• Julia Sumzina

La Notte Ballet Top: Meet new faces. The next top ballerino.

Updated: Jan 14

Continuing our rubrics Top-5 of Dancers in different categories, we’re glad to announce that two next “La Notte Ballet Top-5” will be dedicated to the young dancers who are in the very beginning of their big careers.


All the aspiring young dancers chosen by La Notte Magazine demonstrate the great potential and talent matching with really hard work. Let’s try to look into the future and notice the new faces now.


Shale Wagman


Photo: Karolina Kuras


Shale Wagman is from Toronto, Canada. He graduated Princess Grace Dance Academy of Monaco and won the Prix de Lausanne 2018 when he was 17. The season 2018/2019 Shale was dancing with English National Ballet’s corps de ballet as the part of his prize at Lausanne competition.


In 2019 he performed James (La Sylphide) in Mariinsky Theatre as the guest artist with high success. His debut on Mariinsky’s stage in duo with Olesya Novikova was greeted by the public with great enthusiasm and critically acclaimed.


Shale has really amazing technique and with the incredible flexibility and ‘liquid’ movements it makes him one of the most promising dancers of nowadays.


  • “I am definitely a perfectionist. Let's just admit that when you're on stage, it's not just about technique in the performance. It is also about what you can show to the public. I want to touch audience to make people to feel something. Your performance is about this and, of course, “it” includes technique, artistry, presentation, and the ability to be aesthetically pleasing to the audience's eyes.”

Shale for BeatriceMagazine.com


Photo: Laurent Liotardo


Being a part of ENB he danced various roles including the Beggar Chief in MacMillan's Manon, Freddie, Spanish and Chinese in Wayne Eagling's Nutcracker, and the Pas de Trois and Neapolitan dance in Deane's Swan Lake, also he participated in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Broken Wings, based on the life and art of Frida Kahlo. Shale is interested in contemporary style and is ready to experiment with modern choreographers and other dancers, for example he worked with the principal dancer of The National Ballet of Canada Evan Mckie and Juliano Nunes in Orsolina 28.



Guillaume Diop


Photo: Marion Colombani


Guillaume Diop is from Paris, France. He graduated from Paris Opera Ballet School and was hired at the Paris Opera Ballet in 2018.

His repertoire includes Swan Lake, Cinderella, La Bayadere, Raymonda (all by Rudolf Nureyev), Nutcracker (by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Edouard Lock, Arthur Pita), Onegin (by John Cranko); La nuit s’achève (by Benjamin Millepied), the works by Crystal Pite, William Forsythe and others. He participates in Paris Opera Ballet galas and about this he says:

  • “It allows me to test things, to challenge myself. This is also why we gain a lot of autonomy in our first year in the company when we get the chance to be able to dance in galas”.

Guillaume for CoreDeBallet.com


Guillaume is a young man with great dancing skills and also with undeniable charm and grace, looking very genteel on stage.

Despite last two seasons in Paris Opera cannot be considered as good ones due to the various circumstances, Guillaume is cold-minded and motivated, he even notices:

  • “I have no right not to be motivated, not to have the will because I’m so lucky to be able to dance at Paris Opera”.

Guillaume for CoreDeBallet.com


Photo: Chloé Ramdani


In 2020 five dancers from the Paris Opera published a manifesto against racism in ballet. Written by Guillaume Diop, Letizia Galloni, Jack Gasztowtt, Awa Joannais and Isaac Lopes Gomes, the document aims to "liberate racial discrimination from the silence that surrounds it in opera." Gillaume speaks out loud and stands against racial discrimination in modern French society.

He also tries himself as a fashion model as many other handsome dancers and does it with an inspiration.


Maxim Zenin


Photo: Nikita Konrahin


Maxim Zenin, a dancer of Mariinsky Ballet, was born in Volgograd, Russia and studied in the Vaganova Ballet Academy. After graduating the Academy in 2017 he joined the Mariinsky Ballet company.

Maxim has very wide repertoire, including the parts in Mariinsky’s classic: The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet etc. He demonstrates good classical technique, high acting skills and his special charisma in character dances. He also dances a lot of modern and contemporary repertoire, such ballets as Le Parc ( by Angelin Preljocaj), Cinderella (Autumn), Concerto DSCH (both by Alexei Ratmansky), Solo and Five Tangos (by Hans van Manen),pieces by Yuri Smekalov, Maxim Petrov, Ilya Jivoy, Vladimir Varnava.


