ballet dancer come true! I will miss you dearly.”
“Steven filled our stage and studio with his positive presence for the past decade,” added PNB artistic director Peter Boal. “His love of dance, movement and performance have been a joy to behold. I saw Steven ascend to a new height with his portrayal of Prince Siegfried in the excerpt from Swan Lake that PNB presented last fall. On top of his winning enthusiasm, he added a new chivalry and reserve signaling his readiness for more principal roles. Steven moves to an exciting new artistic home with Miami City Ballet and I know he will thrive under the thoughtful direction of Lourdes Lopez and the MCB team. We wish Steven great success and happiness in this new chapter of his exciting career.”
Mr. Boal has also announced that he has hired four new Company members who will be joining PNB at the start of the 2021-22 season: Jonathan Batista and James Kirby Rogers will become soloists, and Ginabel Peterson and Lily Wills join the corps de ballet. (Additional hires and Company promotions will be announced at a later date.)
Congratulations to one and all!
Steven Loch is from Denton, Texas. He studied at Ballet Conservatory in Lewisville, Texas, and on scholarship at Harid Conservatory and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He attended summer courses on scholarship at American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet School (Canada), the School of American Ballet, Harid Conservatory, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. In 2014, Mr. Loch was a finalist at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. He won the Junior Bronze Medal in the New York Youth America Grand Prix competition in 2005 and won the Regional “Youth Grand Prix” Award in 2006. Mr. Loch also was the recipient of the Texie Waterman Scholarship in 2005 and the George Skibine Scholarship in 2009, both awarded by the Dallas Dance Council.
Mr. Loch has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Coppélia (Discord and War), Emeralds, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Cavalier, Herr Drosselmeier, Soldier Doll, Mouse King, Hot Chocolate, Candy Cane, Mother Ginger), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom), Prodigal Son (Friend), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Hoofer), and Symphony in C; Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jump and One Thousand Pieces; David Dawson’s Empire Noir; Nacho Duato’s Rassemblement; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and New Suite; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Wolf); Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land, Petite Mort, Sechs Tänze (Six Dances); Jessica Lang’s Her Door to the Sky; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon (Pleasure Superintendent) and Roméo et Juliette (Tybalt); Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements and Appassionata; Mark Morris’ Kammermusik No. 3; Margaret Mullin’s Lost in Light; Justin Peck’s Debonair; Crystal Pite’s Emergence and Plot Point; Yuri Possokhov’s RAkU (Monk); Alexei Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert and In the Night; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Father, Evil Sprite), Nutcracker (Prince, Herr Drosselmeier), and Swan Lake (Pas de trois, Czardas, Spanish Dance), Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic. He originated leading roles in Cerrudo’s Memory Glow, Eva Stone’s F O I L, and Tharp’s Waiting at the Station.
Mr. Loch has performed as a guest artist at the International Ballet Festival of Miami and the Youth America Grand Prix Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow gala. He has performed the role of Albrecht in Giselle, opposite American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppélia, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, and the lead in Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie with LakeCities Ballet Theatre.
Jonathan Batista, from Brazil, trained at The Royal Ballet School in London, England before graduating from the English National Ballet School and Trinity College London with a degree in dance. Batista performed with English National Ballet, Miami City Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet before joining Oklahoma City Ballet as a Principal Dancer for the 2017/18 season.
He has performed soloist and principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Robert Joffrey, John Neumeier, Harald Lander, Val Caniparoli, Sir Frederick Ashton, Christopher Wheeldon, August Bournonville, and Maurice Bejart. Batista also participated as a Guest Principal Dancer with Cia Ballet de Rio de Janeiro and United Ballet Theatre. For Oklahoma City Ballet, Batista has performed lead and feature roles in Robert Mills’ Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid, and The Means To Fly as well as in Helen Pickett’s Petal, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, Robert Joffrey’s Pas des Déesses, Septime Webre’s ALICE (in wonderland), August Bournonville’s La Sylphide, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Batista also serves as a guest ballet master, private mentor, and choreographer for dance conventions and competitions across the U.S. with his project “Master Classes on Tour.”
Ginabel Peterson was a member of Ballet West II. She began her ballet training at age six at Wissahickon Dance Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She later attended the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC, under Mariana Labanova and Elena Tenchikova, and Miami City Ballet School under Geta Constantinescu, Maria Torija, and Maribel Modrono. While at the Kirov Academy, Peterson performed in Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty and August Bournonville’s La Sylphide. At Miami City Ballet, Peterson performed in George Balanchine’s Western Symphony in addition to works by Maribel Modrono and Gerard Ebitz. She also attended the San Francisco Ballet School’s 2014 summer intensive. She received a BS in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in Law and Public Policy from Indiana University, and performed in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker; Balanchine’s Elegies, Serenade, Walpurgisnacht and Divertimento No. 15; Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, The Concert, Antique Epigraphs and New York Export: Opus Jazz; Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet; Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels; and Sasha Janes’ Saudade. Peterson was featured on the cover of A Ballet Education’s Fall 2020 issue, a “celebration of Black women in ballet.”
James Kirby Rogers is a native of San Francisco, California where he began his training at the age of 9. Mr. Rogers then went on to study at UNCSA before competing in the 2015 Youth America Grand Prix where he was a finalist. From YAGP, he was offered to join Houston Ballet II under the directorship of Claudio Munoz and Sabrina Lenzi where he danced numerous roles including The Father in John Neumeier’s Yondering and the principal role in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante. After completing his training with Houston Ballet II, he joined Kansas City Ballet in 2016. There, Mr. Rogers has danced many leading roles including Armand in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Pas de Trois in The Sleeping Beauty, Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, Scarecrow in Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz, and the 6th pas in Petite Mort.
Lily Wills began her training at 14 at The Portland Ballet with Nancy Davis, and continued at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre under the direction of Christopher Stowell and Damara Bennett. There, she performed with the company in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and in the school’s productions of Balanchine’s Serenade, Who Cares?, and Kent Stowell’s Coppélia. From there, she studied for a year at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre graduate program with Andre Reyes and Cynthia Drayer, where she performed leading roles in Lew Christensen’s Sinfonia. Ms. Wills has attended summer intensives at The Washington Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, and The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. She joined Carolina Ballet as a trainee in 2015, was promoted to corps de ballet in 2016, and soloist in 2019. Ms. Wills performed many featured roles during her time in Raleigh, including Calliope in George Balanchine’s Apollo, Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, Zalman Raffael’s Rhapsody in Blue, the title role in Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s The Ugly Duckling, and principal roles in Robert Weiss’ Adagietto, Stravinsky Pas de Deux, and Four Seasons.
Header Image: Steven Loch and Leah Merchant in William Forsythe’s New Suite, Photo © Angela Sterling.
Article Images: Steven Loch with Emma Love Suddarth and Sarah Pasch in Benjamin Millepied’s Tricolore, Photo © Angela Sterling. Steven Loch and Lindsi Dec in Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust, Photo © Lindsay Thomas. Steven Loch in Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust, Photo © Lindsay Thomas. Steven Loch and Leah Merchant in William Forsythe’s New Suite, Photo © Angela Sterling. Steven Loch and Margaret Mullin in Emeralds, choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust, Photo © Lindsay Thomas. Steven Loch and Lindsi Dec in Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust, Photo © Lindsay Thomas.