the companies & schools

Companies & Schools NEWS ARCHIVE

Useful Links
The Royal Opera House
Royal Ballet company members
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ROH what's on
RB Schedules 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20
Royal Opera House Collections (ROH archive & performance database)
ROH News, Facebook, Twitter;  RB Twitter
ROH videos on YouTube, photos on flickr, photos on Pinterest, photos on Instagram
The Royal Ballet School, RBS News, RBS Facebook, RBS Twitter

Birmingham Royal Ballet
BRB company members
BRB what's on
BRB News, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
Elmhurst Ballet School, Elmhurst News, Elmhurst on Twitter

Many video clips of Royal Ballet dancers from both companies can be found by searching on YouTube

The Frederick Ashton Foundation website
The Kenneth MacMillan website

Dancers' own websites (* denotes BRB)

 Gary Avis
 Ruth Brill*
 Olivia Cowley

RB & BRB dancers on Twitter

 Luca Acri
 Gary Avis

 Matthew Ball
 James Barton*
 Tara Bhavnani
 Sander Blommaert
 Grace Blundell
 Federico Bonelli
 William Bracewell*
 Mica Bradbury
 Lukas B. Brændsrød
 Ruth Brill*
 Alexander Campbell
 Tzu-Chao Chou*
 Claire Calvert
 Reece Clarke
 Olivia Cowley
 Helen Crawford
 Lauren Cuthbertson
 Laura Day*
 David Donnelly
 Karla Doorbar*
 Teo Dubreuil
 Benjamin Ella
 Kevin Emerton

Hayley Forskitt
Reina Fuchigami*
Mara Galeazzi
Bennet Gartside

Laura-Jane Gibson*
Miles Gilliver*
Celine Gittens
Melissa Hamilton
Nathalie Harrison
James Hay
Francesca Hayward
Tierney Heap
Jade Heusen*
Meaghan Grace Hinkis
Momoko Hirata*
Kit Holder*
Fumi Kaneko
Chisato Katsura
Paul Kay
Nehemiah Kish
Brandon Lawrence*
Maureya Lebowitz*
Julian MacKay
Mayara Magri
Max Maslen*
Delia Mathews*
Steven Mcrae
Pietra Mello-Pittman
Miki Mizutani*

Lachlan Monaghan*
Anna Monleon
Erico Montes
Fernando Montaño

Vadim Muntagirov
Sian Murphy
Yasmine Naghdi
Marianela Nuñez
Natalia Osipova
Anna Rose O'Sullivan
Laura Purkiss*
Samantha Raine
Marcelino Sambé
Mariko Sasaki
Liam Scarlett
Luke Schaufuss*
Ashley Scott
Alys Shee*
Tyrone Singleton*
Emily Smith*
Thiago Soares
Gina Storm-Jensen
Lara Turk
Lewis Turner*
Laura Tye (Purkiss)*
Edward Watson
Thomas Whitehead
James Wilkie
David Yudes
Valentino Zucchetti

Company changes for the 2018/2019 season
The Royal Ballet
  Matthew Ball to Principal Dancer
  William Bracewell, Tierney Heap, Fumi Kaneko, and Mayara Magri to First Soloist
  Calvin Richardson to Soloist
  Téo Dubreuil and Joseph Sissens to First Artist
  Sae Maeda, Nadia Mullova-Barley, Joonhyuk Jun, Joshua Junker and Aiden O’Brien to Artists from the Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme
  Stanisław Węgrzyn from Prix de Lausanne dancer to Artist

  Cesar Corrales joins as First Soloist from English National Ballet
  Joseph Aumeer joins from the Royal Ballet School as Artist. Sophie Allnat joins as Artist
  Harris Bell, Harrison Lee, Taisuke Nakao, Katharina Nikelski, Amelia Townsend and Hang Yu from the Royal Ballet School and Lania Atkins from the Dutch National Ballet Academy join the Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme. Amelia Palmiero continues as an Aud Jebsen Young Dancer
  David Lorichio joins as Prix de Lausanne dancer

  Soloist Laura McCulloch retired earlier in 2018 after 17 years with the Company
  Fernando Montaño takes leave of absence for the season, as does First Artist Leticia Stock who will be dancing with the Joffrey Ballet

RB news: promotions, leavers & joiners

Birmingham Royal Ballet
  Yasuo Atsuji is promoted from First Soloist to Principal
  Yvette Knight, Brandon Lawrence, Maureya Lebowitz, Miki Mizutani and Yaoqian Shang are promoted from Soloist to First Soloist
  Karla Doorbar, Max Maslen and Lachlan Monaghan are promoted from First Artist to Soloist
  Aitor Galende, Beatrice Parma, Brooke Ray, Edivaldo Souza da Silva and Daria Stanciulescu are promoted from Artist to First Artist

Joiners as Artist:
  August Generalli, from Boston Ballet II
  Alexander Yap, from Northern Ballet
  Louis Cohen, graduate of English National Ballet School
  Callum Findlay-White, Tori Forsyth-Hecken, Isabella Howard, Yu Kurihara, Lennart Steegen and Yuki Sugiura, graduates of the Royal Ballet School
  Eilish Small, graduate of the Australian Ballet School joined earlier in 2018
as Apprentice:
  Joseph Taylor, graduate of Elmhurst Ballet School (recipient of the BRB and Elmhurst Ballet School Award for Excellence)

