Thomas Whitehead

Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet


English dancer Thomas Whitehead is a Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet Upper School and graduated into the Company in 1994, promoted to First Artist, 1999, Soloist, 2002, and Principal Character Artist, 2017. His roles with the Company include Von Rothbart (Swan Lake), Drosselmeyer (The Nutcracker), Dr. Coppélius (Coppélia), Tybalt, Paris and Escalus (Romeo and Juliet), Man (Las hermanas), Husband (The Invitation), Prince Gremin (Onegin), Step-Sister (Cinderella), Widow Simone (La Fille mal gardée), Gamache and Gypsy (Don Quixote), José (Mats Ek’s Carmen), Monsieur G.M. and Gaoler (Manon), Colonel 'Bay' Middleton (Mayerling), Orion (Sylvia), Hilarion and Wilfred (Giselle), King Florestan and Catallabutte (The Sleeping Beauty), Bottom (The Dream), Husband (Anastasia), Father Shepherd (The Winter’s Tale) and roles in Like Water for Chocolate, Winter Dreams, Sensorium, Rushes – Fragments of a Lost Story, The Prince of the Pagodas, Tales of Beatrix Potter and The Dream. Role creations include Professor (Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein), Steward (Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale) and in Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable, Carlos Acosta’s Carmen, Ondiviela's Cassandra and Javier De Frutos’s Les Enfants Terribles

Whitehead was born in West Yorkshire and trained at the Nydza School of Dance, Arts Educational Schools London and The Royal Ballet Upper School. Whitehead has created roles for several choreographers and in 2009 created a role in Kim Brandstrup’s Olivier Award-winning Goldberg: The Brandstrup-Rojo Project, for which Whitehead was nominated for Outstanding Male Performance at the 2010 Critics’ Circle Awards. As a choreographer himself, Whitehead has created works in The Royal Ballet’s Draft Works. He has collaborated a number of times with the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation Department, creating a role in One Big Stage in 2012 and in 2013 staging a performance of The Rite of Spring for Chance to Dance. 

Whitehead’s work away from the Company has included the role of the Swan/Stranger for the 2006 world tour of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, a collaboration with Richard Eyre and Viviana Durante in a workshop adaptation of Truly, Madly, Deeply in 2010 in 2010, and the 2022 Italian tour of L'Heure Exquise with Alessandra Ferri. He is a certified Breathworker instructor.

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