Russell Janzen ’01: Promotion to Soloist

By Kristin Sanderson

From The New York Times:

New York City Ballet’s fall season brought rich fare: world premieres by five choreographers; a New York premiere by a sixth; the historic farewell of the ballerina Wendy Whelan, after 30 years; and many revivals, which included 16 works by George Balanchine and a flood of role debuts bringing attention to dancers throughout the ranks. The fall season now seems like a fixture; it’s strange to remember that it began only in 2010, and that neither its 2010 nor 2011 editions amounted to much. Not everything in the 2014 season was good, but it was powerfully eventful.

Three performances, all involving the illustrious Sara Mearns, were emblematic. On Sept. 30, she made her debut in Balanchine’s “Mozartiana,” with Chase Finlay as her partner, and Anthony Huxley bringing new illumination to the ballet’s most elusive role of all, the Gigue. On Oct. 11, she made her debut in Balanchine’s “Chaconne,” partnered by Russell Janzen. Then on Friday, she and Mr. Janzen repeated the ballet, with a supporting cast featuring 10 other dancers all new to their roles that week.  Continue reading.