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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

Edward Watson is a Principal of The Royal Ballet and one of the leading dancers in Britain today. He has gained particular acclaim for his interpretation of Principal roles in the MacMillan repertory, 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, as well as for many other classical and contemporary roles.

Born in Bromley, South London, he started going to ballet lessons at the age of three with his twin sister and joined The Royal Ballet School at the age of 11. He graduated into The Royal Ballet in 1994 and was promoted to Principal in 2005. Watson's extraordinary 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

Your reaction: The Dream / Connectome / The Concert

Your reaction: The Dream / Connectome / The Concert

1 June 2014

What did you think of The Royal Ballet's Mixed programme featuring works by Ashton, Marriott and Robbins?

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on The Winter’s Tale

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on The Winter’s Tale

28 April 2014

Another chance to see the backstage films screened as part of our live cinema relay.

Gallery: Rehearsals for The Winter's Tale 2014

Gallery: Rehearsals for The Winter's Tale 2014

3 April 2014

Christopher Wheeldon's new work is The Royal Ballet’s first full-length Shakespeare adaptation for almost 50 years.



Ballet Essentials: The Winter's Tale

Ballet Essentials: The Winter's Tale

31 March 2014

A quick guide to Christopher Wheeldon's captivating Shakespeare adaptation.

Watch: Tetractys - The Art of Fugue in rehearsal

Watch: Tetractys - The Art of Fugue in rehearsal

13 February 2014

Watch Wayne McGregor rehearse with Lauren Cuthbertson, Natalia Osipova, Eric Underwood and Edward Watson.

The Male Virtuoso

The Male Virtuoso

7 February 2014

A look at the development of the male dancer.

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

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

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

Edward Watson and Mara Galeazzi in Ceremony of Innocence, The Royal Ballet © Aldeburgh Music / Rob Marrison 2014

Edward Watson

Edward Watson in The Metamorphosis © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2011

Edward Watson in The Metamorphosis © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2011

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson at the curtain call for Mayerling © ROH / Ruairi Watson

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson at the curtain call for Mayerling © ROH / Ruairi Watson

Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson at the curtain call for Mayerling © ROH / Ruairi Watson

Mara Galeazzi's final curtain call © ROH / Ruairi Watson

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013