9/30/2014 - Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent and Xiomara Reyes, Principal Dancers with American Ballet Theatre, have announced their retirements from the Company at the conclusion of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera House season in New York City. “These three unique ballerinas have each made such distinctive contributions to ABT throughout the years,” Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie stated. “With them, an era of our history resides. Their remarkable careers will be three more reasons to celebrate our 75th Anniversary Season.”
Paloma Herrera will give her farewell on Tuesday, June 9 as Princess Aurora in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty. Julie Kent will dance her final performance with ABT on Saturday evening, June 20 as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Xiomara Reyes will give her farewell on Wednesday evening, May 27 dancing the title role in Giselle.
Paloma Herrera was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and began her ballet studies with Olga Ferri at the age of seven. As a young dancer, she was a first prize winner at several major competitions in South America, and, at the age of 11, studied at the Minsk Ballet School in Russia before returning to Buenos Aires to dance the role of Cupid in Don Quixote at the Teatro Colón. Herrera was a Finalist at the Fourteenth International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria in 1990, after which she was invited by Natalia Makarova to take class with the English National Ballet in London and by Hector Zaraspe to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet in New York. After just six months, Herrera was selected to dance the leading role in Raymonda at SAB’s annual workshop performance. She joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in June 1991, was promoted to Soloist in June 1993 and to Principal Dancer in March of 1995. Herrera’s roles with the Company include Mathilda Kchessinska in Anastasia, Terpsichore and Polyhymnia in Apollo, Gamzatti and Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zina in The Bright Stream, the second movement in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the title role in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Medora and Gulnare in Le Corsaire, the pas de deux Diana and Acteon, Kitri in Don Quixote, Katherine in Christopher Wheeldon’s VIII, the title roles in Giselle, Raymonda and Sylvia, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter, Hanna Glawari and Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzie’s The Nutcracker, Clara, the Princess in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Paquita pas de deux, Cerrito in Pas des Déesses, the Siren in Prodigal Son, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, a Lover in Sin and Tonic, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Coupava in The Snow Maiden, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, the Waltz in Les Sylphides, first movement in Symphony in C, the Sylvia Pas de Deux, The Awakening Pas de Deux, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Americans We, Bach Partita, Ballet Imperial, Brief Fling, Clear, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Duo Concertant, Études, Fancy Free, Glow- Stop, The Howling Cat, In The Upper Room, Majisimo, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort, Sinatra Suite, Sinfonietta, Stepping Stones, Symphonie Concertante, Theme and Variations and workwithinwork. She created Olga in On the Dnieper and leading roles in The Brahms/Haydn Variations, Chamber Symphony, Citizen, Cruel World, Disposition, From Here On Out, How Near Heaven, One of Three, Rabbit and Rogue, Triptych, Turnstile and Without Words. Herrera has been a member of Artists Committee for The Kennedy Center Honors since 2004.
Julie Kent began her dance training with Hortensia Fonseca at the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet. She attended the American Ballet Theatre II and the School of American Ballet Summer sessions before joining ABT as an apprentice in 1985. In that same year, Kent won first place in the regional finals of the National Society of Arts and Letters at the Kennedy Center. In 1986, as the only American to win a medal at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition, she became a member of ABT's corps de ballet and was cast in the Herbert Ross film Dancers opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed a Soloist with ABT in 1990 and a Principal Dancer in 1993, the year in which she won the Erik Bruhn Prize in Toronto and was named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People.” Kent's roles with the Company include the Girl in Afternoon of a Faun, the title role in Anastasia, Terpsichore and Calliope in Apollo, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zina in The Bright Stream, the third movement in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the title role in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, the title role in James Kudelka's Cinderella, the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Medora in Le Corsaire, the Lady with Him in Dim Lustre, Kitri and the Queen of the Driads in Don Quixote, Titania in The Dream, The Dying Swan, Anne in Christopher Wheeldon's VIII, the Accused in Fall River Legend, the Glove Seller in Gaîté Parisienne, Giselle in Giselle, Caroline in Jardin aux Lilas, Marguerite in Lady of the Camellias, Manon in Manon, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country, His Wife in The Moor's Pavane, the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzie's The Nutcracker, Tatiana in Onegin, Desdemona in Othello, the pas de deux Other Dances, the pas de deux in Les Patineurs, Hagar in Pillar of Fire, the Siren in Prodigal Son, the Ranch Owner's Daughter in Rodeo, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, a