Maia Wilkins, the Joffrey Ballet's lead ballerina for most of its dozen-plus years here, will leave the troupe at the end of this season. Her departure is dramatic evidence that new artistic director Ashley Wheater will not be timid in making his mark. Wheater, named to his post last fall, recently told Wilkins and her husband , fellow Joffrey dancer Michael Levine, that their contracts won't be renewed
"It's a surprise, but one I'm at peace with," Wilkins said Friday. "Whenever there's a change in management, there will be shifts, and this is one of them. It's Ashley's company now."
"Ashley has been gracious about letting us pick our farewell," she said. As a result, during the troupe's May engagement, Wilkins and Levine will dance Arpino's "Sea Shadow," and she and longtime partner Willy Shives will perform Arpino's "Ruth, Ricordi per Due."
Edited by Treefrog, 01 March 2008 - 10:27 AM.