the companies & schools

companies & schools news archive

Useful Links
The Royal Opera House
Royal Ballet company members
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
 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
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
Ludovic Ondiviela
Anna Rose O'Sullivan
Natasha Oughtred*
Laura Purkiss*
Samantha Raine
Genesia Rosato
Liam Scarlett
Alys Shee*
Tyrone Singleton*
Thiago Soares
Gina Storm-Jensen
Lara Turk
Lewis Turner*
Eric Underwood
Andrei Uspenski
Edward Watson
Thomas Whitehead
James Wilkie
Valentino Zucchetti

Company changes for the 2014/2015 season
The Royal Ballet
   Akane Takada and Valentino Zucchetti to First Soloist
   Francesca Hayward, Yasmine Naghdi, Tristan Dyer and Fernando Montaño to Soloist
   Jacqueline Clark, Elsa Godard, Gemma Pitchley-Gale, Luca Acri, Nicol Edmonds, Kevin Emerton
   and Marcelino Sambé to First Artist

   Natalia Osipova, Vadim Muntagirov and Matthew Golding joined as Principal during the season

   As Artist:
   Calvin Richardson from The Royal Ballet School
   Mariko Sasaki from Birmingham Royal Ballet
   Hannah Grennell from Dutch National Ballet
   Gina Storm-Jensen, Reece Clarke and Teo Dubreu, graduates of the RBS, joined during
   the season. Isabella Gasparini also joined in 2014

   Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme (one year contract):
   Grace Blundell and Grace Horler from The Royal Ballet School
   Ashley Scott and Ashleigh McKimmie from English National Ballet School
   Maria Barroso from Semperoper Ballet, Dresden

   David Navarro Yudes joins as a Prix de Lausanne Dancer for 2014/15

   Soloist Dawid Trzensimiech left during last season to join National Romanian Ballet
   Soloist Kenta Kura retires after 17 years to become Boys’ Artistic Teacher at White Lodge
   First Artist Sabina Westcombe
   Artists Ruth Bailey and Claudia Dean
   First Artist Leanne Cope will take a season’s sabbatical to play the part of Lise Dassin in An American in Paris, directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon

RB official announcement

Birmingham Royal Ballet
   Samara Downs from Soloist to First Soloist
   Delia Mathews from First Artist to Soloist
   Yasuo Atsuji from First Artist to Soloist
   William Bracewell from First Artist to Soloist
   Kit Holder from First Artist to Soloist
   Ruth Brill from Artist to First Artist
   Brandon Lawrence from Artist to First Artist

 Joiners (as Artists):
   Alexander Bird from St. Ives, Royal Ballet School graduate
   Edivaldo Souza da Silva from Brazil, Royal Ballet School graduate
   Sofia Rubio Robles from Gran Canaria, from Dutch National Ballet Junior Company
   Daria Stanciulescu from Romania, from Ballet Zurich
   Maki Sekuzu from Japan, Elmhurst School for Dance graduate

   Callie Roberts leaves after seven years with the Company, two of those as a First Artist. Callie is moving to London to explore other ventures.
   Nathanael Skelton left earlier this year after eight years with the Company. He returned to New Zealand to join Royal New Zealand Ballet.

BRB announcement with photos

Royal Ballet School Graduate Contracts 2014
The Royal Ballet Reece Clarke, Calvin Richardson, Gina Storm-Jensen
Royal Ballet Young Dancer Programme Grace Blundell, Grace Horler
Birmingham Royal Ballet Alexander Bird, Edivaldo Souza da Silva
Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse Minoru Kaneko
Ballett Zürich Madeleine Dowdney, Kieran Brooks
Bavarian State Ballet Maud-Hélène Treille
Boston Ballet Hannah Bettes, Samuel Zaldivar
National Ballet of Canada Giorgio Garrett
National Ballet of Uruguay Erin Holloway
National Romanian Ballet Giordana Gallo, Alessandro Audisio, Ross McCaw, Barnaby Rook Bishop
Royal Danish Ballet Drew Nelson, Samuel Rees
Royal Ballet of Flanders Mica Bradbury, Fiona McGee
Sarasota Ballet Lily Howes, Barny Sharratt
Singapore Dance Theatre Dianyu Wu
Stuttgart Ballet Adam Russell-Jones
(100% employment success)

Photos on the Royal Ballet School website

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 (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.