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Cast Confirmations: Royal Ballet performances during Autumn Season 2015/16

Principal casting for performances from September 2015-January 2016 has been announced.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

5 May 2015 at 5.13pm | 36 Comments

[Update 7 May: There have been amends for performances of The Nutcracker on 2 (matinee), 6, 9 (matinee) and 13 January]

Casting for Royal Ballet performances during Autumn Season 2015/16 has been announced.

Principal casting for all performances will be updated on the relevant production pages today, but in the interim can be downloaded here.

Booking for Autumn Season performances opens to Friends of Covent Garden on 16 June 2015, with General Booking opening on 14 July 2015.

This article has 36 comments

  1. Annette Norton responded on 5 May 2015 at 7:13pm Reply

    This is more a request than a comment. I would very much like to write to ROH but don't have a contact address. Could this be supplied to me please? I would be most grateful. Thank you .

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 7 May 2015 at 9:52am

      Hi Annette,

      You can write to us at:

      Royal Opera House
      Bow Street
      Covent Garden
      WC2E 9DD


      ROH Content Producer

  2. Joanne responded on 5 May 2015 at 8:44pm Reply

    Some more fantastic Ashton repertoire with some well deserved débuts too - an exciting season coming up! It's great to see the RBs young talent being nurtured and moving up the ranks too! Been following the performances of Hayward, Muntagirov, Takada, Ball, Magri, Stock, Ball, Acri, Heap and the lovely Miss Naghdi since they joined the company.

    • Annabella responded on 13 May 2015 at 12:27am

      I share your point of view with the new talent, they're all so exciting dancers. Why is Magri still in the corps?

  3. Matilda responded on 6 May 2015 at 5:47pm Reply

    Hugely disappointing to see that Zenaida Yanowsky is not on any of the castings. She is such an exquisite principle dancer, yet there are no roles given to her. I know I will not be the only one sad to see this.

    • Kadeem responded on 6 May 2015 at 10:34pm

      I am disappointed as well! I love Zenaida and am sadden that I couldn't find her name anywhere!!

    • ML responded on 3 June 2015 at 1:32pm

      Ms Yanowsky might have requested leave (we don't know she hasn't) or might be in the new works, which will take longer preparation and rehearsal time. Wait and see.

  4. To begin with, I do absolutely agree with Matilda. Ms Ferri seems to be begged to return to the company, which is great, but who does the company not appreciate one of the most dedicated dancers in the company for the last decade?

    It also looks Ms Salenko will be a permanent member, but why is Ms Choe not cast as Juliet? I bet there are many people who want to see her in Juliet. How long is she forced to wait for?

  5. Margaret responded on 7 May 2015 at 10:26am Reply

    Thank you for the link with ballet casting for next Autumn which was missing from the Friends magazine. As it happens this format is very helpful if, like me, you are passing on information to others - easier than extracting it from the usual schedule in the magazine.

  6. Rob G responded on 7 May 2015 at 11:19am Reply

    Why has Iana Salenko been given so many roles? Is she going to join the company? I hope not - I think there has been quite enough importing of talent rather than giving those who have made their way up a try (apart form Naghdi and Hayward who seem to be on the fast track). Especially can't see why she has been given two pigeons - do we need a Russian trained dancer to come in and do Ashton? It seems like we have fallen under the spell of Russian flamboyancy over the traditional royal ballet style, see crowds falling over themselves for anything Osipova does. Not just Zenaida who is missing out but Roberta too. Also Laura Morera (who by all accounts did a wonderful Lise) is not given Juliet! Every time I have seen Laura she has been wonderful and yet she has been cast aside in favour of Salenko (so frustrating). Yuhui never had a chance getting Juliet as Mr O'Hare clearly only needs her when other dancers get injured). Can only hope they give her Giselle if not she should leave the company, shame as she is one of the best Ashton dancers.

    Hate to be a moaner (as I enjoyed the season 2014-15 so much) but after an already disappointing season announcement for 2015-16 this casting has just made it worse!

    • ML responded on 3 June 2015 at 1:37pm

      Ms Salenko is actually Ukrainian-trained, from the well regarded academy at Donetsk (which was part of an independent Ukraine since Ms Salenko started her training). Not sure what you're getting at, Rob - are you saying that Miyako Yoshida, Akane Takada and Yuhui Choe, who are principally Japanese trained, shouldn't be allowed to dance Ashton either? Both were and are acclaimed interpreters of Ashton. Neither is Ms Nunez, who has been given many Ashton roles, Royal Ballet-trained. Ms Salenko has been a popular artist at Covent Garden both with the dancers and the fans since her first appearance in Don Quixote to fill the role following Ms Cojocaru's departure.

  7. Daria responded on 7 May 2015 at 12:08pm Reply

    I am also very disappointed to see that
    Zenaida Yanowsky is not in the cast. It was the first name I looked for. I love her, she is such a beautiful dancer. Was lucky to see her in Manon with Roberto Bolle and she was magnificent. Also the best Natalia in Month in the Country - wish there was a recording of her. Hope to see her soon before she decides to retire!!!

