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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(WASHINGTON, DC) – After an extensive search, The Washington Ballet (TWB) has selected former New York City Ballet principal and American Ballet Theatre soloist Monique Meunier as its new Ballet Mistress.

This is great news and a wonderful step for us,” said TWB Artistic Director Septime Webre. “We are so thrilled for Monique to begin working with the Company this season.

“I am honored to join the artistic staff of The Washington Ballet,” said Ms. Meunier, “and I look forward to a productive and creative future with these wonderful artists.

Ms. Meunier was born in Hollywood, CA. At the age of 15, she received a full scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet, and one year later, was asked to join the New York City Ballet. In 1997, she was promoted to soloist and reached the rank of principal dancer in 1998. There she performed numerous roles by Balanchine, Robbins, and Forsythe as well as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. In 2002, Ms. Meunier joined American Ballet Theatre where she added the classics, Tudor, and Kylian to her repertoire. In 2007, she joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden. Ms. Meunier has staged Balanchine ballets for the Balanchine Trust and served as rehearsal director for Karole Armitage in 2009. She has also ventured into choreography and has premiered four works in 2009-2010 for Lake Placid and The Columbia Collaborative.

She joins The Washington Ballet’s Artistic team, including Associate Artistic Director David Palmer and Septime Webre, who has served as the Ballet’s artistic director since 1999. Mr. Palmer, an accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer, was appointed in 2008, after serving as the Program Director for Miami City Ballet’s Contemporary Dance Series and Young People’s Program. Throughout his illustrious career, he danced as a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Maximum Dance Company, among others.

Ms. Meunier succeeds TWB’s long-time Ballet Master and friend, the late John Goding. Mr. Goding was a featured dancer with TWB in the 1970s through 1998 when he was named Ballet Master. He went on to stage and rehearse many works in the Company’s repertoire before he passed away in 2009.

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