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Elizabeth McGorian

Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet


Elizabeth McGorian in action.
Elizabeth McGorian as Madame Moritz in Frankenstein, The Royal Ballet © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper

Elizabeth McGorian is a Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company in 1977 and was promoted to Soloist in 1991 and Principal Character Artist in 1997. Her wide repertory with the Company includes Lady Capulet (Romeo and Juliet), Empress Elisabeth and Helene Vetsera (Mayerling), Madge (La Sylphide), Lady Elgar (Enigma Variations), Pianist (The Lesson), Berthe (Giselle), Queen (The Sleeping Beauty) and roles in The Concert and Elite Syncopations. Her role creations include Marie Virginie Avegno (Strapless), Madame Moritz (Frankenstein) and in Fleeting Figures, Piano, Half the House and Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus.

McGorian was born in Zambia and studied at the Mercia Hetherington School in Zimbabwe. She joined The Royal Ballet Upper School in 1976, won gold in the 1977 Adeline Genée International Ballet Competition and joined the Company that year. Her many roles with the Company have included Utah Longhorn Ram (‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café), Myrtha (Giselle), Countess and Carabosse (The Sleeping Beauty), Josephine (Wedding Bouquet), Bride (Les Noces) and Tsarevna and Tsarina (Anastasia).

Work away from the Company includes appearing in Arthur Pita’s Facada with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev as part of their Solo for Two programme at the London Coliseum.

News and features

Female Character Artists: from loving mother to bloodthirsty baddy

Female Character Artists: from loving mother to bloodthirsty baddy

5 February 2015

These expert dancer-actors are as important to the drama as the leading lady.