“Edward Watson, the most distinctive interpreter of McGregor’s work and the most significant English dancer of the past 20 years.”
– Sarah Crompton, The Guardian
With a career spanning over 27 years, Watson is regarded as one of the world’s leading male dancers of his generation, winning multiple awards and bringing unique artistry to The Royal Ballet’s repertory. His work with the company includes major roles in productions by Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, and he created many new ballets and forged creative partnerships with choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Arthur Pita.
At the start of the 2020-2021 Season, Watson joined the roster of Royal Ballet coaches as répétiteur, coaching dancers for various productions. In his new role, Watson brings in-depth knowledge and experience, helping to prepare dancers for the broad range of the company’s repertory.
Director of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare, says:
Edward’s artistic sensibility and extraordinary physicality have made him one of the most distinctive performers of his generation, and indeed across The Royal Ballet’s history, ushering in a new era of possibility for men in ballet. His expressive versatility and openness for collaboration have proved an inspiration both for leading creatives such as our Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor, and also for the other dancers in the Company.
He follows in the footsteps of the great dance-actors of The Royal Ballet, giving memorable performances of dramatic intensity in such roles as Kenneth MacMillan’s Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling and Christopher Wheeldon’s King Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, contrasted with the poetic grace of his Palemon in Frederick Ashton’s Ondine and his Olivier Award winning performance in Arthur Pita’s The Metamorphosis. We look forward to celebrating his career at his final performance on 30 October, and I am delighted that he now brings his artistry to bear when leading the next generation of performers.
Edward Watson was born in Bromley, South London and joined The Royal Ballet in 1994. His many role creations for McGregor included parts in Symbiont(s), Qualia, Chroma, Infra, Limen, Carbon Life, Raven Girl, Tetractys, Woolf Works, Obsidian Tear, Multiverse and The Dante Project and, for Wheeldon, Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale and John Singer Sargent in Strapless. Watson has worked with numerous other choreographers, including Siobhan Davies, David Dawson, Javier De Frutos, Alastair Marriott, Cathy Marston, Ashley Page and Arthur Pita.
His awards include the 2012 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, the 2015 Benois de la danse and Critics’ Circle Awards in 2001 and 2008. He was awarded an MBE in 2015.
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.