The Royal Ballet has announced that Principal Edward Watson will give his final performance on the main stage in Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project on a date yet to be confirmed following the postponement of the production’s world premiere. Edward joins the roster of Royal Ballet coaches for the 2020/21 season as Répétiteur. During the last 18 months Ed has been coaching dancers for various productions, preparing them for the broad range of the Company’s repertory. Although he is not leaving the Company, we will, of course, give Ed a present to mark his retirement from dancing, having joined the Company in 1994.
Many of you will have seen on social media that Royal Ballet Soloist and former Ballet Association Award Winner Tristan Dyer has announced that he is ending his dancing career. Tristan joined the Company in 2009 and, therefore, we have sent him money with which to buy a present from the Association. In acknowledging the gift, Tristan wrote: “I am so very grateful for all of the support from the Ballet Association over the years. It was an honour to be a recipient of your award way back in 2009! Thank you for your generosity” We will let you know what he purchases as a gift.
Also retiring from the Company at the end of the 2019-20 season is Brazilian dancer and choreographer Erico Montes. Born in São Paolo, Erico received a scholarship to the The Royal Ballet School in 2003, joined the Company in 2004 and was promoted to First Artist in 2010. We will be sending him a cheque with which to buy a present from the Association and will let you know what he chooses to buy.
Following his two-year appointment as the inaugural Constant Lambert Conducting Fellow, Thomas Jung left at the end of the 2019/20 Season. The Fellowship provides a tailor-made mentoring programme conducting for ballet, working across both Royal Ballet companies. The next Fellowship has been deferred for a year. Charlotte Politi, a graduate of the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe and of the University of Michigan, takes up the fellowship in the 2021/22 Season.
Birmingham Royal Ballet have announced that Principal Delia Mathews, First Soloist Maureya Lebowitz and First Artist Aitor Galende have left the Company. Delia, who has been with the Company since graduating from the Royal Ballet School in 2008 and was made Principal in 2017, is delighted to announce with her husband that they are expecting their first child and will be returning to raise their new family in her native New Zealand.
Joining the Company as Artists are Lucy Waine, Sofia Liñares Vazquez and Shuailun Wu from The Royal Ballet School, Matilde Rodrigues and, from January 2021, Javier Rojas. Last season’s Apprentices Ryan Felix, from Elmhurst, and Tessa Hogge also join as Artists. Darel José Pérez joins as an Apprentice from 1st November 2020.
We were saddened to hear of the deaths of two long-term members of the Association, Anne Faulder and Michael Gainsbury. Anne passed away on 16th July 2020 and Michael on 2nd August 2020. Both had regularly attended meetings and Annual Dinners. Anne had to move into a home after illness a few years ago and became an honorary member, whilst Michael continued to attend performances with his wife Linda until lockdown. We will greatly miss them both.
Former Royal Ballet, Croatian-born dancer Jelko Yuresha died peacefully in Switzerland on the 6th July 2020 aged 83. President of the Sir Anton Dolin Foundation, he was married to ballerina Belinda Wright, who died in 2007 and leaves a daughter Annabelle. You will also have been saddened to hear of the death of Zizi Jeanmaire, French star of ballet, cabaret and film and wife of choreographer Roland Petit. Our older members will remember her in the title role in Petit’s Carmen,seen first in London in 1949. Aged 96, she died in Switzerland on 17th July 2020.
You will have been delighted to hear that First Soloist Olivia Cowley and her husband, former Royal Ballet dancer Henry St Clair now have a son Forrest and Artist Demelza Parrish and her husband a son Atticus Hugo Dalton weighing 8lbs 4oz.