Royal Ballet Principal dancer Laura Morera will retire at the end of the current season after a career spanning more than 27 years. Her final performance on the Royal Opera House stage will be on Saturday 17 June in the third act of Kenneth MacMillan's Anastasia. She will also perform on The Royal Ballet's tour to Japan in Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country with final performances at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan on Sunday 25 June and at the City Cultural and Convention Centre in Himeji on Saturday 8 July.
From the moment I first performed with The Royal Ballet in Swan Lake aged 12, I saw how great and deeply moving this art form could be and fell in love with the company and the British style. I knew then that this was where I wanted to develop as an artist.
Morera will return to stage and coach repertory for The Royal Ballet, including overseeing the ballets of Kenneth MacMillan for the MacMillan Estate.
Laura Morera has maintained her technique to the highest level throughout her career, dancing the full range of the company's repertory, excelling in roles as a dance-actor. She is a celebrated exponent of Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan ballets and has created numerous works with some of the world's leading choreographers including Liam Scarlett, Christopher Wheeldon and Ashley Page.
I feel grateful to have worked with so many incredible individuals throughout my career who are not only great at their craft but who have shown me such kindness, love and support during the more challenging times. I have loved every moment of the journey. This next move will provide more freedom to pursue other passions of mine, from completing artistic projects close to my heart to working closely with dancers on the MacMillan, Ashton and Scarlett repertoire. I am also excited about creating a system of support with the unique approach I used throughout my career with the hope to create positive change for the lives of dancers and for the industry itself.
The Royal Ballet's director, Kevin O'Hare, said,
Laura has enjoyed a remarkable career with The Royal Ballet for almost three decades and it is hard to think of any part of our repertory that she hasn't enriched. Her fantastic facility across different styles has made her a wonderful fit for both classical and modern repertory, and the vivid theatrical qualities that infuse her every performance have been an inspiration for choreographers.
Beyond her final performances at the end of the season, I am thrilled that Laura will return to the Company across the coaching and staging of various productions, bringing her artistry to the next generation of performers. Having valued working with Laura in this capacity, I know this augurs well for the future of The Royal Ballet.
Among her many contrasting roles are those of the lyricism of pure dance in Asphodel Meadows and Viscera; wit and technical mastery as Lise in La Fille mal gardée; speed and attack in Chroma; and dramatic presence, by turns outrageously funny as the Queen of Hearts in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and in The Concert and powerfully moving as Giselle, Manon, Mary Vetsera in Mayerling and Elizabeth Lavenza in Frankenstein. Last year she created the role of the mother in Christopher Wheeldon's Like Water for Chocolate.
Lady MacMillan says of Morera,
I am absolutely delighted that Laura has agreed to take on the responsibility of the MacMillan ballets in the repertory of The Royal Ballet. She is a consummate MacMillan dancer, is prodigiously musical, and has performed almost all the female roles. She knows that every role, however small, is a vital and integral part of the whole. She completely understands the “ensemble” heart of Kenneth's work. I have watched her performances with pleasure and her generosity in helping younger dancers understand the work.
Morera was born in Madrid and trained locally before joining The Royal Ballet School aged 11. She joined The Royal Ballet in 1995 and was promoted to Principal dancer in 2007.
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.