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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

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 to pre-order on DVD

The Winter’s Tale available to pre-order on DVD

3 December 2014

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

5 things you need to know about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

5 things you need to know about 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.

Watch: Behind the scenes with The Royal Ballet in Taiwan

Watch: Behind the scenes with The Royal Ballet in Taiwan

8 October 2014

First Soloist Melissa Hamilton introduces newly-released backstage films from the Company’s tour earlier this year.

Cast confirmation: Sampling The Myth at Deloitte Ignite 2014

Cast confirmation: Sampling The Myth at Deloitte Ignite 2014

26 August 2014

A number of Royal Ballet dancers are performing extracts from iconic dance works.

Photos

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsals for Connectome © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watsonin rehearsals for Connectome © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014

Tomas Mock, Marcelino Sambé, Matthew Ball, Steven McRae and Edward Watson in rehearsals for Connectome © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsals for Connectome © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsals for Connectome © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsal for Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, The Royal Ballet ©ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in rehearsal for Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, The Royal Ballet ©ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Christina Arestis and Edward Watson in rehearsal for Ceremony of Innocence, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014

Edward Watson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson and Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Sarah Lamb, Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014

Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione and Edward Watson as Leontes in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Johan Persson 2014

Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione and Edward Watson as Leontes in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Johan Persson 2014

Edward Watson as Leontes and Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione in The Winter's Tale © ROH / Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson as Polixenes, Zenaida Yanowsky as Paulina and Dancers of The Royal Ballet in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Johan Persson 2014

Edward Watson as Leontes, Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione and Federico Bonelli as Polixenes in The Winter's Tale © ROH / Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson as Leontes, Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione and Federico Bonelli as Polixenes in The Winter's Tale © ROH / Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson as Leontes in The Winter's Tale, The Royal Ballet, © ROH / Johan Persson 2014

Edward Watson as Leontes in The Winter's Tale © ROH / Johan Persson, 2014

Edward Watson and Natalia Osipova in Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, The Royal Ballet © ROH /Johan Persson , 2014

Edward Watson in Tetractys - The Art of Fugue, The Royal Ballet © ROH /Johan Persson , 2014

Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence ©ROH.Bill Cooper 2014

Christina Arestis and Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence ©ROH.Bill Cooper 2014

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

Edward Watson in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake for Sampling The Myth, The Royal Ballet © ROH/ Alice Pennefather

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

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

Edward Watson in rehearsals for Raven Girl © ROH/Johan Persson, 2013

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson in Mayerling © ROH/Johan Persson, 2005

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence, Aldeburgh Festival, 2013 ©Aldeburgh Music / Rob Marrison