Incredibly, this February Marianela Nuñez celebrates 20 years of dancing with The Royal Ballet.
She arrived in London from Argentina when she was 16, and studied for a year at The Royal Ballet School for one year before joining the Company in 1998. She was promoted to First Soloist in 2000, and became a Principal in 2002 when she was 20.
In her anniversary year, she will be performing lead roles in Giselle, The Winter's Tale, Manon, Marguerite and Armand and Swan Lake.
Nuñez's 20th anniversary with the Company will be marked following a performance of Giselle on Thursday 1 February, in the presence of the Argentinian Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The Royal Ballet's director, Kevin O' Hare, said,
Not only is Marianela one of the greatest dancers of her generation, but also a wonderful member of The Royal Ballet and an inspiration to all the Company and aspiring performers around the world. She is at the height of her career and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate this milestone with her.
Throughout her career to date, Nuñez has won an array of awards, including the 2013 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, in recognition of her performances in Viscera, Aeternum and ‘Diana and Actaeon' (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012). She was also recognised as Best Female Dancer at the 2005 and 2012 Critics' Circle National Dance Awards, Best Dancer of the Decade in Argentina in 2009, and the was the recipient of the María Ruanova Award in 2011. She has made guest appearances with companies including Vienna State Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theater, La Scala Milan and Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón, as well as in galas around the world.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.