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Edward Watson

Principal of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Edward Watson in action.
Edward Watson in rehearsal for 24 Preludes © ROH/Johan Persson, 2013

English dancer Edward Watson is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. He has won particular acclaim for his interpretation of Principal roles in the works of Kenneth MacMillan, 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, in addition to his many other roles for The Royal Ballet. In the 2014/15 Season he dances in a newly created mixed programme with Wendy Whelan in the Linbury Studio Theatre.

Watson was born in Bromley, South London. He started going to ballet lessons aged three with his twin sister and joined The Royal Ballet School aged 11. He graduated into The Royal Ballet in 1994 and was promoted to First Artist in 1998, Soloist in 2000, First Soloist in 2002 and Principal in 2005. Watson's extreme 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 Alastair Marriott, 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.

Videos

News and features

Watch: Song of the Earth in rehearsal

Watch: Song of the Earth in rehearsal

27 March 2015

Royal Ballet Principals Laura Morera, Nehemiah Kish and Edward Watson rehearse Kenneth MacMillan's piece with Monica Mason and notator Grant Coyle.

Brave New World: Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson on teaming up for a leap into the unknown

Brave New World: Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson on teaming up for a leap into the unknown

10 February 2015

The former New York City Ballet dancer and current Royal Ballet Principal on stepping into unknown territory and finding common ground.

International ballet stars to perform at Ann Maguire Gala on 22 March 2015

International ballet stars to perform at Ann Maguire Gala on 22 March 2015

26 January 2015

Evening of world class dance to honour the life of Ann Maguire and celebrate her legacy.

Photos

Edward Watson, Roberta Marquez and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Jewels, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake for Sampling The Myth, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake for Sampling The Myth, The Royal Ballet

Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione and Edward Watson as Leontes in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet,

Edward Watson as Leontes in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet,

Edward Watson and Mara Galeazzi in Ceremony of Innocence, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale

Edward Watson and Natalia Osipova in Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, The Royal Ballet

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsal for Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson in The Human Seasons

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson at the curtain call for Mayerling

Edward Watson and Mara Galeazzi in Chroma

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson in Mayerling

Edward Watson and Mara Galeazzi in Mayerling

Edward Watson as Crown Prince Rudolf and Iohna Loots as Princess Stephanie in Mayerling

Darcey Bussell and Royal Ballet Principals at the London 2012 closing ceremony

Edward Watson and Tamara Rojo in Machina, Metamorphosis: Titian 2012.

Edward Watson in rehearsals for Metamorphosis: Titian 2012.

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson in Polyphonia

Edward Watson as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis

Edward Watson as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis

Edward Watson in Infra

Edward Watson and Marianela Nuñez in Infra

Edward Watson on the set of the Spring 2012 World Stage shoot

Edward Watson on the set of the Spring 2012 World Stage shoot

Edward Watson rehearsing The Rite of Spring

Edward Watson rehearsing The Rite of Spring

Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson in Invitus Invitam

Edward Watson and artists of The Royal Ballet in The Four Temperaments

Edward Watson in Song of the Earth

Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence

Christina Arestis and Edward Watson in rehearsal for Ceremony of Innocence, The Royal Ballet

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence, Aldeburgh Festival, 2013

Edward Watson and Leanne Benjamin in Invitus Invitam, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson as Leontes, Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione and Federico Bonelli as Polixenes in The Winter's Tale

Edward Watson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale