Accessibility links

|

Sign In
Basket
Basket

Anthony Dowell

Biography

Anthony Dowell in action.
Antoinette Sibley as Manon and Anthony Dowell as Des Griuex in t

English dancer, director and designer Anthony Dowell was Director of The Royal Ballet 1986–2001. As a dancer he was one of the great danseur nobles of the 20th century. In his time with the Company he created many roles for leading choreographers, and forged an acclaimed dance partnership with Antoinette Sibley. While Director, he staged new productions of Swan Lake (1987) and The Sleeping Beauty (1995) for the Company.

Dowell was born in London and trained with June Hampshire before entering The Royal Ballet School aged ten. In 1960 he graduated into the Covent Garden Opera Ballet, transferring to The Royal Ballet the following year. He was promoted to Principal in 1966. Dowell created his first role in 1964, with Frederick Ashton's Oberon (The Dream). The ballet also saw the beginning of Dowell's partnership with Sibley, who created Titania. Further significant role creations included Des Grieux (Kenneth MacMillan's Manon) and Beliaev (Ashton's A Month in the Country). International appearances included dancing as a guest artist with American Ballet Theatre from the 1978/9 season on, and appearing in Ken Russell's film Valentino (1977).

As a costume designer Dowell has created designs for The Royal Ballet's productions of In the Night, Thaïs pas de deux and Symphony in C. He has also appeared as a narrator for companies including The Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Dowell was made a CBE in 1973 (becoming the youngest dancer to be so honoured) and was knighted in 1995.

Videos

News and features

Making Manon: How MacMillan fused two ballerinas' styles in one role

Making Manon: How MacMillan fused two ballerinas' styles in one role

16 September 2014

One of ballet's most iconic roles contains elements of both Antoinette Sibley and Jennifer Penney.

Dance highlight: Scherzo from The Dream

Dance highlight: Scherzo from The Dream

30 May 2014

Frederick Ashton creates a wonderfully virtuoso set piece that perfectly mirrors Mendelssohn's lively music.

Watch: The Sleeping Beauty in rehearsal

Watch: The Sleeping Beauty in rehearsal

30 April 2014

See Anthony Dowell rehearsing Yuhui Choe as Aurora in this exclusive Insights event footage.

The Male Virtuoso

The Male Virtuoso

7 February 2014

A look at the development of the male dancer.

Dancing for Fred

Dancing for Fred

18 February 2013

What being in the studio with Frederick Ashton was really like.

Your Royal Ballet 2011/12 season highlights

Your Royal Ballet 2011/12 season highlights

27 July 2012

We asked you to pick your favourite production of the past season.

Photos