the companies & schools

companies & schools NEWS ARCHIVE

Useful Links
The Royal Opera House
Royal Ballet company members
Royal Ballet on Twitter
ROH what's on
RB schedules: 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Royal Opera House Collections (ROH archive & performance database)
ROH News, Facebook, Twitter
ROH videos on YouTube, photos on flickr, photos on Pinterest, photos on Instagram
ROH Student Standby tickets on Facebook
The Royal Ballet School, RBS News, RBS Facebook

Birmingham Royal Ballet
BRB company members
BRB what's on
BRB downloadable castsheets
BRB News, Facebook, Twitter, videos, and On Tour blog, photos on Pinterest,
BRB At Home website - news from the B5 HQ
BRB's Pointe Blank website of dance-related graphics and images
Rob Lindsay (BRB New Media Officer) on Twitter
Elmhurst School for Dance, Elmhurst News, Elmhurst on Twitter, Elmhurst on YouTube

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

 Carlos Acosta
 Gary Avis
 Federico Bonelli
 Olivia Cowley

Lauren Cuthbertson
Matthew Golding

Steven McRae
Itziar Mendizabal

Fernando Montano
Marianela Nuñez

Thiago Soares

     
RB & BRB dancers on Twitter (* denotes BRB)

 Carlos Acosta 
 Gary Avis
 James Barton*
 Tara Bhavnani
 Grace Blundell
 Jamie Bond*
 Federico Bonelli
 William Bracewell*
 Ruth Brill*
 Jonny Caguioa*
 Alexander Campbell
 Chi Cao*
 Tzu-Chao Chou*
 Leanne Cope
 Olivia Cowley
 Lauren Cuthbertson
 Laura Day*
 Matthias Dingman*
 David Donnelly
 Karla Doorbar*
 Teo Dubreuil
 Tristan Dyer
 Nicol Edmonds
 Kevin Emerton
 Hayley Forskitt
 Mara Galeazzi
 Bennet Gartside

Laura-Jane Gibson*
Celine Gittens
*
Solomon Golding

Melissa Hamilton
Nathalie Harrison
James Hay
Francesca Hayward
Tierney Heap
Meaghan Grace Hinkis
Momoko Hirata*
Kit Holder*
Valeri Hristov
Chisato Katsura
Paul Kay
Nehemiah Kish
Brandon Lawrence*
Maureya Lebowitz*
Mayara Magri
Emma-Jane Maguire
Max Maslen*
Delia Mathews*
Steven Mcrae
Pietra Mello-Pittman
Miki Mizutani*
Lachlan Monaghan*
Anna Monleon
*
Erico Montes

Steven Monteith*
Fernando Montaño
Vadim Muntagirov
Sian Murphy
Yasmine Naghdi
Marianela Nuñez
Anna Rose O'Sullivan
Natasha Oughtred*
Laura Purkiss*
Samantha Raine
Genesia Rosato
Liam Scarlett
Ashley Scott
Alys Shee*
Tyrone Singleton*
Thiago Soares
Gina Storm-Jensen
Lara Turk
Lewis Turner*
Eric Underwood
Andrei Uspenski
Edward Watson
Thomas Whitehead
James Wilkie
David Yudes
Valentino Zucchetti

Company changes for the 2015/2016 season

The Royal Ballet
RB official announcement

 Promotions:
   Francesca Hayward, James Hay to First Soloist
   Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Luca Acri, Nicol Edmonds, Marcelino Sambé to Soloist
   Camille Bracher, Mayara Magri, Leticia Stock, Matthew Ball, Sander Blommaert, Tomas Mock, Donald Thom to First Artist

 Joiners (as Artists):
   Chisato Katsura, graduate of the Royal Ballet School
   From the Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme: Grace Blundell (formerly RBS), Ashley Scott (formerly ENBS)
   2015 Prix de Lausanne Dancer David Yudes

 Other joiners:
   Aud Jebsen Young Dancers: Isabel Lubach, Julia Roscoe, Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Harry Churches, Leo Dixon, all from the Royal Ballet School
    Prix de Lausanne Dancer: Julian MacKay joins for the 2015/16 season
    Royal Ballet Young Choreographer Programme: Charlotte Edmonds joins for the 2015/16 season as the first participant

 Leavers:
   First Soloist Deirdre Chapman
   First Artists Pietra Mello-Pittman, Ludovic Ondiviela (mid-season); Jacqueline Clark, Elsa Godard, Michael Stojko, Andrej Uspenski (at season end). Andrej Uspenski will be engaged as photographer for the Royal Ballet for the 2015/16 season
   Aud Jebsen Young Dancers from the 2014/15 season have been offered contracts as follows: Maria Barroso joins the National Ballet of Portugal, Grace Horler joins Scottish Ballet, Ashleigh McKimmie joins Estonian National Ballet

