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Jonathan Howells

Ballet master


Jonathan Howells in action.
Jonathan Howells in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Johan Persson, 2011

English dancer Jonathan Howells was a Ballet Master and Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into the Company in 1991, promoted to First Artist in 1993 and Soloist in 1997. He retired as a dancer in 2016. He was appointed Assistant Ballet Master in 2011 and Ballet Master in 2016. He left the Company in 2019.

Howells was born in Shropshire and attending local dance lessons with his sister before joining White Lodge. In his final year at the Upper School he created the lead role in David Bintley’s Les Petits Riens at the annual matinee. Howell’s repertory with the Company has included Lescaut (Manon), Bratfisch (Mayerling), Lewis Carroll/White Rabbit (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Antigonus (The Winter’s Tale), Widow Simone and Alain (La Fille mal gardée), Bottom (The Dream), Bluebird and Puss-in-Boots (The Sleeping Beauty), Hilarion (Giselle), Sancho Panza (Don Quixote), Jester and Step-Sister (Cinderella) and Friar Laurence (Romeo and Juliet). He has created a large number of roles for the Company, including in Twyla Tharp’s Mr Worldly Wise, Christopher Wheeldon’s Souvenir, Tryst and Strapless and Will Tuckett’s Love’s Fool.

Howells is assistant to choreographer Alastair Marriott and has designed costumes for Marriott’s Night Falls Fast and Grey Garden (Clore Studio Upstairs, 2001 and 2002), Prelude and Fugue (Royal Ballet School, 2003), In the Hothouse (Diamond Jubilee Gala, 2012), Connectome (Royal Ballet, 2014), performances of Simple Symphony (John Cranko School, Stuttgart, 2014) and Zeitgeist (Ardani 25 Dance Gala, 2015).

News and features

What happens when a man dances on pointe?

8 June 2017
What happens when a man dances on pointe?

Dancing on the very tips of your toes is traditionally something only female ballet dancers do – but sometimes men get to wear pointe shoes for a change, with unusual results…

Divertissements Ballet Essentials: A guide to short works performed by The Royal Ballet on their 2015 US Tour

15 June 2015
Divertissements Ballet Essentials: A guide to short works performed by The Royal Ballet on their 2015 US Tour

The Company’s selection includes classic works by Ashton and MacMillan, an award-winning recent work by Wheeldon and new piece from within the Company.