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Federico Bonelli

Principal of The Royal Ballet


Federico Bonelli joined The Royal Ballet as a Principal in 2003. He is best known for his danseur noble roles with the Company, winning particular acclaim for his performances of Romeo, Armand, Siegfried (Swan Lake), Prince (The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty) and Des Grieux (Manon).

Born in Genoa, he trained at the Turin Dance Academy under both Italian teachers and visiting Cuban teachers. Their involvement led to his participation at the International Ballet Festival of Havana, at which he won second prize. Other awards include first prize at the Rieti International Ballet Competition in Italy, a Prix de Lausanne scholarship, the 2005 Positano Prix for Ballet and a nomination for Best Male Dancer at the 2007 Critics' Circle Awards.

Bonelli's first appointment after graduating was with Zürich Ballet, which he joined in 1995. It was at Zürich Ballet that he met his wife, Royal Ballet First Soloist Hikaru Kobayashi. Bonelli moved to Dutch National Ballet in 1999, and was promoted to principal in 2002, before moving to The Royal Ballet as one of Monica Mason's first Principal appointments the following year. His debut with the Company was as Romeo, opposite Mara Galeazzi's Juliet. In 2005 he became the third man to dance Armand (after Rudolf Nureyev and Jonathan Cope). In addition to dancing classical roles, Bonelli has created roles in new works such as Chroma, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, Live Fire Exercise, Aeternum and Tetractys – The Art of Fugue, and created the role of Polixenes (The Winter's Tale).

Upcoming productions

  • The Winter's Tale

    Cast as Polixenes

    The world premiere of a new full-length ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, based on Shakespeare’s enduring tale of love, loss and reconciliation.

  • DGV: Danse à grande vitesse

    Cast as Principal

    Christopher Wheeldon channels the hurtling momentum of Michael Nyman’s music in choreography of thrilling propulsion.

  • Sweet Violets

    Cast as Eddy

    Murder, sexuality and art are the potent themes of Liam Scarlett’s ballet, inspired by Walter Sickert’s paintings.

  • The Dream

    Cast as Oberon

    Frederick Ashton’s delightful interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a classic of The Royal Ballet.

  • Manon

    Cast as Des Grieux

    Kenneth MacMillan's acclaimed tragic ballet is a modern masterpiece.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Cast as Jack/The Knave of Hearts

    Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Christopher Wheeldon’s thrillingly entertaining ballet.

  • Don Quixote

    Cast as Basilio

    Carlos Acosta's exuberant production of this classic tale of friendship, love and loyalty is bursting with joie de vivre.


News and features

  1. The Male Virtuoso

    The Male Virtuoso

    A look at the development of the male dancer.

  2. Cast Change: Federico Bonelli to dance the role of Albrecht in Giselle

    Cast Change: Federico Bonelli to dance the role of Albrecht in Giselle

    Federico Bonelli replaces Nehemiah Kish in Giselle.

  3. Your reaction: Romeo and Juliet

    Your reaction: Romeo and Juliet

    What did you think of the return of Kenneth MacMillan's Shakespearean Royal Ballet production?

  4. Gallery: Inside rehearsals for Carlos Acosta's Don Quixote

    Gallery: Inside rehearsals for Carlos Acosta's Don Quixote

    Behind-the-scenes with The Royal Ballet in rehearsal for a highly anticipated new work.

  5. Your reaction: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Your reaction: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Audience tweets about the return of Christopher Wheeldon's fantastical ballet.

  6. Royal Opera House heads to Brazil

    Royal Opera House heads to Brazil

    Artists from Royal Ballet and Royal Opera to perform at Rio’s Theatro Municipal.

View more news and features