Kristen McNally

Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet


English dancer and choreographer Kristen McNally is a Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. She trained at The Royal Ballet Upper School and graduated into the Company in 2002, promoted to First Artist in 2007, Soloist in 2009 and Principal Character Artist in 2017. She regularly choreographs for Draft Works, with works such as Yes we did, Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game and Checkpoint 19. Further choreography at the Royal Opera House includes Chance to Dance, The Royal Ballet School and Metheus for BalletBoyz the TALENT in the Linbury Studio Theatre. 

McNally was born in Liverpool and trained locally with Elizabeth Hill before joining The Royal Ballet Upper School. Her repertory with the Company has included Lady Elgar (Enigma Variations), Empress Elisabeth (Mayerling), Madame (Manon), Tsarina (Anastasia), ‘M’ (Carmen), Carabosse and Queen (The Sleeping Beauty), Anna II (Seven Deadly Sins), lead Harlot (Romeo and Juliet), Anfisa (Winter Dreams) Pianist (The Lesson), Cook (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Stepmother (Hansel and Gretel), Anna Vyrubova and Tsarina (Anastasia), Step-Sister (Cinderella) and roles in La Valse, Rushes – Fragments of a Lost Story, Tryst, Symphony in C, The Concert, Ceremony of Innocence and The Statement. Roles creations include Nacha (Christopher Wheeldon's Like Water for Chocolate), Thérèse Pozzi (Wheeldon’s Strapless) and in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, Javier De Frutos’s Les Enfants Terribles, Jonathan Watkins’s As One, Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable and Carlos Acosta’s Carmen

McNally’s regularly works with the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation department, with work including choreographing for Chance for Dance and co-presenting World Ballet Day. Other choreography work includes the ‘Tiny Dancer’ television advert for John Lewis (2015) and Lonesome Gun, Mad Women and Moonshine for New English Ballet Theatre. 

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