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Darcey Bussell

Presenter

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

New book to celebrate Carlos Acosta's 17 years with The Royal Ballet

New book to celebrate Carlos Acosta's 17 years with The Royal Ballet

19 August 2015

Book to feature more than one hundred and fifty photos giving a unique retrospective of our Guest Principal dancer’s career.

Grand final of BBC Young Dancer broadcast by BBC Two on 9 May 2015

Grand final of BBC Young Dancer broadcast by BBC Two on 9 May 2015

8 May 2015

Category finalists perform a selection of work live at Sadler's Wells, judged by a panel including Wayne McGregor.

Watch: Members of The Royal Ballet on Swan Lake

Watch: Members of The Royal Ballet on Swan Lake

17 March 2015

Backstage films from the live relay of Swan Lake, including rehearsal footage and exclusive interviews.

Photos