English dancer Gary Avis is Ballet Master and a Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. He joined the Company in 1989 and was promoted to Soloist in 1995 and to Principal Character Artist in 2005. He was made Assistant Ballet Master in 2007 and Ballet Master during the 2009/10 Season. His many roles with the Company include almost all the male Principal Character roles, including Drosselmeyer (The Nutcracker), Von Rothbart (Swan Lake) and Step-Sister (Cinderella). He has created many roles for The Royal Ballet.
He was born in Ipswich and began ballet aged 12, having originally trained in musical theatre; Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire remain major inspirations. He trained locally at the Linda Shipton School of Dance and at Bird College, Kent, before joining The Royal Ballet Upper School and graduating into the Company. He left the Company in 1999 to co-found K-Ballet Company in Japan, and danced with English National Ballet for two years before returning to The Royal Ballet in 2004. He has enjoyed a long dance partnership with Darcey Bussell, creating a role with her in Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and partnering her in her Viva la Diva Arena Tour, on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and at the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony.
In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University Campus Suffolk and was awarded the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Male Performance – Classical. He supports a wide variety of charitable causes and was involved in the creation of World Hunger Day. He is a patron of the Choreographic Development Fund at Dance East, the Wheelchair Dance Sport Association UK and Chelsea Ballet, and is on the board of Dance East.
News and features
Evening of world class dance to honour the life of Ann Maguire and celebrate her legacy.
Audience comments from the first night of works by Frederick Ashton, including Scènes de ballet and Symphonic Variations.
Highlights from The Big Question debate, held at the Royal Opera House.
Zenaida Yanowsky as Manon and Gary Avis as the Gaoler in Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, The Royal Ballet,
Matthew Golding as Prince Siegfried, Natalia Osipova as Odette and Gary Avis as Von Rothbart in Swan Lake.
Philip Mosley and Gary Avis as the Ugly Sisters and Roberta Marquez as the title role in Cinderella, The Royal Ballet
Sara Lamb as Cinderella, Philip Mosley and Gary Avis as Ugly Sisters and Christopher Saunders as the Father in Cinderella, The Royal Ballet
Marianela Nuñez as Sylvia and Gary Avis as Orion in Sylvia, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis. Photograph by Daniel Jones
Alessandra Ferri and Gary Avis in Woolf Works, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis in Carmen, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer and Brian Maloney and Bethany Keating as Dolls in The Nutcracker
Gary Avis as Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker
Darcey Bussell and Royal Ballet Principals at the London 2012 closing ceremony
Zenaida Yanowsky as Natalia Petrovna and Gary Avis as Rakitin in A Month in the Country
Gary Avis as Monsieur GM, Lauren Cuthbertson as Manon and José Martin as Lescaut in Manon
Lauren Cuthbertson as Manon, Gary Avis as Monsieur GM and Christina Arestis as Madam and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Act II of Kenneth Macmillan's Manon
Gary Avis, Ludovic Ondiviela and Mara Galeazzi in Ludovic Ondiviela’s Cassandra
Gary Avis as Von Rothbart and Natalia Osipova as Odile in Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet
Francesca Hayward as a Swan in Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet
Matthew Golding as Prince Siegfried, Natalia Osipova as Odette and Gary Avis as Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis as the Gaoler and Artists of the Royal Ballet in Manon, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis and Meaghan Grace Hinkis in The Nutcracker
Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani and Gary Avis in Mayerling, The Royal Ballet
Melissa Hamilton and Gary Avis
Natalia Osipova as Odile and Gary Avis as Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis and Alexander Campbell in Romeo and Juliet
Gary Avis as Ugly Sister and Ryoichi Hirano as Suitor in Cinderella, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis as the High Brahmin and Artists of The Royal Ballet as the D’Jampée dancers in La Bayadère, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis as The Immortal Kostcheï and Artists of The Royal Ballet in The Firebird, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis in The Nutcracker, The Royal Ballet
Gary Avis in The Nutcracker
Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker
Gary Avis in Manon, The Royal Ballet
Roberta Marquez as Lise, Ludovic Ondiviella as Alain, Gary Avis as Thomas and Philip Mosley as Widow Simone in La Fille Mal Gardee