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Darcey Bussell

Biography

Darcey Bussell in action.
Darcey Bussell in The Prince of the Pagodas, The Royal Ballet © Bill Cooper

Presenter Darcey Bussell is a former Principal of The Royal Ballet and one of the most famous British dancers of her generation. During her nearly twenty years as a Principal of the Company she won renown for her unique combination of a tall, athletic physique with soft lyricism. Her extensive broadcast work includes appearing as a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' and presenting The Royal Ballet's cinema simulcasts, broadcast worldwide.

Bussell trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined the Company in 1988. She was promoted to Principal in 1989 after the premiere of Kenneth MacMillan's The Prince of the Pagodas, in which Bussell created the lead role of Princess Rose. She retired from the Company in June 2007 with a performance of MacMillan's Song of the Earth, broadcast live on BBC2. She came out of retirement to dance the Spirit of the Flame at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony, leading a troupe of 200 dancers.

Her books include Darcey Bussell: A Life in Pictures, the 'Magic Ballerina' children's series and her autobiography. Among the many charities Bussell supports, she is President of the Royal Academy of Dance, Patron of the Sydney Dance Company and President of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s fund-raising appeal. She was appointed an OBE in 1995 and CBE in 2006.

Videos

News and features

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on Manon

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on Manon

16 October 2014

Backstage films from the live relay of Manon, including Darcey Bussell and Deborah MacMillan on the choreographer's creative process and Royal Ballet dancers introducing the story and characters of the ballet.

Getting Inside Manon's Head: Great dancers on one of ballet's most enigmatic roles

Getting Inside Manon's Head: Great dancers on one of ballet's most enigmatic roles

25 September 2014

Antoinette Sibley, Alessandra Ferri, Viviana Durante, Darcey Bussell and Melissa Hamilton speak to us in the ballet’s 40th anniversary year.

Darcey Bussell to present remaining 2013/14 LIVE cinema relays of Royal Ballet productions

Darcey Bussell to present remaining 2013/14 LIVE cinema relays of Royal Ballet productions

23 January 2014

The former Royal Ballet Principal will give audiences glimpses behind the scenes of Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and The Winter's Tale.

Darcey Bussell to sign copies of her new photo book on 17 December 2013

Darcey Bussell to sign copies of her new photo book on 17 December 2013

6 December 2013

Come and meet the former Royal Ballet Principal at the ROH Shop.

Darcey Bussell to present live cinema relay of The Nutcracker

Darcey Bussell to present live cinema relay of The Nutcracker

2 December 2013

The former Royal Ballet Principal gives audiences around the world a glimpse behind the scenes on 12 December.

ROH 'World Stage' series photographer Jason Bell to take official Royal Christening photos

ROH 'World Stage' series photographer Jason Bell to take official Royal Christening photos

23 October 2013

Photographer shot the world's greatest ballet and opera stars for a long-running ROH campaign.

Photos