English dancer Leanne Cope is a First Artist of The Royal Ballet. She trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company in 2003, promoted to First Artist in 2009. She has created several roles for the Company and has built a particularly strong relationship with Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett, who has described her as having ‘a presence on stage like no other’. Cope's role creations for Scarlett include Emily Dimmock and Annie E. Crook (Sweet Violets) and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel). She has also created roles in Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Jonathan Watkins's As One, Will Tuckett’s Timecode and works by Scarlett, Watkins and Samantha Raine in The Royal Ballet's Draft Works. In the 2014/15 Season she takes a sabbatical from the Company to create the role of Lise Dassin in Wheeldon's An American in Paris (Théâtre du Châtelet and Broadway).
Cope was born in Bath and began dancing at the age of five. She trained at The Dorothy Colebourne School of Dance before joining The Royal Ballet Lower School at the age of 11. Her repertory with the Company has included Clara (The Nutcracker), Princess Louise (Mayerling), pas de six (Giselle), White Cat and Red Riding Hood (The Sleeping Beauty), Mustard Seed (The Dream) and roles in Asphodel Meadows, Concerto, Song of the Earth, Sensorium, Four Temperaments and ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Cafe.
Cope is married to Royal Ballet Soloist Paul Kay, who proposed to her on stage during a performance of The Nutcracker.
News and features
3 July 2014
Details of Company changes for the upcoming Season have been announced.
13 September 2012
Take a look at our new promo film prior to curtain up on the 2012/13 Autumn Season.
18 July 2012
Tour the Freed shoe factory with Royal Ballet dancers Leanne Cope and Nathalie Harrison.
7 December 2011
We take a look at the most festive of ballets, including a trio of insightful videos.
Leanne Cope and Thiago Soares in Sweet Violets © ROH Bill Cooper, 2012
Leanne Cope and Thiago Soares in rehearsals for Sweet Violets © Bill Cooper, 2012
Steven McRae as The Sandman and Leanne Cope as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2013
James Hay as Hansel, Leanne Cope as Gretel, Brian Maloney as The Wtich and Steven McRae as The Sandman in Hansel and Gretel © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2013
James Hay as Hansel and Leanne Cope as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel © ROH / Tristram Kenton 2013
Thiago Soares as Robert Wood, Leanne Cope as Emily Dimmock in Sweet Violets © Bill Cooper/ROH 2012
Leanne Cope in rehearsal for Asphodel Meadows © Johan Persson/ROH 2011
Leanne Cope in Asphodel Meadows, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Johan Persson, 2010