Lover in Sin and Tonic, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Sylph in La Sylphide, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, the second movement in Symphony in C, the Nocturne and the Prelude in Les Sylphides, Sylvia in Sylvia, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, the Woman in Weren't We Fools? and leading roles in Ballet Imperial, Dark Elegies, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Fancy Free, The Garden of Villandry, Gong, Kaleidoscope, The Leaves Are Fading, Meadow, Mozartiana, Overgrown Path, Sinfonietta, "... smile with my heart", Spring and Fall, Stepping Stones, Symphonie Concertante and Theme and Variations. She created Artemis in Artemis, Sibyl Vane in Dorian, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter and leading roles in Apothéose, Americans We, Baroque Game, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, C. to C. (Close to Chuck), Chamber Symphony, Clear, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Cruel World, Getting Closer, Glow- Stop, Known by Heart, Rigaudon, Seven Sonatas, States of Grace, Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and Without Words. In 2000, Kent won the Prix Benois de la Danse and is the only American woman ever to have won this prize. Kent starred in the motion picture Center Stage (2000), directed by Nicholas Hytner. In June of 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and later in the same year, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dance Magazine. Her appearances as a guest include invitations from many distinguished companies including New York City Ballet, Kirov/Mariinsky Theatre, La Scala Milan, Stuttgart Ballet, Berlin Staatsballett, Australian Ballet, Teatro Colón, Tokyo Ballet and Ballet de Santiago among others. At the time of her retirement in 2015, her 29 years with the Company will be a record for the most years served as a dancer with ABT. Kent is married to ABT Associate Artistic Director Victor Barbee and they have two children, William and Josephine.
Xiomara Reyes was born in Havana, Cuba, and studied at Cuba’s National Ballet School. Upon her graduation, she danced with the National Ballet of Cuba and performed as a soloist with La Joven Guardia. Two years later she was invited to appear with the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium where she danced for seven years rising to the rank of First Soloist. Her repertoire with these companies included Nikiya in La Bayadère, Cinderella in Cinderella, Kitri in Don Quixote, Swanilda in Coppélia, Giselle in Giselle and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. She also performed principal roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Paolo Bortoluzzi and Christopher D’Amboise, among others. Reyes has danced as a guest with the Jeune Ballet de France, Balleto Del Sud, Nafsika Dance Theater, the International Dance Festival in Korea, the Bashkirian State Ballet, the National Ballet of Tokyo and the Georgian State Dance Company. In 2014, she made her debut as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake at Hakucho Ballet in Japan. Her awards include: Gold Medal for the Best Soloist at the International Ballet Competition of Chiclayo, Peru (1989), Best Couple Prize at the XIV International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria (1990), Silver Medal at the Cinquienne Concours International de Danse de Paris (1992) and Second Prize at the International Ballet Competition in Luxembourg (1995). Reyes joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in January 2001 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in April 2003. Her roles with the Company include a leading role in Allegro Brillante, a Shade in La Bayadère, Zina in The Bright Stream, the first and fourth movements in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the title role in Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, the title role in James Kudelka’s Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Medora, Gulnare and an Odalisque in Le Corsaire, a leading role in Désir, Who Was She? in Dim Lustre, Kitri and Amour in Don Quixote, Sibyl in Dorian, Titania in The Dream, Anne in Christopher Wheeldon’s VIII, Lise in La Fille mal gardée, Giselle, the peasant pas de deux and Moyna in Giselle, Le Grand Pas de Deux, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter, Caroline in Jardin aux Lilas, the Two of Diamonds in Jeu de Cartes, Prudence in Lady of the Camellias, the title roles in Manon, Raymonda and Sylvia, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country, His wife in The Moor’s Pavane, Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzie’s The Nutcracker, Clara, the Princess in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Debutante in Offenbach in the Underworld, Desdemona in Othello, Olga in Onegin, the Ballerina in Petrouchka, the Youngest Sister in Pillar of Fire, the Cowgirl in Rodeo, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Romeo’s Farewell to Juliet), a Celestial in Shadowplay, Princess Aurora and Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, the Young Girl in Le Spectre de la Rose, the pas de trois and the Hungarian Princess in Swan Lake, the third movement in Symphony in C, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and leading roles in Birthday Offering, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Brief Fling, Clear, Duets, Études, The Garden of Villandry Glow-Stop, The Leaves Are Fading, Majisimo, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort, Piano Concerto #1 and Without Words. She created leading roles in Seven Sonatas, Triptych and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison.
Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House are available by phone and online beginning October 27, 2014. For more information, please visit www.abt.org.