 On sabbatical:
   First Soloist Melissa Hamilton as Principal Dancer at Semperoper Ballet, Dresden for the 2015/16 season
   First Artist Leanne Cope continues her sabbatical playing Lise in Christopher Wheeldon's An American in Paris


Birmingham Royal Ballet
BRB official announcement

 Promotions:
   Mathias Dingman is promoted from First Soloist to Principal
   Céline Gittens is promoted from Soloist to First Soloist
   Yvette Knight is promoted from First Artist to Soloist
   Karla Doorbar, Miki Mizutani, Lewis Turner are promoted from Artist to First Artist

 Joiners (as Artists):
   Letícia Dias Domingues from Brazil, graduate of the Royal Ballet School
   Miko Fogarty from London, graduate of the Indiana Ballet Conservatory, on a 1-year contract
   Beatrice Parma from Italy will join from the Turkish State Opera and Ballet
   Rachele Pizzillo from Italy, graduate of the Royal Ballet School
   Brooke Ray from New Zealand, graduate of the Royal Ballet School
   Mitsuru Ito from Japan will join on a 1-year scholarship as a Prix de Lausanne prizewinner

 Leavers:
   Natasha Oughtred leaves BRB after eight years, six of those years as a Principal. Natasha recently became a mum and has chosen to retire from ballet
   Benjamin Soerel leaves BRB after six years. Benjamin is returning to the Netherlands to study for a degree in physiotherapy at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
   Lorena Agramonte leaves BRB after a year with the Company
   Laetitia Lo Sardo left BRB earlier this season after 17 years, two of those years as a First Soloist. Laetitia is now teaching ballet and enjoying life as a mum
    Sofia Rubio Robles left BRB earlier this season and has returned to Gran Canaria

Royal Ballet School Graduate Contracts 2015
The Royal Ballet Chisato Katsura
Royal Ballet Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Harry Churches, Leo Dixon, Isabel Lubach, Julia Roscoe
Birmingham Royal Ballet Letícia Dias Domingues, Rachele Pizzillo, Brooke Ray
American Ballet Theatre Kento Sumitani
English National Ballet William Beagley, Josephine Frick, Erik Woolhouse
Estonian National Ballet Adam Ashcroft
Mikhailovsky Ballet Monja Obrul
National Ballet of Canada Laurynas Vejalis
National Ballet of Portugal Killian Smith
National Romanian Ballet Henry Dowden
New English Ballet Theatre Maria Huguet Planas
Northern Ballet Alexander Yap
Northern Ballet Apprentice Grace Robinson
Norwegian National Ballet Apprentice Kenji Wilkie
Scottish Ballet Grace Horne
Semperoper Ballett Dresden Giulia Frosi, Gareth Haw
Stuttgart Ballet Apprentice Benjamin Thomas
Washington Ballet Studio Company Sophie Moffatt

Elmhurst School for Dance Graduate Contracts 2015
Georgina Ashworth Kwasnik, Manchester University
Corrine Cox, Apprentice contract Balleto di Sienna
Alice Cunningham, Middlesex University
Jules Davies Hinds, Northern Ballet Theatre, Graduate Programme
Rosanna Ely, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Gemma Gullefer, Dortmund Ballet
Mami Hagihara, Pilzen Ballet, Czech Republic
Sebastian Held, Serbia National Ballet Belgrade
Grace Hume, Atlantic City Ballet, USA
Joshua Lee, Alberta Ballet, Canada
Lily Murray, San Diego Ballet / Alberta Ballet
Laura Myers, Durham University
Dean Rushton, Romanian National Ballet
Rebecca Scanlon, Chantry Dance Company
Archie Sladen, Pilzen Ballet, Czech Republic
Leonie Thomas, Northern Ballet Theatre, Graduate Programme

Ballet Association Awards 2015

Royal Ballet School Each year the Ballet Association provides bursaries for outstanding students. David Bain, Chairman of the Association, attended the School’s end of year Assembly to present the association’s 2015 Royal Ballet School Awards to Gabrielle Beach from the USA, Joshua Junker from Holland and Yuki Sugiura from Japan. Joshua and Yuki are in the First Year of the Upper School and Gabrielle in her second. The Awards of £600 each are given to help with their studies at the School.

BA Award 2015
David Bain and the three award winners. Photo ©The Royal Ballet School

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.

Memorial
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 (1.2Mb, 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.