22 November 2012 at 2.50pm | Comment on this article
Royal Ballet Soloists Melissa Hamilton and Eric Underwood were the subjects of a recent In Conversation event.
They spoke to fellow artist Gary Avis about their careers so far as well as plans for the future and what they're most excited about in the upcoming Season.
As well as recounting how she left the UK to train in Greece, Melissa spoke about debuting in Romeo and Juliet. On top of the challenge of the role itself, she had to change partners three days before opening night. "My debut was put together with my Romeo [Edward Watson] three days before...To do any MacMillan ballet you rely on your partner, that's what makes MacMillan MacMillan: it's about the relationship of the characters, but Ed was there for me 100%. When we did the balcony pas de deux in performance was the first time we had run it the whole way through!"
Both Eric and Melissa started ballet late and Eric told Gary about leaving his native Washington D.C. for the School of American Ballet in New York to train as a dancer: "Ballet was really clear for me - things were right and wrong. There was no grey area so it's easy to know what you're trying to achieve and I immediately fell in love with ballet. "
Eric is performing with Wayne McGregor | Random Dance this month while Melissa is currently appearing in Las Hermanas as part of the MacMillan Mixed Bill. She will also perform the role of Clara in The Nutcracker.