American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House will see the retirement of three beloved principal dancers, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, and Xiomara Reyes.
These three remarkable dancers will each give their farewell performance, ending a chapter in their exciting careers at ABT. Xiomara Reyes will dance the title role of Giselle on May 27th, Paloma Herrera will dance Princess Aurora in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty on June 9th, while Julie Kent on the June 20th will dance Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
All three have had brilliant careers with ABT. Xiomara Reyes attended the Cuban National Ballet School and danced as a soloist at Cuba’s National Ballet along with La Joven Guardia. She then, by invitation, performed in Belgium with the Royal Ballet of Flanders, remaining with the company for seven years. Her career took her through Europe, Asia, the United States and guest appearances in France with the Jeune Ballet de France, Greece where she performed in the Nafsika Dance Theatre, Russia, and in Korea. Reyes joined ABT in 2001 as a soloist and in 2003 was promoted to Principal Dancer.
Paloma Herrera was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She began learning ballet at the age of seven and quickly became well known throughout South America. She won various competitions and awards that allowed her to go to Belarus (formerly in the Soviet Union) where she obtained training at Minsk Ballet School. Upon her return to Argentina, she was given the role of Cupid in Don Quixote at the Teatro Colon. Herrera’s growing reputation as a ballerina prodigy caught the eye of Natalia Makarova, who invited Paloma to London to study alongside her at the English National Ballet. She later joined the School of American Ballet in New York. She joined ABT as a corp member in 1991, and in 1993 was promoted as soloist and to principal dancer in 1995.
Julie Kent took up the love for ballet from her mother who was a flight attendant and a former ballet dancer. She was born in Bethesda, Maryland, in the United State. She trained at an early age at the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet and also studied at ABT summer programs and the School of American Ballet. She joined ABT in 1985 as an apprentice and was promoted to corps de ballet in 1986, soloist in 1990, and principal dancer in 1993. Her retirement will mark the longest career had by a dancer completely at ABT for the history of the company at thirty years.