Changes within the Royal Ballet Company
First Artist Jonathan Watkins will leave The Royal Ballet on Saturday 23 February to embark on a freelance career as a choreographer/director. Jonathan joined The Royal Ballet in 2003. His interest in choreography began as a student at The Royal Ballet School and continued as a member of the Company. He has choreographed for First Drafts and Draft Works and for the Main Stage, As One (2010) and Diana and Actaeon as part of Titian: Metamorphosis 2012 with William Tuckett and Liam Scarlett. His many outside commissions to date include two short films for Channel 4 and movement director for Alan Bennett’s latest play People at the National Theatre. Jonathan has numerous projects lined up including choreographing new works in Russia and America, a full length adaptation in the UK and a collection of theatre and film projects.
Principal Dancer Mara Galeazzi will retire from The Royal Ballet in July 2013, at the end of the current season. Mara, who had her first child last April, will move to Oman to be with her husband. She will focus on new projects, teaching dance and her work for her charity foundation Dancing for The Children which raises funds for sick children in Africa. Mara joined The Royal Ballet in 1992 and was promoted to Principal in 2003. She has danced a wide range of the repertory, both classic and contemporary, throughout her career including works by Ashton, MacMillan, Cranko, Balanchine, McGregor and Wheeldon. She is particularly noted for her dramatic interpretation of many leading roles in MacMillan’s ballets including Juliet, Mary Vetsera and Marie Larische in Mayerling, Manon and Lescaut’s Mistress in Manon and the Woman in The Judas Tree. Mara’s farewell performance at the Royal Opera House will be as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling on Thursday 13 June, and her final performance with The Royal Ballet will be in Monaco where she will perform the title role in Manon on Monday 29 June.