Eight dancers, including Principals Nao Sakuma, Chi Cao and Jenna Roberts, took their final curtain calls at the end of the season.
  After joining the Company together in 1995, Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao have led Birmingham Royal Ballet in the classical repertoire for 23 years
  Jenna Roberts joined BRB in 2003 and became a Principal in 2012
  After a 19-year career with BRB, Principal Iain Mackay retired in early 2018, giving his final performance in a Spartacus pas de deux created by David Bintley and Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain pas de deux – both danced with Jenna Roberts
  Soloist Feargus Campbell leaves after 13 years to start a Graduate Diploma in Law at the University of Law in Birmingham
  Artist Anna Monleon leaves the Company after six years and is moving back to Spain
  Artist Brogan McKelvey leaves to pursue choreographic and production opportunities
  Claudia Nicholson and Jade Wallace leave after a year-long apprenticeship
  Artist Elisabetta Formento left earlier this year to join Dutch National Ballet

Royal Ballet School Graduate Contracts 2018
The Royal Ballet (Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme) Harris Bell, Yu Hang, Harrison Lee, Taisuke Nakao, Katharina Nikelski, Amelia Townsend
Birmingham Royal Ballet Yu Kurihara, Tori Forsyth-Hecken, Callum Findlay-White, Lennert Steegen, Isabella Howard, Yuki Sugiura
American Ballet Theater Studio Company Eli Gruska
Ballet de l'Opera National de Bordeaux Ryota Hasegawa
Dutch National Ballet Junior Company Lore Zonderman, Dingkai Bai
English National Ballet Rebecca Blenkinsop
Norwegian National Ballet Maren Skrede
Polish National Ballet Laurence Elliott
Scottish Ballet Aaron Venegas de Frutos
Zurich Ballet Junior Company Gearoid Solan

Elmhurst Ballet School Graduates 2018
Joseph Taylor joins Birmingham Royal Ballet as an Apprentice
James Lovell will be performing with New Adventures in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake 2018/19 tour
Orla Ruth Baxendale joins Ailey II as an Apprentice
Sarah Eddie joins the Ajkun Ballet Theatre in New York
Harvey Evans joins Sarasota Ballet in Florida
Brittany Green joins Vanemuine Ballet Theater in Estonia
Janice Felices and Lin Fujimoto join Romanian National Ballet
Reo Morikawa joins Ballet du Catlunya in Spain
Tokiko Sasao joins Cinevox Theatre Ballet in Switzerland
Kianna Stephens pursues a career in commercial dance and joins P&O Cruises
Georgia Smart and Ai Sa Vivian Mok join the Graduate Programme of Northern Ballet
Serina Faull and William Brooke join Vienna Festival Ballet
Rebecca Hudson and Josef Jagger are offered Elmhurst Ballet School Graduate Placements, a one year award allowing graduating students to continue their training in kind
Yuzu Hikosaka returns to Japan to continue her dance training
Niamh Robinson heads to London to pursue a career in dance
Elmhurst News

Flower Throws
Flower throws are an expression of affectionate honour for Principal Dancers on their retirement or sometimes their return from long recuperation from injury. With the permission of House management (and due warning to long-suffering stage management), money collected informally from ballet-goers, together with a donation from the Ballet Association, is used to buy flowers in bulk.

At the final curtain calls, flowers shower the dancer from the boxes adjacent to the stage, thrown by members of the Ballet Association, the House staff or other volunteers. As the cascade of flowers rains down, the audience applauds and often stands in ovation, creating a wonderful atmosphere and a touching and memorable scene.

Darcey's farewell
Miyako Yoshida on a flower-strewn stage at the final curtain call of her last appearance at the
Royal Opera House in April 2010 after dancing Cinderella in Sir Frederick Ashton's ballet.
Photo ©Bill Cooper 2010

Memorial to the founders of the Royal Ballet in Westminster Abbey

On November 17, 2009 a service was held in Westminster Abbey to dedicate a memorial stone in Poets' Corner marking the contributions made by Dame Ninette de Valois, Founder Director, Sir Frederick Ashton, Founder Choreographer, Constant Lambert, Founder Music Director and Prima Ballerina Assoluta Dame Margot Fonteyn in establishing Britain's flagship national ballet company, along with its sister company Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School.

The memorial stone designed by Stephen Raw (more details and photos here) was unveiled by The Lady Sarah Chatto, Vice President of The Royal Ballet. The service was conducted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster who gave the address and there were readings by Sir John Tooley, David Bintley and Dame Monica Mason.

Photo by Andrew Dunsmore ©The Dean & Chapter of Westminster

The service included solos from works by Dame Ninette de Valois and Sir Frederick Ashton: Satan’s Solo from de Valois’s Job danced by Steven McRae and simultaneously on a second stage by Robert Parker, followed by Natasha Oughtred and Romany Pajdak in the solo from Ashton’s The Wise Virgins. White Lodge pupils Charlotte Edmonds, Thomas Bedford, Magdalena Chan and Ashley Hardwick, performed a new piece choreographed by Liam Scarlett to Constant Lambert’s ‘Rondino’ from his Romeo and Juliet Tableau no. 1. The Choir of White Lodge performed two pieces and before and after the service the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Barry Wordsworth performed excerpts from works in the Royal Ballet's heritage repertory.

Wise Virgins
Natasha Oughtred and Romany Padjak (in background) in the solo from The Wise Virgins.
Photo by Andrew Dunsmore ©The Dean & Chapter of Westminster

Personal Memories of the Royal Ballet

Company 50th

To celebrate the 75th anniversary in 2006 of the founding of what was to become the Royal Ballet, Ballet Association members contributed to a collection of memoirs and photographs.

Click for the text only version of the memoirs. Click for the illustrated and fully formatted version (requires Adobe Reader).

The photograph shows Dame Ninette de Valois with past and present members of the Company in 1996 at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first performance of The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Peter Howard.