  8. Stuart Dixon responded on 7 May 2015 at 2:28pm Reply

    When are you going to update the production pages. It says above "today" but that was on Tuesday???

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 7 May 2015 at 5:01pm

      Hi Stuart,

      Apologies for the delays in updating some of the production pages. In the interim, casting details are provided via the link in the article above to a PDF


      ROH Content Producer

  9. Hannah responded on 7 May 2015 at 5:45pm Reply

    Totally agree - We want Zenaida!!! (And lots of her!) All I can hope is that the Winter Season 2015/2016 will do her justice. Really is a shame.

  10. Alison Brown responded on 8 May 2015 at 8:44am Reply

    Rob G, I agree with you. Also Nunez and Soares not doing much. Are all our principles going somewhere else for the season? I look forward to a reply.

  11. Paul responded on 9 May 2015 at 10:06am Reply

    The comment section is depressing. Dear fellow RB supporters/self-appointed armchair critics - your bitterness and close-mindedness is hardly ever a surprise. You are free to like whomever you want, but in your "support" of these dancers you come across as patronising, insecure and stuck in the past. Your words diminish the very capable dancers that you "support". Go out and enjoy RB - there is plenty in its repertoire and casts for you to admire. But please stop all the whining or keep it to the amphitheater bar.

    • Koji Moriya responded on 12 May 2015 at 6:19am

      I also feel your comment is too patronising. People who love RB would like the dancers to share their progress, the dancers who have years provided us the joy of watching the process of how they improve their career. It is nice to see a new dancer, but it is sheer pleasure to see the RB's dancers play a new/ challenging role before us.

  12. karenb responded on 9 May 2015 at 8:24pm Reply

    I agree with comments about Zenaida and am disappointed she is not scheduled anything in the autumn. I know she's doing Elizabeth in the Linbury but most principals prepare and dance more than one role at a time. Please can we have more of her fantastic dance acting soon. Such a pity there's no recording of her and Rupert Pennefather in Month in the country.

  13. Michael responded on 17 May 2015 at 4:56pm Reply

    My concern is the choice of ballets by Ashton and Balanchine: in my opinion 'light' Gala fare. Why not pair Scènes de Ballet with 'Pigeons'? The corps just about got it right and the run was over. Monotones have a cast of just six dancers. Rhapsody is fine. But what's happened to Cinderella, Sylvia, Ondine, Daphnis & Chloé, Theme & Variations, Violin Concerto, Ballet Imperial, Agon? Why not bring back Four Temperaments? Very glad to see an all Wheeldon programme. Look forward to Scarlett's Frankenstein. Thank goodness this was not given to McGregor!

  14. Rob G responded on 9 June 2015 at 5:52pm Reply

    ML - I think you're deliberately trying to sensationalise my comment. I'm in no way saying that Japanese dancers can't dance Ashton in fact I wish the royal ballet would use Choe, Kobayashi and Takada more. All of these dancers have been with the RB for a long time and have learned the RB style. The Japanese teaching style is also well suited to Ashton type ballet, focussing on precision. However Salenko is not a royal ballet artist and is Russian (sorry - Ukrainian - prob soon to be Russian again) trained. The Russian (Ukrainian) style is flamboyant and showy the opposite of the more refined Ashton style. Why when we have dancers like Roberta Marquez and Yuhui Choe do we need Salenko to come across? The Royal Ballet should be utilising its own staff and giving them opportunities rather than just using guest artists.

    • ML responded on 16 June 2015 at 1:36am

      It's usually about partnering requirements and availability of dancers who are not injured or required to rehearse for a new work. Roberta isn't listed for a lot of the performances in autumn to Chrismas which may mean she has gone on leave or has an injury. Hikaru was away for maternity leave for much of last season till she returned in June for In the Night, and is now back on the roster. Akane has already been given The Two Pigeons with James Hay, and Yuhui and Steven don't seem to be ideally matched for the partnering required in many classical works - she already has her own partner in Alex Campbell. I have seen Helen Crawford and Ryuchi Hirano performing an excellent rendition of one the pas de deux from the ballet, but Ryuchi is already cast in Monotones, Viscera, etc and may be overstretched. Hence I suspect Iana Salenko is again filling in a gap left by absent ballerinas who are of the correct height, as she has already done in 2 previous seasons (in Don Q and in Swan Lake). I don't think this is a deliberate attempt to cherry pick principals from abroad who are trained in a different style. The Ukraine isn't part of Russia, although it was once part of the Soviet Union.

    • ML responded on 16 June 2015 at 1:42am

      (my typo): mean *she is going* on leave

  15. Matilde responded on 29 June 2015 at 6:03pm Reply

    Such a pity Roberta Marquez and Zenaida Yanowsky are barely seen in the Autumn Season.... They are remarkable dancers.
    I don't get either why Salenko is getting so many roles. I do think she is a good dancer, but we already have much more accomplished female dancers in the company, I hope she does not join RB.

