Is Francesca Hayward the next great British ballerina? At the age of 22 she is a soloist at the Royal Ballet, and she is already fast-tracked into principal roles. Her repertory includes Manon, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote and The Nutcracker.
Judith Mackrell in the Guardian said, “the self possession and technical command of her performances have fired enormous interest among critics, bloggers and fans and ignited hopes that she may become that elusive thing, the next great British ballerina.”
Francesca began dancing at the age of three and joined the Royal Ballet School seven years later, winning Young British Dancer of the Year in 2010, along with both Silver Prizes and the Audience Choice Award at the Genée International Ballet Competition that same year.
Popular Japanese-born Korean dancer Yuhui Choe is a First Soloist at the Royal Ballet in London.
She studied at ballet school in Japan from age 5-14 then won a Prix de Lausanne Apprenticeship in Paris before joining the Company as an Artist in 2003. She was promoted to First Artist in 2006 and First Soloist in 2008 dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and created one of six female roles in Wayne McGregor’s INFA with music by Max Richter.
The Guardian chose Yuhui as a dancer on their “hotlist” of rising stars to watch in 2009, stating, “She radiates joy in the purest sense”.
Boston-born American ballerina Sarah Lamb joined the Royal Ballet in August 2004 as a First Soloist and was promoted to Principal in 2006.
She is one of the Royal’s busiest performers due to her unusual versatility.
“To the classics, she brings a crystalline technique and an almost old-fashioned, theatrical glamour; in the more contemporary repertory, she’s audacious, clever and fast,” wrote Judith Mackrell in The Guardian.
Sarah kindly signed this sketch of her in the title role from the recent Royal Ballet production, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, at the Royal Opera House in London.