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Deirdre Chapman

First Soloist of The Royal Ballet


Deirdre Chapman in action.
Deirdre Chapman in The Sleeping Beauty, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Johan Persson, 2011

American dancer Deirdre Chapman is a former First Soloist of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company in 2002 as a First Artist and was promoted to Soloist within three months of joining and to First Soloist in 2003. She retired from the Company in 2014. Her repertory with the Company included Berthe and Myrtha (Giselle), Mitzi Caspar and Empress Elisabeth (Mayerling), Gamzatti (La Bayadère), Polyhymnia (Apollo), Webster (A Wedding Bouquet), Columbine (Pierrot Lunaire), Madge (La Sylphide), Carabosse (The Sleeping Beauty), Winifred Norbury (Enigma Variations), Pianist (The Lesson) and roles in Ceremony of Innocence, Sinfonietta, Carmen, Polyphonia, Symphony in C, Les Biches, La Valse, Four Temperments, Afternoon of a Faun and DGV: Danse à grande vitesse.

Chapman was born in Minneapolis and began dancing at her mother's dance school. She trained in both ballet and contemporary at Minnesota Dance Theatre, Ballet Arts Minnesota and the San Francisco Ballet School. Chapman joined San Francisco Ballet in 1992 after graduating from high school and was promoted to soloist in 1997. The next year she moved to London and joined the then Rambert Dance Company, where she spent four years before moving to The Royal Ballet. Her repertory included roles in Jirí Kylián's Symphony of Psalms, Ohad Naharin's Axioma 7, Christopher Bruce's Ghost Dances and Rooster and in works by Val Canaparoli, Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, Agnes de Mille, Mark Morris, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Glen Tetley, Twyla Tharp and Helgi Tómasson.

Chapman's role creations include Le Gelée in David Bintley’s Les Saisons and roles in Bruce's Three Songs – Two Voices and Christopher Wheeldon's Electric Counterpoint. In the 2014/15 Season she assists Kim Brandstrup in the staging of Ceremony of Innocence and Hofesh Shechter in his new work for The Royal Ballet.

News and features

Royal Ballet dancers to perform at Aldeburgh Festival

Royal Ballet dancers to perform at Aldeburgh Festival

20 June 2013

Seven dancers to perform a new piece by Kim Brandstrup to celebrate Britten's centenary.