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Edward Watson

Principal of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Edward Watson is a Principal of The Royal Ballet and one of the leading dancers in Britain today. He has gained particular acclaim for his interpretation of Principal roles in the MacMillan repertory, including Crown Prince Rudolf (Mayerling), Romeo, The Chosen One (The Rite of Spring), Woyzeck (Different Drummer) and roles in Gloria and Song of the Earth, as well as for many other classical and contemporary roles.

Born in Bromley, South London, he started going to ballet lessons at the age of three with his twin sister and joined The Royal Ballet School at the age of 11. He graduated into The Royal Ballet in 1994 and was promoted to Principal in 2005. Watson's extraordinary flexibility has made him a muse for The Royal Ballet's Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon. Role creations for McGregor include Symbiont(s), Qualia, Chroma, Infra, Limen, Carbon Life, Raven Girl and Tetractys – The Art of Fugue, and for Wheeldon Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) and Leontes (The Winter's Tale). Watson has worked with numerous other contemporary choreographers, including Ashley Page, Siobhan Davies, Arthur Pita and Cathy Marston, whom he has known from childhood.

Other significant roles with the Company include Count Albrecht (Giselle), Des Grieux (Manon), Palemon (Ondine) and Ivan Tsarevich (The Firebird). In 2012 Watson received an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his role as Gregor Samsa in Pita’s The Metamorphosis.

Upcoming productions

  • The Winter's Tale

    Cast as Leontes

    The world premiere of a new full-length ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, based on Shakespeare’s enduring tale of love, loss and reconciliation.

  • DGV: Danse à grande vitesse

    Cast as Principal

    Christopher Wheeldon channels the hurtling momentum of Michael Nyman’s music in choreography of thrilling propulsion.

  • New Marriott

    Cast as Principal

    The world premiere of a new work by acclaimed choreographer and Royal Ballet Principal Character Artist Alastair Marriott.

  • Manon

    Cast as Des Grieux

    Kenneth MacMillan's acclaimed tragic ballet is a modern masterpiece.

Videos

News and features

  1. Arthur Pita’s award-winning dance theatre adaptation of Kafka's The Metamorphosis released on DVD

    Arthur Pita’s award-winning dance theatre adaptation of Kafka's The Metamorphosis released on DVD

    Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson to sign copies of the DVD at the Royal Opera House Shop on 7 February.

  2. Watch: Stage managing The Metamorphosis

    Watch: Stage managing The Metamorphosis

    Acclaimed production isn’t just about dance, it’s also about treacle.

  3. Your Reaction: The Metamorphosis

    Your Reaction: The Metamorphosis

    Audience tweets about Arthur Pita's dance theatre adaptation of Kafka's novella.

  4. Watch: Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal

    Watch: Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal

    Look under the bonnet of two new ballets with their choreographers and members of The Royal Ballet.

  5. Royal Ballet dancers the subjects of new photography exhibition

    Royal Ballet dancers the subjects of new photography exhibition

    Fashion, dance and photography brought together in works by Rick Guest.

  6. Creator and Muse: Choreographers, dancers and the roles they make together

    Creator and Muse: Choreographers, dancers and the roles they make together

    From The Rite of Spring to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, ballet's specially-created roles.

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