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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 and Patron of the Sydney Dance Company. She was appointed an OBE in 1995 and CBE in 2006.

Videos

News and features

Watch: 'I wanted each step to connect with the audience' – Peter Wright on <em>The Nutcracker</em>

Watch: 'I wanted each step to connect with the audience' – Peter Wright on The Nutcracker

21 December 2016

The choreographer reflects what makes his classic Royal Ballet production so magical, more than three decades after its premiere.

Watch: Why The Royal Ballet never tire of performing <em>The Nutcracker</em>

Watch: Why The Royal Ballet never tire of performing The Nutcracker

16 December 2016

Each and every time it returns, the cast and creative team work tirelessly to ensure that Peter Wright's classic ballet is up to the Company's supremely high standards.

BBC to broadcast behind-the-scenes <em>Nutcracker</em> documentary on Christmas Day 2016

BBC to broadcast behind-the-scenes Nutcracker documentary on Christmas Day 2016

30 November 2016

A new feature-length documentary captures the backstage preparations for the return of The Royal Ballet's iconic Christmas production.

Photos