Edward Watson
Is it a flair for the virtuoso roles, or a larger-than-life personality?  In Edward Watson’s case it is his quiet certainty and eloquent grace, the way he always gives 100% to each role, which makes him stand out and is the essence of his remarkable stage presence.

A native of Bromley, Edward grew up in Dartford and followed his twin sister to ballet lessons from the age of three.  She gave up after a while, he was hooked. He is currently a first soloist at the Royal Ballet, in London.

Much has been written about his extraordinary flexibility, with possibly too much emphasis on the speculation that there is ‘flamingo in his ancestry’!

A Sunday Times review featured two photographs which displayed his amazing suppleness,  but he thinks they are somewhat ‘freaky’ and perhaps not really representative of how he wants to appear.

Ballet is something that ‘he
has to do’, and when he is dancing, our eyes are on him.  Even when he is standing still, as in parts of ‘Tryst’ and ‘Gloria’, we have to watch.

When you’ve seen him as the ‘Friend’ of the Foreman in MacMillans’ Judas Tree, and studied the emotion he puts into his development of the character, you think that the man behind the dancer might be equally intense.

Actually he is a charmer, a lovely man with a terrific sense of humour, and he can laugh at the ridiculous costumes he is sometimes called on to wear, such as the feather-trimmed hat of the English Suitor in ‘Sleeping Beauty.’

He has even survived to tell the tale of how he almost dropped a certain famous French ballerina in the brothel scene  of Manon, which must have been pretty scary at the time!

His biography includes an impressive list of roles created on him by the choreographer and dancer Ashley Page, and more recently by Wayne MacGregor. In ‘MacGregor’s ‘Symbionts’, his strength, partnering skills and concentration are as important as his famous flexibility.  ( ref: The Dancers Body BBC TV '02).

Whether dancing a leading role or a minor character, he is always ‘on’ and is guaranteed to captivate the audience.  He enjoys working under pressure with many roles ‘on the go’.

The first half of the 2003 season alone he danced in ‘Judas Tree’,  the lead soldier in ‘Gloria’, the Nureyev role in ‘Images of Love’ and in  the Hungarian Czardas in ‘Raymonda’ Act Three, at the end of which he stood and beamed a mega –watt smile at the audience, showing just how much he had enjoyed himself.

This month (May 2003) he also danced in Bintley’s Les Saisons in the Printemps’ pdd, in Scenes de Ballet by Ashton,  and most significantly as ‘The Messenger’, the masked harbinger of  Death, in MacMillan’s ‘Song of the Earth.

This was an exceptional performance, and must surely bring Edward the praise ( and promotion?) he so richly deserves.

We are still looking for a print shop that can make up a T-shirt with the subtle logo ‘a pale, red-headed organism from Dartford’!

But we would rather order one for Edward that simply states..’ a dancer who makes us SWOON’.

Please contact
Mandy with any questions, reviews, photos  or comments of a swooning nature.

June 2003
~ Reviews and Articles on Edward Watson ~
~ Fan Reviews ~
What makes you notice a particular dancer?
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* Ballet.co.uk - Reviews from various print publications
* Article/interview, Times, October 1998
* Article/intervew, Observer, October 2000
photo by Bill Cooper
photo by Bill Cooper
photo by Bill Cooper
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photo by Bill Cooper
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