Michaela DePrince promoted to soloist, Sasha Mukhamedov and Qian Liu promoted to principal at Dutch National Ballet

Dutch National Ballet, left to right: Qian Liu in Jewels (photo Angela Sterling), Sasha Mukhamedov in Giselle (photo Angela Sterling), Michaela DePrince in Coppelia (photo Marc Haegeman)

Michaela DePrince has a unique story, a journey from Sierra Leone to the Dutch National Ballet where she is rising through the ranks having been promoted to soloist.

Michaela’s story has been captured in the book Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina and her participation in the Youth America Grand Prix was documented in the movie First Position, where she . Her participation in the competition gained her a grant to study at American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, in New York. She graduated in 2012 and joined the dance company of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, as their youngest dancer ever.

In 2013, Michaela started her career in the Netherlands as a member of the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, which had just started up. In August 2014, she transferred to Dutch National Ballet, in the rank of élève. One year later, she was promoted to coryphée and in 2016 to grand sujet, and now to soloist. Besides ballet Michaela is ambassador for War Child in the Netherlands. She also did a cameo performance in Beyoncé’s recent visual album Lemonade.

Ted Brandsen, Director, Dutch National Ballet announced the promotion of ballerinas Sasha Mukhamedov and Qian Liu to principal.

Sasha Mukhamedov, born in London, has two famous dancers for parents: the former Bolshoi and Royal Ballet star Irek Mukhamedov and former Bolshoi principal Masha Mukhamedov. In order to gain stage experience, Sasha danced in Dutch National Ballet’s Nutcracker & Mouse King in 2008 and she was offered a contract with the company. Since then, she has risen from the rank of aspirant to soloist. In 2012 she danced her first main role of Myrtha in Giselle and also   danced main roles in works like Mata Hari, Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Clara), La Bayadère (Nikiya and Gamzatti) and in many ballets by artistic associate David Dawson.

Qian Liu was born in China and has won several major awards at a young age, including the first prize in the Tao Li Cap Dance Competition in China and the Tokyo Ballet Competition (Japan), both in 2006. In 2008 she won the CCTV National Dance Competition (China) and in 2009, the Seoul Ballet Competition (South Korea). Qian Liu joined Dutch National Ballet in 2012 as a member of the corps de ballet, being promoted to coryphée in 2013 and one year later to the rank of soloist she is now promoted to principal. She has danced many main roles likeDon Quichot (Kitri), Giselle, Cinderella, Nutcracker and the Mouse King(Clara) and La Bayadère (Gamzatti).