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Gary Avis

Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Gary Avis in action.
Alessandra Ferri and Gary Avis in Woolf Works, The Royal Ballet © 2015 ROH. Photograph by Tristram Kenton

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.

Videos

News and features

MacMillan's <em>The Invitation</em>: How dancers revive a challenging historic ballet

MacMillan's The Invitation: How dancers revive a challenging historic ballet

6 June 2016

For its first revival in decades, landmark dramatic ballet The Invitation is being performed in a very different cultural climate from its 1960 premiere.

Watch: Members of the cast and creative teams on <em>The Nutcracker</em>

Watch: Members of the cast and creative teams on The Nutcracker

16 December 2015

Backstage films from the live relay of the Christmas classic including Darcey Bussell's visit to The Royal Ballet School and Drosselmeyer's special effect secrets.

International ballet stars to perform at Ann Maguire Gala on 22 March 2015

International ballet stars to perform at Ann Maguire Gala on 22 March 2015

26 January 2015

Evening of world class dance to honour the life of Ann Maguire and celebrate her legacy.

Photos

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in rehearsal for The Invitation, The Royal Ballet

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in rehearsal for The Invitation, The Royal Ballet

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in rehearsal for The Invitation, The Royal Ballet

Matthew Golding as Prince Siegfried, Natalia Osipova as Odette and Gary Avis as Von Rothbart in Swan Lake.

Zenaida Yanowsky as Manon and Gary Avis as the Gaoler in Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, The Royal Ballet,

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

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

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in rehearsal for The Invitation, The Royal Ballet

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

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in rehearsal for The Invitation, The Royal Ballet

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

Gary Avis, Ludovic Ondiviela and Mara Galeazzi in Ludovic Ondiviela’s Cassandra

Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani and Gary Avis in Mayerling, 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

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

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in The Invitation

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in rehearsal for The Invitation, The Royal Ballet

Gary Avis in The Nutcracker, The Royal Ballet