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    Meeting Review

    Federico Bonelli

    On 19th August 2021, we were delighted to welcome Royal Ballet Principal Federico Bonelli as our guest. Federico started by talking about his busy summer in 2021, which included performances in 11 different open-air locations in Denmark as part of a group called “World Ballet” under the artistic direction of Steven McRae. Then he helped his wife Hikaru Kobayashi with a gala she had organised in Valencia with some of the younger Royal Ballet dancers.

    At the end of the talk, Federico introduced his daughter. One of her highlights during the Summer had been meeting a real-life princess in Denmark. Federico spoke in detail about two ballets where he had performed both lead male roles, Onegin and The Winter’s Tale. He then talked about the various roles across the Royal Ballet repertoire that he had performed, as well as one or two that he had yet to perform, and the various roles he had created for Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Liam Scarlett.

    Federico finished by looking back at his time in Zurich and Dutch National Ballets and touched on the sabbatical he did under the auspices of the Clore Fellowship for future leaders in the arts. We were given a fascinating and very thoughtful evening and look forward to following the next stages of Federico’s career.

     

    Calvin Richardson

    On 1st September 2021, it was a pleasure to welcome First Soloist Calvin Richardson. Calvin spoke about his dance training in Australia, which turned to ballet quite late and culminated in entering the Prix de Lausanne in 2012, where he won a scholarship to the Royal Ballet Upper School.

    Towards the end of his schooling, Calvin was asked to choreograph his own version of the Dying Swan, a work that he has performed around the world. Calvin spoke in some detail about various other works he had choreographed, and the many new works that had been created on him by Wayne McGregor and other guest choreographers. He spoke with feeling about the opportunity he had to work with Crystal Pite, a choreographer that inspired him.

    Calvin’s early training in tap made him a natural for the Mad Hatter in Alice. Whilst speaking about various other roles he had performed in the Company repertoire, he looked forward to his performances of Romeo in February with Mayara Magri. He had already started rehearsals on some of the solos, but had yet to “touch” Mayara. We were grateful to Calvin for giving us another entertaining evening, despite his having to cope with a heavy cold at the time.

     

    Anna Rose O’Sullivan

    On 22nd September 2021, it was a delight to welcome the Royal Ballet’s Anna Rose O’Sullivan, soon after her promotion to Principal. Anna Rose started by talking about the recent performances at Athelhampton in Dorset, before touching on her current rehearsal schedule including The Dante Project in which she is Dido.

    Towards the end of last season, Christopher Wheeldon had started on the creation of Like Water for Chocolate, and Anna Rose used this to speak about her passion for narrative works and how she likes to create a story when performing more abstract pieces.

    Anna Rose then spoke about the roles she had performed over the last two seasons and some of the highlights during her career, before looking back to her early career in musical theatre on the West End stage and her time at the Royal Ballet School. It was a delight to hear Anna Rose talk and those present appreciated the opportunity to come back to live meetings.

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