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Melissa Hamilton

First Soloist of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Melissa Hamilton in action.
Melissa Hamilton as the title role in Manon, The Royal Ballet © ROH, 2014. Photograph by Alice Pennefather

Melissa Hamilton is a First Soloist of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company in 2007 as an Artist and was promoted to First Artist in 2009, Soloist in 2010 and First Soloist in 2013. She created a role in Wayne McGregor's Infra in 2008 and has since created several roles for McGregor, including in Woolf Works, Limen, Carbon Life and Acis and Galatea. In the 2015/16 Season she takes a leave of absence from The Royal Ballet to dance with Semperoper Ballett, Dresden, as a principal.

Hamilton was born in Belfast and grew up in Dromore, County Down. She began dancing aged four and trained at the Jennifer Bullick School of Ballet. Aged 16 she trained at the Elmhurst School of Dance, Birmingham, for two years and then privately with Masha Mukhamedov in Athens. She won the 2007 Youth American Grand Prix and that year entered The Royal Ballet. In addition to her role creations for McGregor, her roles with The Royal Ballet include Manon, Juliet, Mary Vetsera (Mayerling), Raven Girl, the Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Queen of the Dryads (Don Quixote), Olga (Onegin), the Lilac Fairy and Princess Florine (The Sleeping Beauty), Terpsichore (Apollo) and roles in Afternoon of a Faun, Symphonic Variations, 'Rubies' (Jewels), Fool’s Paradise, Requiem, Tryst, Las hermanas, Agon, Gloria, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, Serenade, The Concert and Song of the Earth.

Hamilton was awarded the Critics’ Circle Outstanding Female Classical Performance in 2009 and won Gold Medal in the Eighth International Seoul Ballet Competition in 2011. In 2013 she was part of a group from The Royal Ballet that took part in special gala performances in Derry as part of its celebrations as UK City of Culture, and that year as made an Allianz Arts and Cultural Brand Ambassador for Northern Ireland

Videos

News and features

Promotions, joiners and leavers at The Royal Ballet for 2015/16

Promotions, joiners and leavers at The Royal Ballet for 2015/16

29 June 2015

Details of Company changes for the upcoming Season have been announced.

Melissa Hamilton to join Semperoper Ballett, Dresden on leave of absence for 2015/16 Season

Melissa Hamilton to join Semperoper Ballett, Dresden on leave of absence for 2015/16 Season

5 May 2015

Royal Ballet First Soloist to join the German company for a year, concentrating on particular works in their repertory.

ROH Students Editathon: Improving Wikipedia’s articles on dance

ROH Students Editathon: Improving Wikipedia’s articles on dance

26 March 2015

Our recent event set the ROH Student Ambassadors to the task of improving the online encyclopedia's articles on all things ballet.

Photos

Melissa Hamilton as Manon and Matthew Golding as Des Grieux in Manon

Melissa Hamilton as Manon and Matthew Golding as Des Grieux in Manon

Dawid Trzensimiech, Marcelino Sambé, Melissa Hamilton, Tristan Dyer and Valentino Zucchetti and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Rubies (Jewels), The Royal Ballet

Leticia Stock, Vadim Muntagirov, Melissa Hamilton and Emma Maguire in rehearsal for Symphonic Variations, The Royal Ballet

Melissa Hamilton as Juliet and Edward Watson as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet

Eric Underwood and Melissa Hamilton in Infra

Edward Watson and Melissa Hamilton in Fool's Paradise.

Eric Underwood and Melissa Hamilton in Infra

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera and Rupert Pennefather as Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling.

Melissa Hamilton as The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.

Leticia Stock, Melissa Hamilton, Reece Clarke and Mayara Magri in Symphonic Variations, The Royal Ballet

Melissa Hamilton in Serenade, The Royal Ballet,

Melissa Hamilton as Queen of the Dryads and artists of The Royal Ballet in Don Quixote, The Royal Ballet

Eric Underwood and Melissa Hamilton in Tryst, The Royal Ballet

Kevin O'Hare and Melissa Hamilton at the 2014/15 cinema launch

Ryoichi Hirano and Melissa Hamilton in rehearsals for Raven Girl

Royal Ballet Soloist Melissa Hamilton

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera and Rupert Pennefather as Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling.

Melissa Hamilton in Raven Girl

Melissa Hamilton and artists of The Royal Ballet in 'Trespass' (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012)

Melissa Hamilton in Metamorphosis: Titian 2012.

Melissa Hamilton and Eric Underwood in Tryst, The Royal Ballet

Leticia Stock, Melissa Hamilton and Emma Maguire in rehearsal for Symphonic Variations, The Royal Ballet

Wayne McGregor and Melissa Hamilton in rehearsals for Raven Girl

Emma Maguire, Fumi Kaneko, Leticia Stock, Melissa Hamilton, Gemma Pitchley-Gale, Claire Calvert and Yasmine Naghdi in Song of the Earth, The Royal Ballet

Melissa Hamilton as Manon and Gary Avis as Monsieur GM in Manon

Brian Maloney and Melissa Hamilton in Chroma

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera and Rupert Pennefather as Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling.

Melissa Hamilton in rehearsals for Don Quixote

Melissa Hamilton and Gary Avis

Melissa Hamilton rehearsing Las Hermanas

Melissa Hamilton and Thiago Soares rehearsing Las Hermanas

Melissa Hamilton and artists of The Royal Ballet in 'Trespass' (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012)

Melissa Hamilton in Tryst, The Royal Ballet