Archive Page Design
Click here to go to Balletco's new home page and site navigation

About the Change
HomeMagazineListingsUpdateLinksContexts
click hereartsworld.com

Royal Ballet Guest Principals


 
Carlos Acosta
Ballet.co interview
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Acosta" in postings
Interviews and views
Carlos Acosta now has the status of 'Guest Principal' in the company, and will be making regular appearances, not only in the full length repertoire. This season he'll be seen in Prodigal Son, in Mayerling and in both Spectre de la Rose and L'Apres midi d'un Faune in the Diaghilev programme. We're fortunate to get the opportunity to watch his dramatic skills grow alongside his already fabulous technical ability. {guest principals}
 
 
Roberto Bolle
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Bolle" in postings
Interviews and views
Bolle's engagement as guest artist this season has been rendered rather pointless by Darcey Bussell's withdrawal, but at least he gets some choice replacements: Pavlenko, Rojo, Benjamin and Cojocaru so far. Last season as well he gave a couple of performances with Alessandra Ferri in Romeo and Juliet when Bussell was injured, and by all accounts she really woke him up and brought out some much more forceful acting from him than his usual style, which can be disappointingly bland: let's hope some of his new partners will have the same effect on him this year. His tall good looks are always an advantage, and he's certainly a fine partner. {guest principals}
 
 
Adam Cooper
Ballet.co interview
Adam Cooper's website
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Cooper" in postings
Interviews and views
Adam Cooper was a principal of the Royal Ballet for some time before the Matthew Bourne Swan Lake changed his career - and possibly his life - for ever. Now he's a cult figure, a world-wide star, but he's actually never stopped coming back to the company occasionally to help them out of a hole - dancing in Ondine with Sarah Wildor, for example. This time it's a scheduled return, dancing with Zenaida Yanowsky in a new piece by William Tuckett. {guest principals}
 
 
Anthony Dowell
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Dowell" in postings
Interviews and views
It must be almost relaxing for Anthony Dowell, after his many years at the top of the company as a dancer and director, to come back with no reponsibilities beyond his own role. Last season he repeated his Drosselmeyer in Nutcracker and also appeared in one of the best non-dancing roles ever made for him, in MacMillan's Winter Dreams. This time he's making his debut as one of the Ugly Sisters in Ashton's Cinderella (the Helpmann one, presumably), a piece of casting tha's been suggested more than once over the last few years, with varying degrees of seriousness. Let's hope it's a successful experiment: it will only work if he can keep himself and his sister (Wayne Sleep) from going too far.

(For the story of Dowell's dancing career, see our Legends pages.) {guest principals}
 

 
Sylvie Guillem
ballet.co interview
Guillem Appreciation
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Guillem" in postings
Guillem website
Interviews and views

Guillem is still in quest of new works and new directions to take her career. She may be the most famous ballerina in Europe, appearing as the principal guest artist with the Royal since 1990, but she is not satisfied simply to repeat works she has done before, or approach roles in the same way. She appears more interested in dramatic roles now and less interested in the sheer technical facility which she could fling gleefully at the audience (though it's still there if she wants to use it, as the coruscating delivery of In the Middle at the Nureyev tribute this year showed). She dances less with Jonathan Cope ('my Rolls-Royce') these days, though this is still one of the most potent partnerships around: both of them seem to spark an extra level of daring and commitment in the other that no one else does.

Guillem organised the controversial central section of the Nureyev tribute programme in 2003 which saw the dancers performing excerpts of roles associated with him against a giant projected backdrop of Nureyev in many celebrated (different) roles. It was much criticised at the time for its distracting qualities, even if it was a sincere tribute to someone she obviously revered. If Guillem's ambitions lie in artistic directorship, she probably didn't win many over by her selections here.

There is a lot of dancing left to come, and wherever Guillem's career takes her it will be interesting. Most notable in the coming season is the new work to be made for by Russell Maliphant for Guillem and the returning (guest) prodigals, Nunn and Trevitt. This should be an interesting one to watch. Guillem's appearances in full length ballets are rarer now, but she does appear as Juliet in the 2003/4 season, and her appearance as the Siren in Balanchine's Prodigal Son should be intriguing. {Guest Principals}
 

 
Nicolas Le Riche
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Le Riche" in postings
Interviews and views
Nicolas Le Riche is one of Sylvie Guillem's favoured partners, and made his first Royal Ballet appearance dancing with her in Ashton's Marguerite and Armand, the first person ever to take over Nureyev's original role. He's one of the great stars of the Paris Opera Ballet, technically amazing but with huge dramatic potential as well. His only problem seems to be that he's so much in demand across the world that he perhaps tries to do too much.

Last season he was seen in MacMillan's Winter Dreams, giving a very different, but valid, interpretation of the role Mukhamdeov created. This year he repeats the Romeo he's danced here before on several occasions, getting better each time. {guest principals}
 

 
Roberta Marquez
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Marquez" in postings
Interviews and views
Roberta Marquez made her first appearance with the Royal Ballet last season, as Aurora in Makarova's new Sleeping Beauty, and also danced Swan Lake with Ivan Putrov on the company's Russian tour. She's a ballerina from the Opera House in Rio de Janeiro, who had apparently impressed Makarova when she danced Nikiya in the Russian dancer's own production of La Bayadère in her home theatre. This season she returns to perform both these roles, dancing each time with Putrov, and she's also appearing with him in Giselle. She's a strong, bright technician, famous for her ability to hold a balance apparently for ever; and she's also tiny, which may help explain why she's so popular with Putrov! We can probably expect to see a good deal of her in the future. {guest principals}
 
 
Irek Mukhamedov
ballet.co Mukhamedov interview
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Mukhamedov" in postings
Interviews and views
A Mukhamedov Website
Mukhamedov's return to the Royal Ballet last season, in MacMillan's The Judas Tree, was expected to be his farewell - but no, he's back this year for the far more demanding undertaking of Prince Rudolph in Mayerling, as well as dancing Rasputin in Anastasia, a role it's said MacMillan was planning to expand especially for him. He's already danced Mayerling this year with the company in Moscow, so fears that it would prove too much for him at this stage of his career were obviously unfounded!

