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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, Des Grieux (Manon), 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 Linbury Studio Theatre he created the role of Gregor Samsa (Arthur Pita’s The Metamorphosis) and a special mixed programme with Wendy Whelan.

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 often 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 choreographers, including Siobhan Davies, Alastair Marriott, Cathy Marston (whom he has known from childhood) and Ashley Page.

Other significant roles with the Company include Count Albrecht (Giselle), Palemon (Ondine) and Ivan Tsarevich (The Firebird). In 2012 Watson received an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for The Metamorphosis. He was awarded an MBE in 2015.

Videos

News and features

Watch: Inside The Royal Ballet's state-of-the-art Healthcare Suite

Watch: Inside The Royal Ballet's state-of-the-art Healthcare Suite

14 January 2016

Like a Premier League football club, The Royal Ballet uses the latest sports science to ensure its artists have long and successful careers.

Gallery: Portraits of Royal Ballet dancers by photographer Rick Guest

Gallery: Portraits of Royal Ballet dancers by photographer Rick Guest

29 December 2015

A new exhibition and two new books focus on what it takes to be a ballet dancer.

National Dance Awards 2015 nominations announced

National Dance Awards 2015 nominations announced

30 October 2015

Royal Ballet dancers and choreographers are nominated for 14 awards this year.

Photos

Valeri Hristov, Marianela Nuñez and Edward Watson in Monotones II, The Royal Ballet

Natalia Osipova in rehearsal for Strapless, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson, Matthew Ball and Natalia Osipova in rehearsal for Strapless, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson and Natalia Osipova in rehearsal for Strapless, The Royal Ballet

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

Wayne McGregor, Tristan Dyer and Edward Watson in rehearsal for Woolf Works, The Royal Ballet

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

Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson in Whelan/Watson: Other Stories.

Wendy Whelan and Edward Watson in Whelan/Watson: Other Stories.

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

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

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 in The Human Seasons

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II

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

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

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 in Gloria, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson and Melissa Hamilton in Fool's Paradise.

Edward Watson and Sarah Lamb in Mayerling

Edward Watson in 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café

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

Edward Watson as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis