Marion Tait will step down from her role as Assistant Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet on 31 December 2020. She will continue working, part-time, with Birmingham Royal Ballet family from January, rehearsing and coaching the company dancers.
The present situation with Covid-19, has made it impossible for me to fulfil such a crucial role at Birmingham Royal Ballet at this very important time in its history. I would have loved to have carried on supporting Carlos [Acosta] in his exciting vision for the company and, in a way, I will, as I continue to rehearse and coach the dancers and try to be as useful to the company as I can! I shall still feel part of the Birmingham Royal Ballet family, which is something I am proud to be.
Tait joined the Royal Ballet touring company (now Birmingham Royal Ballet) when she was 17, rising to the rank of principal and dancing the lead ballerina roles in all the classics.
In 1995 she became Birmingham Royal Ballet's Ballet Mistress, and for many years has taught and rehearsed the company. Until recently she performed character roles such as her scene-stealing Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty and The Wicked Stepmother in David Bintley's Cinderella, which she created in 2010.
She was made an OBE in 1992 and a CBE in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours list. She has twice been nominated for Olivier Awards (Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, 1994, and Hagar in Pillar of Fire, 1995), was named Dancer of the Year 1994 and that same year also received the Evening Standard Ballet Award for Outstanding Performance. Most recently she was awarded the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement 2019 by the Critics Circle National Dance Awards.
Top photo: Marion Tait, photo by Andrew Ross
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.