Photo: Daria Delarte


His Corregidor in Carmen-Suite by Alberto Alonso is one of the best ones in the history of this version by the audience’s opinion.

Maxim is a person fully involved in choreographic process in Saint Petersburg, he has worked with Alexey Kononov, Alena Tarasova, even his career of fashion model is closely connected with ballet. We wrote about the collaboration between House Of Leo (by Leo Alexeev) , Maxim and Ilya Jivoy “L’entree de la sacre du printemps”, where Maxim performed the variation based on the music by Igor Stravinsky.

  • “The most important thing is developing… to the various sides: not only classical which is preferable right now, but also modern and contemporary ones. I would like to work on as many things as I can and with as many choreographers as possible and try many new things”.

Maxim for La Notte Magazine.


Michele Esposito


Photo: Sebastien Galtier


Michele Esposito comes from Aversa, a town near Naples, Italy. Michele started dancing when he was 3 years old, his ballet education started at private school Centro Danza Diana in Aversa, at age 11 he was accepted at the Tanz Akademie in Zurich where he studied for 6 years. In 2016 he was the winner of the Silvio Berlusconi Prize, in 2015 and 2016 he won of the dance competition of Migros Culture Percentage, also he got the silver medal at the Tanzolymp Berlin 2015. In 2017 Michele got the first prize, ‘Best Swiss candidate prize’ and the contemporary prize in the Prix de Lausanne.

To win a prize of this competition is an honor for every young dancer, who tries him- or herself in Lausanne, but Michele was more concentrated on self-developing:

  • “To be honest, I’ve never felt that I had more to offer than the others, especially in a competition like this where the level is so high. I think that aspects of my character have helped… my determination, my strength. To get good results, I have always worked as hard as I can.”

He said for gramilano.com in 2017.


Photo: Luigi Bilancio


The same year he joined firstly Dutch National Ballet Junior Company and then Dutch National Ballet. He has performed many pieces by modern choreographers of Dutch National Ballet including Ernst Meisner, Marco Gerris, Peter Leung, Juanjo Arqués, also Michele has danced in La Dame Aux Camelias (by John Neumeier), Cinderella (by Christopher Wheeldon), Broken Wings (by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa), Solo (by Hans Van Manen) and other pieces of the company’s repertoire.


Kirill Sokolovsky


Photo: Nick Nemets


Kirill Sokolovsky was born in Minsk, Belarus. He started his ballet education in Belarusian State Choreographic Gymnasium-College in 2010 and then moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia and continued studying in The Vaganova Ballet Academy, where he was noticed as a promising young dancer.

After graduating The Vaganova Academy in 2019 Kirill went to Moscow for working in The Bolshoi Theatre, where he is dancing now. His repertoire includes the roles in the classical and contemporary ballets, for example Swan Lake, Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty (all by Yuri Grigorovich) and Silentium (by Martin Chaix).


Tall, trained by the teachers of Russian ballet school, he looks noble and graceful on stage. He is developing his technique and acting in Bolshoi working hard and with great inspiration. Even during the quarantine period Kirill was glad to stay in shape:

  • “I finally started to read more, draw pictures… Every day I have a stretching and ballet class, so I don’t get out of shape”.

Kirill for L’Uomo Vogue.


Photo from the Kirill's Instagram account.


Kirill has also a successful career in fashion industry, where he has worked with Gosha Rubchinsky and Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue Russia. Now he is quite famous in the world of fashion but more concentrated on his ballet career in Bolshoi, which was his dream since childhood.

Other his passion is painting. Kirill says it helps him to relax. Who knows, may be we can wait for his personal exhibition.


All the dancers are very young but they are on their way forward to the new roles and experiences. So, we hope the spectators will be able to see this young and very interesting dancers onstage in many more ballets soon.


Text: Julia Sumzina

Photos: Karolina Kuras, Laurent Liotardo, Marion Colombani, Chloé Ramdani, Nikita Kondrahin, Daria Delarte, Sebastien Galtier, Luigi Bilancio, Nick Nemets.


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