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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 Limen, Carbon Life and Acis and Galatea. Other roles 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 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 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.

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

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.

The road to becoming a ballerina

The road to becoming a ballerina

6 March 2015

Through all the step-learning and technique finessing, there's one constant – the ever-present and ever-important footwear.

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.

Royal Opera House stars gather to launch Live Cinema Season 2014/15

Royal Opera House stars gather to launch Live Cinema Season 2014/15

16 October 2014

Dancer Melissa Hamilton, soprano Elizabeth Watts, Kevin O’Hare and others celebrate the start of the new Season.

Watch: Behind the scenes with The Royal Ballet in Taiwan

Watch: Behind the scenes with The Royal Ballet in Taiwan

8 October 2014

First Soloist Melissa Hamilton introduces newly-released backstage films from the Company’s tour earlier this year.

Watch: Melissa Hamilton and Francesca Hayward on performing Manon for the first time

Watch: Melissa Hamilton and Francesca Hayward on performing Manon for the first time

3 October 2014

The Royal Ballet's latest Manons on their first appearance in one of ballet's most dramatic roles.

Photos

Melissa Hamilton in Tryst, The Royal Ballet

Melissa Hamilton as Manon in Manon

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

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

Melissa Hamilton in Tryst, The Royal Ballet

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

Melissa Hamilton in rehearsals for Don Quixote

Melissa Hamilton in Sensorium

Melissa Hamilton as The Sugar Plum Fairy and Sergei Polunin as The Prince in The Nutcracker.

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

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

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.

Eric Underwood and Melissa Hamilton in Infra

Melissa Hamilton and Thiago Soares in Las Hermanas.

Eric Underwood and Melissa Hamilton in Infra

Wayne McGregor and Melissa Hamilton in rehearsals for Raven Girl

Eric Underwood and Melissa Hamilton in Tryst, The Royal Ballet

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

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

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

Ryoichi Hirano and Melissa Hamilton in rehearsals for Raven Girl

Melissa Hamilton and Eric Underwood in Tryst, The Royal Ballet

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

Brian Maloney and Melissa Hamilton in Chroma

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.

Melissa Hamilton rehearsing Las Hermanas

Yinka Shonibare and Melissa Hamilton at the unveiling of Globe Head Ballerina, Yinka's London 2012 Festival commission for the Royal Opera House

Melissa Hamilton and Ryoichi Hirano in rehearsals for Raven Girl

Melissa Hamilton

1 December: Rupert Pennefather and Melissa Hamilton in Mayerling in May 2013

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

Royal Ballet Soloist Melissa Hamilton

Melissa Hamilton as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.

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

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