  16. penelope simpson responded on 15 July 2015 at 9:04am Reply

    Why are we hardly seeing Edward Watson this autumn? I love Steven Macrae but he seems to have everything. More EW please.

  17. VIVIEN responded on 27 July 2015 at 7:58am Reply

    I very much hope that Iana Salenko will join the company - I've loved seeing her dance and have booked to see her as many times as I can in the autumn season. I'm also disappointed however to not be seeing more of Roberta.

  18. Kevin responded on 14 August 2015 at 8:25am Reply

    I really don't like this "Man United" approach to the company. Talent should be nurtured and developed, not bought on the open market. I can't see that this approach raises or encourages, morale, cohesiveness, loyalty, "the House style" in the company - or even in the audience!

  19. J Gingell responded on 21 August 2015 at 6:02pm Reply

    Salenko is a fine dancer and I am very happy to watch her. However, my main reason for coming to see the Royal Ballet is that I am interested to watch the dynamics and development of a performing company. The subtleties and dramatic interactions between those who perform regularly together, and the dialogue and development between regular partners, are fascinating elements, which produce a high degree of expression and dramatic cohesion. Given the choice, I would always prefer to see company members rather than guests. I think it simply produces better theatre.

  20. Pimotte responded on 21 August 2015 at 9:31pm Reply

    Where can we find full casting, please? For example, who is Tybalt for each R&J?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 25 August 2015 at 11:28am

      Hi Pimotte,

      The above details Principal casting for the two lead roles. Further casting will be available in due course.


      ROH Content Producer

  21. Alyssa responded on 16 September 2015 at 2:22am Reply

    Hello ROH,

    Any chance of a DVD release of The Nutcracker broadcast with Cuthbertson, Golding, Avis, and Hayward? I already know the company has released 4 other versions on DVD, 3 being of the current production and 1 being Nureyev's. Still, I'd love to see Cuthbertson as Sugarplum and Hayward as Clara, thanks to excellent reviews of both in those roles, including pictures I've seen.


    Alyssa G.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 16 September 2015 at 2:34pm

      Hi Alyssa,

      Do keep an eye out following the broadcast. Any new DVD/Blu-Ray release will be communicated via our social media channels and this news and features section.


      ROH Content Producer

  22. Wow! quite a section of comments. I feel there is nothing wrong with an injection of classy foreign trained blood as long as you keep the unique identity of our home trained dancers coming through and they grow together. Watching world ballet day it seemed apparent that the focus was firmly on the talent and qualities of british dance, choreographers and sound engineers lol.... Several exceptional dancers left a couple of seasons ago and Leanne Benjamin retired and it left a bit of a hole in terms of confident dancers and I welcome some blood with attack both from elsewhere and RB school that seems to be coming through. Personally I am not a fan of Zenaida, not least because she has no partner tall enough with fish diving lifts looking like a fork lift truck operation. I also don't like Golding with the looks and acting skills of Brad Pitt, having seen him and Muntagirov dance the same roles in La Corsaire with ENB before they joined the contrast was extreme. I have lined up to see Muntagirov develop but agree if you don't like someones dancing/partnering /physique or indeed acting ability it is a problem in title roles and I was happy this term to see Osipova partnered with someone else! and I think O'Hare has a more refreshing influence but also has had to. I have never seen Salenko dance so have no idea how she 'fits' but I am now a fan of Osipovas presence, only after a couple of exposures when I saw her as Giselle and you can't deny being captivated by her quality there. This leads me to my main point and problem with this seasons developments. Osipova often seems to get injured.. and has been injured well before this season started! I tried to avoid disappointment, by booking the opening night to the season months ago, AND she is in every cast I booked for three separate programs, it unfortunately hasn't paid off. I specifically wanted to see her dance Juliet, I have seen it many times and am not keen on seeing it again with any other dancer, having seen Guillem do it for her last performance 2007, I was suprisingly disappointed when I saw Rojo! and I adore her. I do still get to see Muntagirov as Romeo in theory.... but why were patrons not offered complete refunds!? esp as the season hadn't started! it is esp disappointing for 3act ballets. I notice today there are further cast changes for the triple bill I booked for 28oct which is annoying, as I booked the combination of principles to see Osipova etc but now don't get to see Acosta dancing the main role unless a cheap ticket becomes available and I see it twice. I do not believe ROH would have any problem reselling tickets from those who wish to return, infact it would give a new audience a chance to book the cheaper tickets outside the first few minutes that they go on general sale! the only problem would be that loyal patrons would not be able to buy tickets necessarily to change cast.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 10 October 2015 at 7:48pm

      Dear KJ

      Thank you for your comments.

      With regards to your tickets, you can return them to the Box Office for resale for a small admin fee. The tickets are highly likely to sell for the performances you mention.

      Best wishes


  23. Josh Petersen responded on 23 October 2015 at 1:06am Reply

    Am I alone in finding the constant use of dancers first names by their fans here both irritating and disrespectful?

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