José Martín Trujillo Announced as Director of Boston Ballet School's Professional Division at Walnut Hill

Photo by Kerry Birkett

Walnut Hill School for the Arts Welcomes Internationally Acclaimed Dance Educator to Lead America’s Premier Ballet Program for High School Students

Walnut Hill School for the Arts Head of School Eric Barber and Boston Ballet School Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen today announced the appointment of José Martín Trujillo as its next Director of Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill (Director of Dance), starting in the 2024–25 academic year.

“I'm thrilled to be joining Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill next academic year as the program's new director,” says Trujillo. “I'm eager to bring my professional experience to spearhead this unique and groundbreaking collaboration and lead the students and faculty through a rewarding, holistic experience, developing the dancers' sustainable skills for their futures in the art form. With the dance industry ever evolving, Boston Ballet and Walnut Hill serve as an inspiration for the arts.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome José to Walnut Hill as our next Director of Dance,” remarks Eric Barber, Head of School at Walnut Hill School for the Arts. “He is as much a teacher of the art form as he is a world-class performer with fluency in both European and American ballet companies, and our students will greatly benefit from the experience and knowledge he will bring to the only program of its kind on the globe. As our pioneering collaboration with Boston Ballet School evolves, so does our need for top-level artistry, and José brings this in abundance.”

“Walnut Hill and I are delighted to appoint José Martín Trujillo as Director of Dance for Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill,” says Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director of Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School. “I have known José for many years as an incredibly experienced and professional dancer, teacher, and leader. I greatly respect his high standards of excellence and integrity. We are incredibly excited to build and align the future together. Under his guidance, dancers from Walnut Hill will be trained in the academic classical structure, preparing them for the demands and details of present and future international standards.”

Throughout his extensive career, Trujillo has served as a performer, teacher, choreographer, rehabilitation specialist, director, and mentor. He trained at Víctor Ullate Ballet in Madrid, School of American Ballet in New York, and San Francisco Ballet School. His performance career took him all over the world, dancing as a soloist for San Francisco Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Zurich Ballet, English National Ballet, Boston Ballet, and as a senior soloist with The Royal Ballet for ten years.

Trujillo was involved in the creation of ballets by many notable choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Liam Scarlett, Helgi Tomasson, and Stanton Welch, and he staged Anna-Marie Holmes’ Le Corsaire at the National Ballet of Uruguay under Julio Bocca. Toward the end of his performance career, Kevin O’Hare facilitated his appointment as Acting Artistic Director at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Following his retirement from The Royal Ballet, Trujillo was appointed Principal Repetiteur at the English National Ballet where he led the company through the restaging of Le Corsaire. In 2015, he assisted Jennifer Jackson in the relaunch of Images Ballet Company where he supported the development of the program for four years, and was most recently appointed Artistic Director of the Company. Trujillo co-owns a private coaching and mentoring business, Raw Talent with his wife Kerry Birkett and is a frequent guest teacher and rehearsal director with a number of vocational schools and professional companies worldwide.

Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill is the nation’s premier ballet training program for high school students. Located in the artistic and intellectual hub of the Boston Metropolitan Area, it is the only program in the world that combines a world-class ballet company with a world-class boarding school for the arts. It is also the only ballet program in the United States to offer college preparatory academics, on-campus housing, and professional division dance training all in one place. The rigorous curriculum and integral rehearsals prepares dancers for multiple performances and staged productions each semester.

During their senior year of the Professional Division, Walnut Hill dance students are automatically evaluated for acceptance into Boston Ballet’s Graduate Program, which has placed thirteen dancers into the program in three seasons. Several Walnut Hill alumni have advanced to Boston Ballet II, Boston Ballet’s second company, and Sydney Williams ’21 is the first Walnut Hill alumna to join Boston Ballet’s main company, debuting in the 2023–24 season.

Boston Ballet School's Professional Division at Walnut Hill is an official partner of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition. It is also a participant of Assemblée Internationale, an unparalleled global ballet event, established by Canada's National Ballet School. Assemblée Internationale is an Olympic-caliber gathering of the world's top pre-professional dancers and artistic directors from leading ballet schools.

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