Principal of The Royal Ballet
English dancer Rupert Pennefather is a Principal with The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company in 1999. He was promoted to Principal in 2008 following his role debut as Romeo. Other signature roles include Crown Prince Rudolf (Mayerling), Des Grieux (Manon), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), James (La Sylphide), Albrecht (Giselle), and Beliaev (A Month in the Country).
Pennefather was born in Maidenhead. He joined his twin sister's ballet class at age 7 and went on to train as a Junior Associate at White Lodge and at Tring Park School before studying privately with Julie Roach. He joined The Royal Ballet Upper School and in 1999 graduated into the Company.
One of Pennefather's first major roles was as Paris, partnering Sylvie Guillem's Juliet. This role was soon followed by dancing in Sylvia with Marianela Nuñez and A Month in the Country with Darcey Bussell. In addition to the classical and dramatic ballets, his repertory includes roles in DGV: Danse à grandevitesse, Chroma, Song of the Earth and Acis and Galatea (with The Royal Opera). He created roles in Sensorium and 24 Preludes, among others.
Cast as Walter Sickert
Murder, sexuality and art are the potent themes of Liam Scarlett’s ballet, inspired by Walter Sickert’s paintings.
Cast as Principal
The music of Tchaikovsky is partnered with sublime choreography in one of Balanchine’s earliest and best-loved works.
DGV: Danse à grande vitesse
Cast as Principal
Christopher Wheeldon channels the hurtling momentum of Michael Nyman’s music in choreography of thrilling propulsion.
Cast as Des Grieux
Kenneth MacMillan's acclaimed tragic ballet is a modern masterpiece.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Cast as Jack/The Knave of Hearts
Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Christopher Wheeldon’s thrillingly entertaining ballet.
News and features
Ryoichi Hirano to replace Rupert Pennefather in the role of Prince Florimund.
A look at the development of the male dancer.
Royal Ballet Principal makes his debut on his birthday
Watch the latest film in our World Stage series.