To the pointe

The Prince of Wales’s ode to Royal Bal­let Prin­ci­pal dancer Ed­ward Wat­son

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

THE STRENGTH OF BAL­LET, like any ma­jor per­form­ing art, lies in its power to trans­port its au­di­ence to an al­most other­worldly place of beauty, drama, tragedy or joy.

In their ded­i­ca­tion to up­hold­ing these tra­di­tions, I am con­stantly struck by the abil­ity of The Royal Bal­let’s dancers to pro­duce the most re­mark­able per­for­mances and to do so with an ex­tra­or­di­nary de­gree of artis­tic con­sis­tency.

As Pres­i­dent of The Royal Bal­let, I have been for­tu­nate not only to en­joy many per­for­mances, but also to have had the op­por­tu­nity to meet many of the dancers.

The Royal Bal­let is one of the world’s great­est dance com­pa­nies and has an en­dur­ing com­mit­ment to cap­tur­ing the hearts, minds and am­bi­tions of as many young dancers as pos­si­ble. Ta­lented pupils, from what­ever back­ground, are given the op­por­tu­nity to thrive in a highly dis­ci­plined and com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment.

One of those dancers, Ed­ward Wat­son, who, at the age of eleven, joined The Royal Bal­let School – of which I am also proud to be Pres­i­dent – is now in his thir­ti­eth year with the Com­pany and is cur­rently the only Bri­tish male Prin­ci­pal dancer hav­ing, re­mark­ably, held this po­si­tion for fif­teen years. To mark this rarest of achieve­ments, I am de­lighted that Rick Guest has pro­duced this fo­lio of strik­ing pho­to­graphic por­traits which help to cap­ture Ed­ward Wat­son’s dis­tinc­tive per­son­al­ity.

Ed­ward Wat­son main­tains an un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to nur­tur­ing young stu­dents and dancers who, in turn, have the po­ten­tial to go on to achieve great­ness. This, surely, can only bode well for the fu­ture and I wish both him and The Royal Bal­let School ev­ery pos­si­ble suc­cess, not only in find­ing the Prin­ci­pals of to­mor­row, but in se­cur­ing a legacy of artis­tic ex­cel­lence for the next gen­er­a­tion. This fore­word was writ­ten for the book Ed­ward Wat­son – Por­trait of a Dancer (avail­able in a lim­ited edi­tion of 250 copies, £950, by the Prince in his role as Pres­i­dent of the Royal Bal­let and Royal Bal­let School

Left Wat­son in Wayne Mcgre­gor’s Car­bon Life, 2012. Be­low As Prince Ru­dolf in May­er­ling, 2013. Bot­tom Mus­cu­lar per­fec­tion

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