On October 8 2019, we welcomed The Royal Ballet’s newest Principal, Portuguese dancer Marcelino Sambé.
Marcelino spoke with much feeling about his childhood, his training and the support he had received from many in Portugal, which had helped him progress successfully as a dancer. He expressed his gratitude to the Association for the two awards he had received.
After speaking about his success in various competitions and time at the Royal Ballet School, Marcelino moved on to speak about his experiences in the Company. From his first major role in Christopher Wheeldon’s Aeternum,Marcelino touched on a variety of highlights, including working with Sir Anthony Dowell on Oberon, dancing as Colas with Francesca Hayward, Romeo and, last summer, as Basilio with Yasmine Naghdi in Japan, soon after he was told of his promotion.
He also spoke of injuries, before talking about his roles this season, such as dancing Lescaut with Yuhui Choe and looking forward to Swan Lakein the Spring with Mayara Magri. Marcelino provided an entertaining evening with many amusing anecdotes.
On October18 2019, we were extremely pleased to welcome recently promoted Soloists Isabella Gasparini and Romany Pajdak as our guests. They spoke of their very contrasting routes to this stage of their careers.
Romany through the traditional route of Junior Associates, Royal Ballet School and into the Company, whilst Isabella from Brazil had taken a more circuitous route via Canada’s National Ballet School, Northern Ballet, English National Ballet, New English Ballet, before joining the Royal Ballet after a few unsuccessful attempts.
They spoke of various highlights in their careers, before speaking about the current season and some of the changes that have occurred in Manon in recent years. Isabella and Romany gave us a lively evening, speaking with enthusiasm, though reflecting on the challenges that there have been in reaching their current positions, such as 15 years to become a courtesan in Manon.