San Francisco Ballet Welcomes Three Dancers, Announces Additional Promotions


Misa Kuranaga returns, Sasha Mukhamedov and Bianca Texeira are new additions

June 18, 2019-San Francisco Ballet has announced new dancers and more dancer promotions for the upcoming 2020 Repertory Season. Misa Kuranaga rejoins the Company as principal dancer, Sasha Mukhamedov as soloist, and Bianca Teixeira joins the corps de ballet.

Sasha Mukhamedov (© Sebastien Galtier), Misa Kuranaga (© Nisian Hughes), Bianca Teixeira (© Agakondas)
Sasha Mukhamedov (© Sebastien Galtier), Misa Kuranaga (© Nisian Hughes), Bianca Teixeira (© Agakondas)

Misa Kuranaga originally joined San Francisco Ballet in 2001 as an apprentice; she returns to the company as a principal dancer. A native of Japan's Osaka Prefecture, Kuranaga began her training at Jinushi Kaoru Ballet School and School of American Ballet. She became a corps de ballet member of Boston Ballet in 2003, second soloist in 2005, soloist in 2007, and principal dancer in 2009. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Prix de Lausanne. In 2017 she was nominated for a Benois de la Dance award for her portrayal of Tatiana in John Cranko's Onegin and Medora in Ivan Liska's Le Corsaire. Kuranaga danced as a guest artist in Tomasson's Soirées Musicales during the San Francisco Ballet 2019 Opening Night Gala.

New San Francisco Ballet soloist Sasha Mukhamedov is the daughter of former Bolshoi and Royal Ballet star Irek Mukhamedov and former Bolshoi soloist Masha Mukhamedov. She trained at The Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst School for Dance. She joined Dutch National Ballet in 2008 and became a principal dancer in 2017. Mukhamedov created and danced the title role of Russian Princess in Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella, which returns to San Francisco Ballet in the 2020 Repertory Season.

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Bianca Teixeira is a demi soloist at Polish National Ballet. She is being appointed to San Francisco Ballet's corps de ballet in the 2020 Repertory Season. Teixeira was a Prix de Lausanne finalist in 2014. She danced with the Bavarian State Ballet Junior Company from 2016 to 2017 after graduating with her Bachelor of Dance at Ballet Arts at the Ballet Academy of the University for Music and Theatre, Munich in 2016.

The new dancers are in addition to the promotions announced in May of Benjamin Freemantle and Wan Ting Zhao to principal dancer, soloist Esteban Hernandez to principal dancer, and Corps de Ballet members Madison Keesler and Cavan Conley to soloist announced in April. San Francisco Ballet apprentices Leili Rackow, Estéban Cuadrado, Max Föllmer, Joshua Jack Price, and Jacob Seltzer have been promoted to the corps de ballet, following Jasmine Jimison's earlier promotion to the corps, which was announced in March.

Additionally, SunMin Lee, Tyla Steinbach, Rubén Cítores, Lleyton Ho, and Adrian Zeisel of San Francisco Ballet School were named apprentices following the 2019 San Francisco Ballet School Spring Festival performances.