San Francisco Ballet has announced dancer promotions and hires for the 2005 season. No surprise to subscribers, Liz Miner (she appears to have officially shortened her first name ? la Liz Taylor) is now a soloist. I first noticed Miner four years ago as a touchingly tender ?Breadcrumb? fairy in ?The Sleeping Beauty.? She possesses a gorgeous line, a solid technique, and a Grace Kelly-glamour, and regular attendees have long been puzzled to see her remain in the corps. Then in May she became everyone?s favorite ?Sylvia? in Mark Morris?s new three-act ballet, galloping through with spunk and sass. That seemed to set the seal on her ascendancy through the ranks.

In other notable moves, Nicolas Blanc becomes principal, the lyrical Rachel Viselli rises to soloist, and Nutnaree Pipthsuksunt, a native of Thailand and a Royal Ballet School grad, joins as soloist. Pipthsuksunt has already caught the sharp eyes at Ballet Alert!. If you can?t wait until Nutcracker to see the company again, they?re performing at Stern Grove August 8.

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