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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Jennifer Penney



Canadian dancer Jennifer Penney is a former Principal of The Royal Ballet. She won acclaim for her pure classical line, and inspired such choreographers as Kenneth MacMillan, Hans van Manen and John Neumeier.

Penney was born in Vancouver. She trained in British Columbia with Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Farrally before entering The Royal Ballet Upper School in 1962. She graduated into the Company in 1963 and was promoted to Principal in 1970. Her role creations included in MacMillan’s Seven Deadly Sins, Elite Syncopations, Four Seasons, La Fin du jour, Gloria and Orpheus, in Van Manen’s Four Schumann Pieces and in Neumeier’s Fourth Symphony. She also created sections of MacMillan’s Manon, including the Act III Swamp Pas de deux.

Penney’s other roles with The Royal Ballet included Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), Clara (Rudolf Nureyev’s The Nutcracker), Juliet, the Aristocrat (Mam’zelle Angot) and roles in Song of the Earth, Afternoon of a Faun, In the Night and Symphonic Variations. She retired from the Company in 1988. Her awards include a 1980 Evening Standard award.