Richmond Ballet News


August 24th, 2015

New Company Hires 2015

(L-R) Richard Foggio, Mate Szentes and Ira White.

Five Men Are Welcomed Into The Professional Ranks

Richmond Ballet is pleased to announce that Mate (“MAH-TAY”) Szentes, a former member of Sacramento Ballet and the Hungarian National Ballet, joins its corps this season, and two members of Richmond Ballet II (RBII), Richard Foggio and Ira White, have been promoted into the first company as well. In addition, Iowa-native Peter Eleverson, who comes to Richmond after two seasons with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, and Anthony Oates, a former trainee at Richmond Ballet, have joined the professional ranks as members of RBII.  All professional dancers returned for the 2015-16 season on Monday, August 17, which also marked the first day of Mr. Szentes and Mr. Eleverson with the organization in Richmond.

Mr. Szentes, a native of Hungary, received his ballet training at the Hungarian Dance Academy under Gyorgy Szakaly and at the North Carolina School of The Arts, and comes to Richmond with a broad classical and contemporary repertory, filled with the works of Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton, and Ron Cunningham. Mr. Szentes has worked with a variety of choreographers familiar to Richmond Ballet audiences, including Ma Cong and Melissa Barak, having originated roles in Mr.’s Cong’s Acceptance (2014) and Ms. Barak’s Middle of Somewhere (2014).

“This is a very special time in the life of the company,” said Artistic Director Stoner Winslett. “We are now seeing some people who have danced with the Company for over a decade retire, but we could not be more excited about our incredibly talented group of younger dancers, and new additions such as Mate. It’s a great time to go to the theatre to see who’s up and coming.”

Richard Foggio began his training at the Connecticut Dance School. In 2009 he continued his training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC, graduating with an Artistic Diploma in 2012. In March of that same year, Richard performed by invitation at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s Gala. Mr. Foggio was a member of RBII for three seasons.

Ira White, native to Richmond, Virginia, discovered his love for dance through Richmond Ballet’s Minds In Motion outreach program. Soon after, he signed up for ballet and other countless classes that The School of Richmond Ballet offered. Over the years, he rose through the ranks of The School, including a year spent in its trainee program. He was  a member of RBII for three seasons.

Peter Elverson trained at the School of Classical Ballet and Dance in Iowa. He later attended San Francisco Ballet’s year-round training program for three years before joining the Ballet Theatre of Maryland for two seasons. Anthony Oates, a Richmond native, trained at The School of Richmond Ballet, rising to the rank of trainee, where he earned a chance to perform with the first company in Rex Wheeler’s Lenton Rose, part of the 2015 New Works Festival. Mr. Oates attended Boston Ballet’s summer intensive in 2013 and is a graduate of Trinity Episcopal School and is currently enrolled in SCAD eLearning.


Photos by Sarah Ferguson.


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