The Gary J. and Kathy Z. Anderson Principal Dancer
Zachary Hench was born in Loysville, PA, and began his training at age seven at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, where he studied for eight years. From there, he went on to train at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC.
Mr. Hench became a member of Boston Ballet II in 1993 and was invited to join Boston Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1994. He was promoted to Soloist in 1996 and Principal in 1998. While there, he danced many principal classical roles including Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrecht in Giselle, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Ivan in Christopher Wheeldon's The Firebird, Cavalier and Snow King in The Nutcracker, and featured roles in George Balanchine's Symphony in C, Serenade, Who Cares, Tarantella, Divertimento 15, and Valse Fantasie. He also danced leading roles in contemporary works such as Mark Morris' Malestrom, Merce Cunningham's Breakers, Christopher Wheeldon's Corybantic Ecstasies, Twyla Tharp's Waterbaby Bagatelles, Lila York's Celts and Ode to Joy, and Eliot Feld's Contrapose.
In 2000, Mr. Hench joined San Francisco Ballet as a Soloist, and was promoted to Principal in 2003. His repertoire of principal roles grew to include Albrecht in Helgi Tomasson's Giselle, Tomasson's Prism, Jerome Robbins' Fanfare, and Balanchine's Ballo della Regina, Allegro Brillante, and Diamonds and Emeralds in Jewels. His featured roles in contemporary ballets include Wheeldon's Continuum and Polyphonia, Peter Martins' The Waltz Project, Robbins' Glass Pieces, Nacho Duato's Without Words, and Mark Morris' A Garden.
He joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a Principal Dancer in April 2004 and danced the role of Siegfried in Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake in June 2004. Mr. Hench has also danced the lead role of Romeo in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, Colas in Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, James in La Sylphide, Dracula in Stevenson's Dracula and Oberon in George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Additional contemporary ballets include Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room and Push Comes to Shove; Hans Van Mannen's Five Tangos; Jerome Robbins' In the Night; Wheeldon’s After the Rain; and Matthew Neenan's 11:11, As It's Going, Keep, Carmina Burana, and At the border. Mr. Hench 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. Mr. Hench is married to Principal Dancer Julie Diana, and they have two children.