Weekend treat – Ed Watson, principal dancer @Royal Ballet

I’m off to the ballet again tonight, but this is the aftermath of seeing Ed Watson dance De Grieux in MacMillan’s Manon the other day. Watson is my favourite dancer ever since i’ve first seen him as Rudolf in MacMillan’s Mayerling. He’s not only a technically brilliant dancer but he’s a consummate actor, i’ve never seen anyone live and embody a character on stage quite like he does!

This is a bit of teaser of crownprince Rudolf (from the press campaign around the Olympics):

and here a beautiful rehearsal from the ballet which finishes with them dancing the actual scene:

and an insight into what it actually take to dance a role like this:

There are more videos here if you want to see more 🙂

I’ll leave you with this beautiful shot of Ed by Rick Guest (from an exhibition at the Hospital Club in London) (i love his hands)

and there is also this interesting shot with Christina Arestis done by Alan Gelati for a campaign for protection of fish stocks in our waters 🙂 (nsfw)

Happy and relaxed weekend everyone!


10 thoughts on “Weekend treat – Ed Watson, principal dancer @Royal Ballet

  1. Das sieht total klasse aus, vor meiner nächsten London Fahrt werde ich Dich ausführlich interviewen wofür ich Karten kaufen sollte. Diesen jungen Mann würde ich auch gerne mal sehen. Singen kann er auch noch ganz gut 😉 very impressive!
    In unsere Kinos werden einige Produktionen übertragen, wo tanzt er mit?


  2. Once again – thank you very much for another brilliant culture post, Hariclea. Ballet is not something I am particularly familiar with. I have seen ballets in the past, and enjoyed them, too, but it is not my favourite type of artisitic expression. But I read this post with interest and clicked the videos because I love looking behind the scenes. Seeing the clip about the rehearsal was absolutely brilliant. The collaborativeness of the process surprised me. I always thought ballet dancers were like puppets on a string – everything predetermined by the choreographer. So this was insightful – and has opened my mind to actively seek out some more ballet in my cultural programme. Only difficulty being, that backwater Dublin does not have a resident ballet company…


    • I’m glad you liked it, i have to see a lot of this is really emotional and not brainy, i dish about what i love or has touched me. I used to go to ballet when i was smaller and didn’t go for long years. And found when i went again that i felt totally different about it and my taste had changed immensely. I find the classical stuff quite boring, the ‘twirly-whirly’ stuff as i call it :-p where they just spin in pretty costumes or jump about; i appreciate the technical savvy and the effort and work that goes into it, but it leave me cold and it feels very empty when it’s endless technique and nothing more. Nothing wrong with it and i respect the huge work that goes into it. I mean things like Nutcracker, which i’m afraid i hated even as a little girl 😉 nothing wrong with it, just not my thing!
      BUT the stuff that got me back into watching ballet were stories, i saw a ballet version of the Onegin story and it was amazing, i cried buckets! I never thought ballet could touch me like that! And then i saw him dance the story of the suicidal and depressed crown prince Rudolf in Mayerling (among other stuff he abused drugs, killed people accidentally, etc) He’s also done a ballet version of Kafka’s Matamorphosis which is one of the most stunning things i’ve ever seen.
      The 3 things i most enjoyed last year as ballet were the Winter’s Tale i was telling Suzy about (new music, fascinatingly modern and wonderful! and interesting Shakespeare play to take on) ,
      something called Sweet Violets http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/sweet-violets-by-liam-scarlett
      which plays on the idea of the painter Walter Sickert’s obsession with Jack the Ripper and this new piece – Connectome : http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/connectome-by-alastair-marriott
      based on a fascinating idea of how we each have our individual synapses map in the brain which are a representation of our experiences in life.

      This is the kind of ballet i like, everything else not really for me :-p Seems like the stranger and darker, the more i like it 😉 but not always, it just has to have meaning and not be just technique.
      I also found in recent years i can switch off the brain much easier with ballet, i just turn off and let it draw me in, with just music and motion. I am not always able to do that with opera as i keep ticking along: will they make that note, grr hate the tempo, oh boring production, etc etc Familiarity makes sometimes enjoyment more difficult so i’ve discovered a new affection for ballet and it’s voiceless expression.
      Sorry for rambling… i’ll remember from now on to at least give people heads up when stuff comes to cinemas as it is a really nice way to enjoy it actually.


  3. Wow. He’s quite something, isn’t he. I’m now out of touch with the ballet world as well as opera, but I’d love to see him. Thanks for this fascinating post.

    I’m not a huge fan of English choreography, I have to admit – I find the Russian stuff much more exciting. I was absolutely bowled over when the Bolshoi came to ENO way back, with Irek Mukhamedov – his first visit to the UK – unbelievable, and like Ed Watson, a superb actor as well as dancer. And I’m old enough to have seen Rudolph Nureyev dance Romeo in his own production of Romeo & Juliet, and I’ve never been able to look at another version of that ballet ever after 😉


    • Oh Nureyev!! And as Romeo, wish i’d seen that, i’m envious!! That’s exactly what somebody was saying on the bus the other day as we got chatting after the performance. And yes Watson is always one worth watching, he’s got a very unique elegance and a body that always looks elegant on stage, whatever he does (work and lucky genetics i guess).
      Hm i really like English choreography 🙂 I wonder what you would make of Winter’s Tale if you saw it, it thought that was actually a very interesting mix of modern and tradition and really exciting to have a new long , 3 act narrative ballet , one of the best things to come out of the ROH in latest years i thought (opera and ballet included).If you do come to London you should come visit the place, i think it’s changed a lot and for the better in recent years 🙂
      And please share more of your stories anytime, i love to hear what people have seen in the house 🙂


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