26 June 2015 at 4.18pm | Comment on this article
Oh, New York, how I love you! One of the greatest cities on Earth and The Royal Ballet has taken you by storm. For me, it's home and there's nothing quite like performing on home turf.
We finished our last show of Don Quixote on Sunday in the Windy City and loaded up the coaches straight to the airport to catch a flight from Chicago to NYC. The anticipation was almost too much to bear!
Monday was our day off and while the Company made a run for all the sights, I made a run for my family. From the excited chatter the next day, and the look of my fellow dancers’ Instagram feeds, The Royal Ballet certainly knows how to make the most out of a free day – the Brooklyn Bridge, Freedom Tower, SOHO, Top of the Rock, Empire State, Times Square and New York’s museums and galleries were all visited.
On Tuesday, it was back to work and all about quickly adapting to another new theater. One of the best parts of touring is exploring the different venues and seeing what they have to offer. In New York, I have seen many performances of New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater but never actually set foot on the stage. As preparations built towards the opening night of the tour’s final leg, there was certainly a buzz about Lincoln Center, with the long-awaited return of The Royal Ballet to the Big Apple.
The day began as usual with morning class and a visit from our colleague, Leanne Cope. Leanne is currently taking a break from The Royal Ballet to star in Christopher Wheeldon's An American in Paris and it was wonderful to have her take class with us once again and catch up on what has been a hugely exciting year for her.
After warming up with class, we headed to the stage for a rehearsal of Frederick Ashton's The Dream, one of my all-time favourite ballets, before breaking for lunch and preparing for curtain up that evening. Performing on the Lincoln Center stage on Tuesday night was special for the whole Company, but it meant even more to me as it was my return to the stage in NYC after almost four years of dancing in London. The last time I danced here was with American Ballet Theatre next door so it was an emotional moment taking my bow at the end of the evening.
There’s plenty more to look forward to here in New York, though. We still have another bill to open this weekend full of an exciting variety of mixed repertory from some of the greatest choreographers of our time. And after the performances, I’ll be staying on this side of the Pond to see family and friends during the Company’s summer break. It’s been wonderful returning to the US and I think I can speak for all members of the Company in saying that we feel so privileged to be here in this amazing city representing The Royal Ballet.
The Royal Opera House would like to thank all tour supporters and Aud Jebsen for her support of the Royal Ballet touring programme.