To the pointe
The Prince of Wales’s ode to Royal Ballet Principal dancer Edward Watson
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, rg-dance.com) 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