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

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 had created the lead role. 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, leading a troupe of 200 dancers, at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony.

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 the President of the Royal Academy of Dance, the Patron of the Sydney Dance Company and President of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s fund raising appeal. She was appointed an OBE in 1995 and CBE in 2006. Bussell is married with two daughters.

Videos

News and features

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.

Romeo and Juliet without words

Romeo and Juliet without words

8 October 2013

How the story of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers has the power to live on in other forms.

Darcey Bussell photobook now available

Darcey Bussell photobook now available

19 November 2012

Former Royal Ballet Principal to sign copies the at Royal Opera House Shop.

Photos