Artistic Director Adam W. McKinney has promoted three artists for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT) upcoming season, which runs from October 2023 to May 2024.
After the closing performance of The Sleeping Beauty on May 21, McKinney surprised the three company artists by announcing their promotions onstage. Those promoted were:
- Tommie Lin O’Hanlon of Pittsburgh, PA to Principal artist
- Grace Rookstool of Whidbey Island, WA to Soloist artist
- Madeline Gradle of Falls Church, VA to the Corps de Ballet
Additionally, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is pleased to welcome four promising artists into the company for the 2023-2024 season. The new hires resulted from PBT company auditions in April that saw more than 800 applicants in New York, Pittsburgh and online auditions. PBT’s newest members include:
- Gustavo Ribeiro, Soloist artist, from Miami City Ballet
- Matthew Griffin, Corps de Ballet, from Cincinnati Ballet
- Emry Amoky, Apprentice artist, from Houston Ballet ll
- Nathan Smith, Apprentice artist, from Miami City Ballet School
“I am honored and excited to promote Tommie, Grace and Madeline. They are inspiring artists who have worked tirelessly and deserve every bit of their successes,” said Adam W. McKinney, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s artistic director. “I am also thrilled to welcome Gustavo, Matthew, Emry and Nathan to PBT. They will make excellent additions to our artistic team, and I look forward to working closely with them.”
About PBT’s Newly Promoted Artists
Tommie Lin O’Hanlon has been promoted to Principal artist at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Pittsburgh native Tommie Lin joined PBT in 2018 from the PBT School Graduate Program, and was promoted to Soloist artist in 2020. She trained with Miami City Ballet School and Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh, and completed summer intensives at the School of American Ballet and PBT School. She has performed in PBT productions of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and her repertoire also includes George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, Valse Fantaisie, Western Symphony, Divertimento No. 15 and Tall Girl in Rubies, as well as Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces and Bluebird Pas de Deux in The Sleeping Beauty.
Grace Rookstool has been promoted to Soloist artist at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Grace was born and raised on Whidbey Island, Washington, and began her classical ballet training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle when she was eight years old. She completed the Professional Division Program and danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet in many productions, including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Grace was selected for an exchange program with Dresden Semperoper Ballett where she performed as a guest apprentice in La Bayadère. She joined PBT as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2019.
Madeline Gradle has been promoted to PBT’s Corps de Ballet. A native of Falls Church, Virginia, she joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as an apprentice from the PBT School Graduate Program in 2021. Madeline received early dance training with Arlington Center for Dance and The Washington School of Ballet, and attended summer programs with American Ballet Theatre: New York, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. Madeline danced as an apprentice with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet for four years, expanding her repertoire with George Balanchine’s Chaconne, Stars and Stripes, Tzigane and Walpurgisnacht, among others. She has performed with PBT in productions of George Balanchine’s Rubies, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker. Additionally, Madeline enjoys teaching in the PBT School’s Children Division and PBT Dance & Wellness.
About PBT’s New Hires
Gustavo Ribeiro has been hired as a Soloist artist at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Gustavo was born in Vitoria, Brazil, and received full scholarships to Palucca Hochschule for Tanz Dresden- Germany, Joffrey Academy of Dance and Orlando Ballet School. Ribeiro was a soloist and former member of the Washington Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and most recently Miami City Ballet. Ribeiro is now a principal guest artist, teacher, choreographer and coach. He has performed in Brazil, Canada, Europe and across the USA. His repertoire includes featured roles in Petite Mort, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Three Preludes, The Four Temperaments, Diamonds, Piano Concerto no.2, Theme and Variations, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dracula, among other works choreographed by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Val Caniparoli, Jiří Kylián and Stanton Welch. Ribeiro has also earned many awards for his excellence in choreography. He has choreographed for Kansas City Ballet, Orlando Ballet, among other companies and schools. He is also an American Ballet Theatre Curriculum and Progressing Ballet Technique certified instructor.
Matthew Griffin will be joining PBT’s Corps de Ballet for the 2023-24 season. Matthew began his ballet training in Sarasota, Florida at the International Ballet of Florida under the direction of Sergiy Mykhaylov and Darya Fedotova. Matthew graduated from Butler University (Indianapolis, IN) in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Dance Arts Administration degree. Griffin began his professional career with Cincinnati Ballet as an Apprentice for the 2017-2018 Season. He was promoted to New Dancer in 2018 and the Corps de Ballet in 2019. Griffin has performed featured roles in classical and contemporary ballets including Petal and Balance by Helen Pickett, Kiss by Stephanie Martinez, Cinderella by Victoria Morgan and works by Ohad Naharin, Twyla Tharp, Jiří Kylián, George Balanchine, Jennifer Archibald, Septime Webre, Amy Seiwert and others.
Emry Amoky is joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as an Apprentice for the 2023-2024 season. Emry trained at the Houston Ballet Academy and was a member of Houston Ballet ll. Some of the ballets he has performed in include Peter Pan, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Raymonda and Paquita.
Nathan Smith is joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as an Apprentice for the 2023-2024 season. He trained in the pre-professional program at Miami City Ballet School and the American Academy of Ballet. Some of the ballets in which he has performed include Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, The Nutcracker and Jerome Robbins’s 2&3 Part Inventions.