MANILA, Philippines – The American Ballet Theatre announced the promotion of Filipino-American ballet dancer Stella Abrera to the rank of principal dancer.
According to the press release from the official website, Stella’s position will take effect on August 1.
Misty Copeland was also promoted to principal dancer. Maria Kochetkova of the San Francisco Ballet and Alban Lendorf of the Royal Danish Ballet were also named principal dancers. Skylar Brandy, Thomas Forster, Arron Scott and Cassandra Trenary were promoted to soloists, while Jeffrey Cirio, a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet also joined ABT as a soloist.
About to perform my favorite role, with a wonderful partner, in a spectacular venue, with a beautiful company of dancers…somebody pinch me now! Thank you to everyone who has helped me prepare for this. @ausballet #giselle #tyking-wall #sydneyoperahouse @nycdanceproject #knockknockknockinongisellesdoor
Stella, who comes from South Pasadena, California started her training at the Le Studio, Pasadena under Philip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young. She also took classes under Lorna Diamond and Patricia Hoffman at the West Coast Ballet Theatre in San Diego as well as Royal Academy of Dancing method at Halliday Dance Centre in Sydney.
In 1996, Stella joined the American Ballet Theatre where she has been performing in its various productions such as Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker and more.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Stella said she was overwhelmed by the news.
“I’m overjoyed. There’s no other word for it,” Stella said. “I’m still kind of shocked about it all.”
Born in the Philippines, Stella moved to the US when she was 4 years old. According to her Instagram information, she is also a founder of Steps Forward Philippines, a charity fund dedicated to the victims of typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), which killed thousands when it hit the Philippines in 2013.
Stella is currently based in New York, where she is set to perform in Cinderella, to be held at the Metropolitan Opera. – Rappler.com