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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 in Symbiont(s), Qualia, Chroma, Infra, Limen, Carbon Life, Raven Girl, Tetractys and Woolf Works, 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: Edward Watson in rehearsals for Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works

Watch: Edward Watson in rehearsals for Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works

29 April 2015

Wayne McGregor has created more ballets on Edward Watson than on any other dancer.

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.

Photos

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

Edward Watson as Polixenes, Zenaida Yanowsky as Paulina and Dancers of The Royal Ballet in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet,

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsals for Connectome

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

Melissa Hamilton as Juliet and Edward Watson as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet

Edward Watson and Liam Mower 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

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 Lauren Cuthbertson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale

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

Edward Watson in Gloria, The Royal Ballet

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

Christina Arestis and Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence

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

Edward Watson in 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café

Edward Watson in The Human Seasons

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson at the curtain call for Mayerling

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson at the curtain call for Mayerling

Edward Watson as Crown Prince Rudolf and Mara Galeazzi as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling

Edward Watson as Des Grieux and Mara Galeazzi as Manon in Manon

Edward Watson as Des Grieux and Mara Galeazzi as Manon in Manon

Edward Watson and Mara Galeazzi in Chroma

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II

Edward Watson and Melissa Hamilton in Fool's Paradise.

Edward Watson and Sarah Lamb in Mayerling

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

Edward Watson as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis

World Stage 2012 - Edward Watson

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 on the set of the Spring 2012 World Stage shoot

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

Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson in Invitus Invitam

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