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Bennet Gartside

First Soloist of The Royal Ballet


English dancer Bennet Gartside is a First Soloist with The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and on graduation in 1995 joined the Company as an Artist, promoted to First Artist in 2000, Soloist in 2002 and First Soloist in 2007. His roles with the Company include Crown Prince Rudolf (Mayerling), Ivan Tsarevich (The Firebird), Leontes (The Winter's Tale), Mercutio, Tybalt, Friar Laurence and Escalus (Romeo and Juliet), Hilarion (Giselle), Prince Gremin (Onegin), Drosselmeyer (The Nutcracker), Von Rothbart (Swan Lake), Escamillo (Carmen) and roles in Ballet Imperial, La Valse, Sinfonietta, Judas Tree, Song of the Earth, Dances at a Gathering, Scènes de ballet and Theme and Variations. He created the roles of Walter Sickert (Sweet Violets) and Father (Hansel and Gretel) for Liam Scarlett and Antigonus (The Winter's Tale) for Christopher Wheeldon.

Gartside was born in Lancaster and started dancing aged seven, attending lessons with his older sister. He trained at the Sharon Harrison School of Dance before joining The Royal Ballet Lower School. For his graduation performance he danced Deux Pigeons with Laura Morera, Mayuko Maeda and Will Kemp. Soon after joining the Company he created a role in Tharp's Mr Worldly Wise, and has gone on to create roles in Tuckett's The Crucible, Marsten's Traces, Marriott's Tanglewood, and Scarlett's Of Mozart, Asphodel Meadows and Consolations and Liebestraum.

In addition to his work as a dancer, Gartside is a filmmaker, maintains The Royal Ballet's video archive, runs a PR company with his wife and teaches ballet to staff of the Royal Opera House.

Upcoming productions

  • The Winter's Tale

    Cast as Leontes

    The world premiere of a new full-length ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, based on Shakespeare’s enduring tale of love, loss and reconciliation.

  • Sweet Violets

    Cast as Walter Sickert

    Murder, sexuality and art are the potent themes of Liam Scarlett’s ballet, inspired by Walter Sickert’s paintings.


Liam Scarlett on creating the characters in Hansel and Gretel

News and features

  1. Watch: Bennet Gartside's Random Acts short film 'Sarah'

    Watch: Bennet Gartside's Random Acts short film 'Sarah'

    Channel 4 film stars Sarah Lamb and gives an insight into a dancer's warm up and rehearsal process.

  2. 2,000 ballet newcomers get their first taste of the art form through 2013 Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat

    2,000 ballet newcomers get their first taste of the art form through 2013 Paul Hamlyn Christmas Treat

    Make-up masterclasses and armoury workshops on offer at performance of The Nutcracker.