Four new principals at the Royal Ballet – and two of them are Japanese!

Alexander Campbell, Francesca Hayward, Akane Takada, Ryoichi Hirano photo © ROH

photo © ROH

Way back in 2013 I wrote a post asking when we would next see a Japanese principal (the highest rank) at the Royal Ballet. Well, the 2016/17 season is the answer. And it’s not just one either – a bit like buses, it seems, you wait ages and then two come along at once. But the dancer I picked in my 2013 analysis of runners and riders isn‘t one of them. Want to find out who is? Then read on. Continue reading

Autumn Season: Japanese dancers at the Royal Ballet

Artists of The Royal Ballet in Swan Lake, Act II © Bill Cooper/ROH 2011

Artists of The Royal Ballet in Swan Lake, Act II © Bill Cooper/ROH 2011

With the 2014/15 season opening at the Royal Opera House (yes, they’ll be doing Swan Lake), it’s a good time to take another look at the Japanese dancers and see what changes the last year has brought. Some ups and downs and a few leavers is the answer, but so far no dramatic announcements about new principals. Will we see a Japanese dancer reach principal this year? Who knows. But this is how the runners and riders look at the moment. Continue reading

When will we next see a Japanese Principal at the Royal Ballet ?

The Flamingoes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Jacqueline Clark, Anna-Rose O’Sullivan, Fumi Kaneko, Romany Pajdak and Gemma Pitchley-Gale. © Dave Morgan/ROH

The Flamingoes in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Jacqueline Clark, Anna-Rose O’Sullivan, Fumi Kaneko, Romany Pajdak and Gemma Pitchley-Gale.
© Dave Morgan/ROH

The normally peaceful world of British ballet has been hitting the headlines recently, what with Sergei Polunin doing another no-show, Tamara Rojo, the new English National Ballet Director, likening male-dominated ballet to porn, Russian superstar Natalia Osipova joining the Royal and Alina Cojocaru jumping ship from the Royal to the ENB. But inside the hothouse world of the ballet fan other controversies rage, not least of which is, when are they going to promote Yuhui Choe? Continue reading

If it’s Christmas, it must be the Nutcracker

Nutcracker - Sugar Plum FairyFor ballet fans Christmas isn’t Christmas without the ultimate Christmas ballet – the one where a magical toy nutcracker turns into a handsome young man, toy soldiers fight with giant mice, a Christmas tree grows to impossible heights, the heroine journeys through a land of snowflakes to the kingdom of sweets and most important of all, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her prince dance. What is it that makes Nutcracker such a Christmas must-see?

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