The Hassel Foundation Principal Dancer
Originally from Summit, NJ, Julie Diana began taking ballet at age seven with the New Jersey Ballet in West Orange, NJ where she trained for five years before moving on to study at The School of American Ballet for four years. Her training was also supplemented with summer intensives at the Joffrey Ballet School and the San Francisco Ballet School.
Ms. Diana joined San Francisco Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1993, was promoted to Soloist in 1997 and to Principal in 2000. Her principal roles in the classical repertoire include the titles roles in Giselle and Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Sugarplum Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Odette in Helgi Tomasson’s Swan Lake, and Odette/Odile in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake. Her leading roles in Balanchine ballets include Symphony in C, Concerto Barocco, Theme and Variations, Western Symphony, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Allegro Brillante, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jewels, Symphony in Three Movements, Serenade, Apollo, Who Cares? and The Four Temperaments. She has performed Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations and as The Girl in The Invitation, in addition to Frederick Ashton’s Thais Pas de Deux, Symphonic Variations,and as Lise in La Fille mal gardée.
Ms. Diana’s contemporary repertoire includes, among others, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, Fanfare, Glass Pieces, and Afternoon of a Faun; William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, In the middle, somewhat elevated, and Artifact Suite; Peter Martins’ The Waltz Project; Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, Continuum, Polyphonia, Sea Pictures, and Rush; Nacho Duato’s Without Words; Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and Push Comes to Shove; Matthew Neenan’s 11:11, As It’s Going, Carmina Burana, and Keep; and Mark Morris’ A Garden, Sandpaper Ballet, and Pacific. She received the Isadora Duncan Award for her performances in Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering and Kenneth MacMillan’s The Invitation.
Ms. Diana joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a Principal Dancer in September 2004 and was featured in the August 2006 issue of Dance Magazine. Ms. Diana has also performed throughout Spain with Angel Corella’s Foundation and traveled to Beijing and Shanghai in 2006 to appear with Nilas Martins’ Dance Company in Don Quixote and Peter Martins’ A Fool For You. In January 2009, she danced the role of the Waltz Girl in Serenade with New York City Ballet. Ms. Diana is married to Principal Dancer Zachary Hench, and they have two children.