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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.

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

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.

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

16 December 2014

Backstage films from the live relay of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, including a closer look at the character of the Queen of Hearts

The Winter’s Tale available on DVD

The Winter’s Tale available on DVD

3 December 2014

Christopher Wheeldon’s Shakespeare-inspired Royal Ballet production features no less than six principal roles.

Ballet Essentials: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Ballet Essentials: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

27 November 2014

Our quick guide to Christopher Wheeldon's glorious family ballet, based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale.

Royal Ballet receives a number of nominations for National Dance Awards 2014

Royal Ballet receives a number of nominations for National Dance Awards 2014

4 November 2014

Nominations are decided by a panel of 50 dance writers from across the UK.

Photos

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 and Liam Mower in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake for Sampling The Myth, The Royal Ballet

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

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson in rehearsal during the creation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 2011

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,

Tomas Mock, Marcelino Sambé, Matthew Ball, Steven McRae and Edward Watson in rehearsals for Connectome

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsals for Connectome

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

Edward Watson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale

Edward Watson and Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale

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 in Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson in Mayerling, The Royal Ballet

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

Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson in The Human Seasons

Edward Watson in The Human Seasons

Edward Watson in Different Drummer

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson at the curtain call for Mayerling

Edward Watson

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II

The Royal Ballet in Trespass, Metamorphosis: Titian 2012.

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

Edward Watson at the Olivier Awards 2012

Edward Watson as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis

Edward Watson as Gregor Samsa and the cast of The Metamorphosis

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

Christina Arestis and Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence

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

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