British dancer Olivia Cowley is a Soloist with The Royal Ballet. She trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company in 2003, promoted to First Artist in 2009 and Soloist in 2013. She has created numerous roles for Wayne McGregor, including in Carbon Life, Acis and Galatea and Raven Girl.
Cowley grew up in Aylesbury and started training locally aged eight as a Junior Associate of Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, studying with Nicola Bowden. She joined The Royal Ballet Upper School aged 16. Her repertory since joining the Company has included Summer Fairy (Cinderella), Second Courtesan (Manon), Fairy of the Crystal Fountain (The Sleeping Beauty), Calliope (Apollo), Harlot (Romeo and Juliet), Arabian Princess and Lead Flower (The Nutcracker), Helena (The Dream), Lead Waltz (Swan Lake), Green Girl (Coppélia), Lead Sylph (La Sylphide), Natasha (Winter Dreams), Lead d’Jampée (La Bayadère), Whore (The Rake’s Progress) and roles in Serenade, Symphony in C, Chroma, L’Invitation au Voyage, Limen and Carbon Life. She created a role for Liam Scarlett in Sweet Violets and Jonathan Watkins in As One.
Work away from the Company includes appearing in Nicholas Hytner's production of Timon of Athens at the National Theatre in 2012. Over the 2012/13 Season Cowley used social media to further awareness of life in the corps de ballet with the Twitter hashtag #adayinthelifeofacorpsballerina.
News and features
5 August 2012
As the curtain closes on another season, we find out what ballet dancers do to relax and unwind.
17 October 2011
Berkeley Square Cosmetics develop body product range in conjunction with The Royal Ballet
Bennet Gartside as The Husband in The Concert, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014
Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Olivia Cowley, Romany Pajdak and Artists of The Royal Ballet in The Concert, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014
Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Olivia Cowley in The Concert, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014
Robert Clark as the pianist, Lauren Cuthbertson as The Ballerina and Kristen McNally as the Angry Lady in The Concert, The Royal Ballet © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014
David Donnelly and Olivia Cowley in rehearsal for The Concert, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014
Olivia Cowley in Apollo, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Johan Persson, 2013
Olivia Cowley dancing in Carbon Life © Bill Cooper/ROH 2012
Olivia Cowley and Edward Watson in Carbon Life. ©Bill Cooper/ROH/2012