Francesca Hayward, Principal dancer of The Royal Ballet, has a leading role in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats, directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Misérables, The Danish Girl). The much-criticised film – both positively and negatively, though mostly the latter – has seen praise poured on Hayward who plays the white cat, Victoria.
Here are interviews with Hayward on Gramilano, since she was a soloist in 2015 and articles and photos albums.
Find out her greatest fear, favourite ballet and greatest love, among 38 questions.
Hayward and Campbell have been dancing a lot together, most recently for the opening night of Coppélia at The Royal Opera House. In this 2018 interview she says of The Royal Ballet's director:
When Kevin O'Hare, [Director of The Royal Ballet] promoted me I hadn't done any big tutu roles yet — The Sugar Plum Fairy and Aurora were yet to come — so I think he saw the potential for that, but really I think he saw that I was capable of dancing the bigger roles because I could convincingly tell a story which is essential to nearly any ballet.
I think he also knows that I'm generally pretty calm and I take everything in my stride both on stage and off.
When Dasa Wharton took her camera backstage earlier this year to glimpse Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales preparing for a performance of Romeo and Juliet at The Royal Opera House.
Royal Ballet's uplifting Nutcracker with Francesca Hayward, Alexander Campbell, Anna Rose O'Sullivan, James Hay and the ubiquitous Gary Avis
My view of Hayward in Nutcracker:
She is THE musical box ballerina: delicate and poised with perfect proportions. She's as light as a feather, and radiates serenity as her face illuminates the stage. Those off-axis epaulement positions which can seem forced are incorporated seamlessly into her dancing and all is presented with great ease, and also freshness, as though she's inventing steps on the spur of the moment.
A series of photos from 2018 of Kenneth MacMillan's Manon, which marked the 25th anniversary of his death with an opening cast featuring Francesca Hayward, Federico Bonelli and Alexander Campbell.
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.