Also last season he appeared in the Nureyev tribute programme in his own version of Poème Tragique, the piece Ashton made for Nureyev's first ever London appearance, and managed to bring to the stage a faint echo of his great predecessor's presence. It's a while since our last report on him as a member of the Royal Ballet,but if you want to take a look, here's the link. {guest principals}
 

 
Michael Nunn
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Nunn" in postings
Interviews and views
Fans of Michael Nunn's work with George Piper Dances in modern works such as Forsythe and Maliphant might be surprised by the extent and variety of his ballet roles when he was with the Royal. He appeared in much of the Royal's more modern repertory including Tharp and Forsythe. However, he also appeared as Des Grieux in Manon and the Prince in Cinderella. He was a fine actor, appearing in roles such as the betrayed husband in Winter Dreams. The George Piper repertoire makes the most of his technical gifts, but seldom gives much opportunity to the dramatic side - perhaps that's why the otherwise slight Matthew Bourne piece they performed recently was so welcome, because it showed off his ability to portray a rounded character.

It's impossible to talk about Nunn without mentioning Trevitt since the two have such a remarkable stage partnership and complement each other so well. But Nunn is also a sympathetic partner to his female colleagues on stage. . {guest_principals}
 

 
Daria Pavlenko
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Pavlenko" in postings
Interviews and views
Darcey Bussell's pregnancy brings Daria Pavlenko in to replace her in La Bayadère. Pavlenko was seen at Covent Garden in this role only a few months ago, in the Kirov's new/old production, and it will be fascinating to compare her performance in the two versions. She's a lovely dancer - unshowy but expressive and musical - and should fit into the Royal Ballet very well. {guest principals}
 
 
Wayne Sleep
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Sleep" in postings
Interviews and views
It's a long time since we've seen Wayne Sleep at Covent Garden, and the decision to bring him back to play the 'Ashton' Ugly Sister in Cinderella is a bold - some might say brave - one. It could work very well, but Sleep is not exactly known for his restraint, and it's a role which needs a very subtle touch. We shall see...

For an account of Sleep's exuberant career, see our Legends pages. {guest principals}
 

 
Kevin Thomas
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Thomas" in postings
Interviews and views
Kevin Thomas was born in Trinidad but did his early training in Quebec, and danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens before joining Dance Theatre of Harlem. He made a strong impression at Sadler's Wells with DTH at the end of last season, dancing Melancholic in Balanchine's Four Temperaments, the role in which he's making his debut with the Royal Ballet. It's not his first connection with the company, though, as he's done the Sleeping Beauty pas de deux for them, in the children's outreach programme Chance to Dance. {guest principals}
 
 
William Trevitt
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Trevitt" in postings
Interviews and views
Trevitt's career has moved in new directions since leaving the Royal Ballet (and then K ballet). As the darker half of George Piper Dances, he has moved on into the more contemporary repertoire. Steptext was a work he used to appear in when with the Royal, but George Piper's performances of it have in some ways refined the presentation of Forsythe's work even further, uncovering further nuances in the strange power struggle it represents. Trevitt could be a dark and brooding presence in his Royal Ballet past (a thoroughly nasty and unsympathetic Lescaut for instance), and he still retains a strong stage personality, as well as technical strength - both very much to the fore in the recently commissioned Satie Stud from Michael Clarke, an intense series of slow sculptured moves and balances held for an unnerving length of time as he stared balefully at the audience.

Nunn and Trevitt form one of the most remarkable dance partnerships in the UK, based largely upon two astute acquisitions for their company from Russell Maliphant, Critical Mass and Torsion. Both of these are extended duets for the pair, featuring Maliphant's characteristic close contact, intertwinings, balances and lifts: the effect is somewhere between martial arts, wresting match and embrace. Both Nunn and Trevitt seem to have absorbed this totally, so that the dance becomes an illustration and commentary on their own real life partnership in the company. {guest_principals}
 

 
Sandra Conley
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Conley" in postings
Interviews and views
Sandra Conley makes a welcome return as a guest Principal Character Artist, the rank she held in the company till she retired a couple of years ago. It's more than 40 years since she first joined the company - she was originally in the touring section where she did the Lilac Fairy and also Swan Lake, sometimes doing the whole ballet and sometimes either Odette or Odile, with Alfreda Thorogood doing the other one. From her later time in the Covent Garden company she's best remembered as Natalia in Month in the Country, and most recently for many character roles, including Giselle's mother and Juliet's nurse. {guest_principals}
 
 
David Drew
Upcoming performances?
Reviews
"Drew" in postings
Interviews and views
Drew retired from fulltime company membership at the end of last season, but he's returning as a guest artist to repeat some of the roles in which he's long seemed indispensable. {guest principals}
 


{top}Home MagazineListings Update Links Contexts
www.ballet.co.uk/links/dancers_rb_guest_principals.htm revised: 9th October 2003
Bruce Marriott email, © all rights reserved, all wrongs denied.
ballet.co credits design by RED56