Promotions of Sasha Mukhamedov and Michaela DePrince!

Qian Liu’s promotion to principal with Dutch National Ballet in December was followed by the promotion of Sasha Mukhamedov to principal and that of Michaela DePrince to soloist. Director Ted Brandsen announced the promotions at the end of the series of performances of Coppelia, on 1 January 2017. Sasha, Qian and Michaela were all making their debut as Zwaantje, one of the main roles in Coppelia.

Michaela DePrince, born in Sierra Leone and adopted by an American couple, has risen rapidly through the ranks. At The Rock School in Philadelphia, she specialised in classical ballet. Her participation in the Youth American Grand Prix gained her a grant to study at American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, in New York. She graduated in 2012 and joined the dance company of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, as their youngest dancer ever. In 2013, Michaela started her career in the Netherlands as a member of the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, which had just started up. In August 2014, she transferred to Dutch National Ballet, in the rank of élève. One year later, she was promoted to coryphée and in 2016 to grand sujet and then soloist.

Sasha Mukhamedov, born in London, has two famous dancers for parents: the former Bolshoi and Royal Ballet star Irek Mukhamedov and former Bolshoi principal Masha Mukhamedov. In order to gain stage experience, Sasha danced in Dutch National Ballet’s Nutcracker & Mouse King in 2008. The experience suited both sides so well that she stayed on. Since then, she has risen from the rank of aspirant to soloist, and in 2016 she was made a principal. Sasha has won several dance awards, including ‘most promising dancer’ at the ballet competition in Varna in 2008 and a bronze medal at the Youth America Grand Prix 2007.