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Christopher Saunders

Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet


Christopher Saunders in action.
Christopher Saunders in The Nutcracker, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

British dancer Christopher Saunders is Ballet Master and Principal Character Artist with The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and entered the Company in 1983, promoted to Soloist in 1991 and Principal Character Artist in 1997. He was appointed Ballet Master in 2001. His many roles with the Company include the title role in Don Quixote, Tybalt, Paris and Lord Capulet (Romeo and Juliet), Drosselmeyer (The Nutcracker), Von Rothbart (Swan Lake), Hilarion (Giselle), Edward Elgar (Enigma Variations), Monsieur G.M. (Manon) and Prince Gremin (Onegin).

Saunders was born in Gosport and trained with his aunt, Joan Stevenson, in dance, singing and tap, making his professional debut aged nine in Gypsy starring Angela Lansbury. Aged 11 he joined The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company in 1983. During his time with the Company he has worked with many of the world's leading dancers and created roles including Mr Big (Tuckett's The Seven Deadly Sins) and King of Hearts (Wheeldon's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) and in Tombeaux and Love’s Fool.

Saunders is married to former Soloist of The Royal Ballet Tracy Brown, and lives with her and their three children in London.