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Rupert Pennefather to leave The Royal Ballet

Principal dancer to leave The Royal Ballet after 16 years.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

12 August 2015 at 3.15pm | 19 Comments

Principal dancer Rupert Pennefather has announced his decision to leave The Royal Ballet after 16 years.

During his time with the Company he has danced all of the major classical repertory including Beliaev in A Month in the Country, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Des Grieux in Manon, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake and Count Albrecht in Giselle. He also danced many contemporary roles including Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and Wayne McGregor’s Chroma as well as creating roles in Alexei Ratmansky’s 24 Preludes and Alastair Marriott’s Sensorium.

Rupert Pennefather said ‘I am so grateful for my time with The Royal Ballet. I will always treasure having danced with so many wonderful partners in such incredible productions. I feel it’s time to see what other opportunities the future holds.’

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, comments ‘Rupert has been a wonderful dancer with The Royal Ballet, particularly excelling in the dramatic works of Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan and the fine danseur noble roles of the 19th century classics. We wish him every future success.’

Cast changes for the 2015/16 Season will be announced soon.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

12 August 2015 at 3.15pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged leavers, Rupert Pennefather

This article has 19 comments

  1. Matthew responded on 12 August 2015 at 4:00pm Reply

    He is an outstanding dancer and he will be greatly missed.

  2. Richard Davis responded on 12 August 2015 at 4:09pm Reply

    Would just like to wish Rupert all the best for the future.Been a real pleasure to watch him in so many productions over the years and particularly enjoyed his Romeo and Crown Prince Rudolf.

  3. Jenny Lebus responded on 12 August 2015 at 6:27pm Reply

    We have enjoyed watching Rupert in a variety of roles over the years and he will be sorely missed.

  4. Jenny Lebus responded on 12 August 2015 at 6:28pm Reply

    We have had the pleasure of watching Rupert in a variety of roles over the years and he will be sorely missed.

  5. He will be greatly missed indeed - I loved his Rudolph and DeGrieux

    All the best for the future :)

  6. Jakegee responded on 12 August 2015 at 8:29pm Reply

    I am so sorry to hear this news, but I wish Rupert happiness and every success in his future plans. His partnership with Zenaida Yanowski in "A Month in the Country" was unforgettable, and he had many other outstanding performances.His presence with Royal Ballet will be greatly missed. Thank you, Rupert, for all the pleasure you have given your audiences over those years.

  7. Karen responded on 13 August 2015 at 10:58am Reply

    I'll admit I discovered Rupert fairly late for some reason. He is now my definitive Rudolf in a performance (2012 ish?) of huge subtlety and pathos. Hope he enjoys even more success and opportunity. He'll be missed.

  8. Michael responded on 13 August 2015 at 5:36pm Reply

    I wish Rupert all the very best for his future endeavours. He was an outstanding partner and dancer at the Royal Ballet. He also surprised with his versatility, think Rudolph in Mayerling and also the more contemporary pieces in the RB repertory. Always cool and elegant but also passionate when called for. He will be missed.

  9. Nanami responded on 13 August 2015 at 11:44pm Reply

    I'm going to miss him so much. He was the first ballet dancer who I fell in love since I watched BBC programme: Master Class for Swan Lake with Lauren Cuthbertson. He's been such a great dancer and will surely be missed. Thank you for your amazing performances and wish you all the best for your next adventure, Rupert!

  10. Lynne responded on 15 August 2015 at 7:50am Reply

    I’m really very sad indeed to hear this. Long a favourite of mine, Rupert was simply outstanding as Des Grieux, Crown Prince Rudolph and Beliaev, a fine Romeo, and unrivalled in the princely roles. A superb partner, he enabled his ballerinas to shine whilst enhancing their radiance with his quiet, commanding elegance – e.g. in Concerto, Requiem, Asphodel Meadows, Symphony in C, and I could go on. Rupert – thanks so much for many amazing performances, and I wish you success and happiness in whatever the future holds. You will be massively missed.

  11. Patricia Coward responded on 15 August 2015 at 8:40am Reply

    I am devastated that Rupert s leaving the Royal Ballet. I have seen him over the years develop into an elegant dancer, with such a beautiful line. The epitome of Royal Ballet style.
    His most memorable performance for me was his debut on his birthday in 'Manon' as Des Grieux.
    All best wishes to him for the future.

  12. J Gingell responded on 18 August 2015 at 2:30am Reply

    Very sad to hear that Pennefather is leaving. He has always brought a rare mixture of sincerity, subtlety and quiet power to his roles, as well as grace and eloquence. I loved his partnership with Nunez a few years back, and I so much hoped to see them together again. Their Giselle was, for me, the most persuasive and heart-breaking I ever saw. And I have seen many.

  13. Debbie Bartlett responded on 20 August 2015 at 1:29pm Reply

    I too am very sad that Rupert is leaving the Royal Ballet. I agree with the comments already posted. For me he has developed into an excellent, well rounded performer combining beautiful lines, grace and finesse with an understated gravitas, yes a rare mix. Never a 'show off' but complementing his partners with panache and flair. His performances of "Manon", "Mayerling", Romeo and Juliet, full of artistry and mastery, not to mention his performance and partnership with Zenaida in "A Month in the Country" for me outstanding and one of the best. Thanks Rupert for all your amazing performances, you will most definitely be missed, and wishing you much success in what ever the future holds for you.

  14. Caroline laing responded on 25 August 2015 at 6:14pm Reply

    How grateful those of us fortunate to have seen Rupert's performances over the years are to him and his graceful technique and considerate and noble partnering. Very many thanks and best wishes for the future.

  15. Eddie Maxwell responded on 18 September 2015 at 2:56pm Reply

    I've just seen that Rupert Pennefather is leaving. Sad to see such a stalwart of the company going. His elegance and strength will be missed. I last saw him in 'A Month in the Country', where he was wonderful. He was an excellent partner for the much-underused Zenaida Yanowsky. You don't say where he is going. I would like to add my name to those of the other wellwishers.

  16. Angela Kennedy responded on 25 September 2015 at 11:20pm Reply

    Sad to see Rupert has left and wonder what he will be doing next ? The Royal Ballet just won't be the same - am so used to seeing his name in my red programme ! Have loved his dancing for so many years ,especially his Romeo . His style and passion has always shone through . Wishing him all the best for his next step/s !

  17. Anne responded on 19 October 2015 at 11:00am Reply

    Very, very sad! Rupert Pennefather was an amazing Romeo and Count Albrecht. Incredible form and elegance. I agree with Angela Kennedy, the RB won't be the same without him.

  18. Susan Shepherd responded on 31 October 2015 at 10:31am Reply

    I am devastated by Rupert's sudden departure. I loved all the roles he took on but remember especially Manon and Romeo and Juliet. I was hoping to be able to watch him again in the coming seasons, but alas no more. I wish him well and hope he will continue to dance so that his many fans will be able to link up with him again.

  19. jonathan responded on 4 September 2016 at 10:51pm Reply

    Very sad to hear this. The standing ovation of Mayerling with his Crown Prince Rudolf went on for 15 minutes. It was an amazing, masterful performance. I wish him incredible success for the future, a big miss for The Royal Ballet.

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