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Zenaida Yanowsky to retire in July 2017


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And the press release:

 

 

December 2016

Press Release 

 

ZENAIDA YANOWSKY TO RETIRE AS PRINCIPAL DANCER WITH THE ROYAL BALLET

 

After 22 years with The Royal Ballet Zenaida Yanowsky has made the decision to step down as a Principal dancer with the Company in July 2017 at the end of the current Season.  Her last performance will be in Australia in July performing Paulina in The Winter’s Tale at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre as part of The Royal Ballet’s summer visit to Brisbane. Zenaida’s final performance at the Royal Opera House will be in Marguerite and Armand in June.

 

Zenaida joined The Royal Ballet in 1994 and was promoted to Principal in 2001.  She has performed leading roles in the classical and contemporary repertory including Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Raymonda, Frederick Ashton’s A Month in the Country, Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon and Mayerling, George Balanchine’s Agon and Apollo and Jerome Robbins’s In the Night. Christopher Wheeldon created The Queen of Hearts on Zenaida for his ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as well as Paulina in The Winter’s Tale

 

Zenaida has worked with a wealth of leading contemporary choreographers in new creations and existing works including Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett, Mark Baldwin, Kim Brandstrup, Christopher Bruce, Siobhan Davies, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Flemming Flindt, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Cathy Marston, Ashley Page, Alexei Ratmansky, Glen Tetley, Twyla Tharp and Will Tuckett. She has also received a 2016 Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Female Performance in Elizabeth by Will Tuckett. Later this Season Liam Scarlett will be creating the central role on her for his new ballet.

 

Zenaida Yanowsky was born in Lyon in 1974 and raised in Spain. She comes from a family of dancers and trained with her parents, Anatol Yanowsky and Carmen Robles, at their dance school, Centro Choreographers, in Gran Canaria.  After winning a silver medal at Varna in 1991 she joined Paris Opera Ballet. Further awards include gold medals at the 1993 European Young Dancers Competition and the 1994 Jackson International Ballet Competition.

 

Yanowsky has danced in a number of short dance films including Duet and The Sandman for Channel 4, the BBC’s Riot at the Rite, Leda and the Swan choreographed by Kim Brandstrup for Deloitte Ignite 2014, and a short film directed by Will Tuckett for the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition at Tate Modern.

 

Director Kevin O’Hare comments, ‘Zenaida has been an incredible member of The Royal Ballet for over 20 years and has illuminated the Royal Opera House stage in numerous performances with her extraordinary artistry and vivid dramatic skills. I have greatly admired her across the amazing range of roles in the repertory she has performed with the Company, and I hope we will have the opportunity in the future to collaborate on new projects in the next stage of her career. On behalf of all of us at the Company, I extend grateful thanks to Zenaida for her wonderful contribution to the artistic life of The Royal Ballet’.

Ends

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There is a sense of inevitability about this news - indeed, was there not a 'scare' about her going a year or so back?  I have found her to be the most compelling dance actress I've seen, a story-teller as much through her face and eyes as through her steps.  As I sit here I think of her as I first saw her, the resigned bride in Les Noces and, at the other extreme, the manic Red Queen she created for Wheeldon's Alice, with the commanding, yet gentle, Paulina of Winter's Tale at some point in between.  A class act, one who will be sorely missed.

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Possibly not a surprise but still very sad and she will be missed. One thinks of her so much as a dancer of gravitas with a remarkable long limbed elegant beauty and yet I'll never forget her as Manon, whether the first time around with Kenneth Greve or the last one with Roberto Bolle, a role in which she was completely uninhibited and astonishingly communicative. The memory of her tender partnership with Reece Clarke in After the Rain will long linger too. I'll certainly try to catch her remaining performances.

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I am sure that her last Marguerite will, quite rightly, be with Bonelli but imagine if it were to be with Clarke. Their partnership in After the Rain was something very special and the May / September (or even February / September) element would surely be heartbreakingly appropriate in Ashton's conception of Marguerite & Armand...

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She's going to leave quite a gap in the company - I hope she continues to work with them in some capacity but I vaguely remember an interview where she said that as well as wanting to stay involved to an extent, she also wanted to do something completely different. Let's hope she manages to do both.

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This will be a big loss to the RB and to all of us who adore her dancing.  She is one of the great dance actresses of the last 20 years, and could do it all.  I also hope that she will at least be around to coach if she doesn't continue as a character dancer.  

 

Thank you Zen for all the wonderful performances you have given us, and very best of luck for your future endeavours.

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She is one of the great dance actresses of the last 20 years, and could do it all.  

 

 

And sadly, didn't seem to get enough chances to show that she could.  

 

Very sorry I won't get another chance to see her.  She was one of the finest dance actresses I have seen.  

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Melody: Much as I would also like to see her remain involved in some way with the RB - she could be (is) a character dancer sans pareil - the tone of the Company's press release seems all too final.  But let's see ......

I remember reading an interview where she said she'd found it boring to play Carabosse (or at least, if not boring, then not very interesting) - given that, I sort of can't see her sticking around to play various Queen Mothers in Petipa ballets, although she'd do a brilliant job of it. Hopefully she won't just disappear, though.

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The Royal Ballet calendar for 2017 is rather good in my opinion. There are some really nice photos and a lovely one for November of Zenaida dancing In The Night. I am so glad I actually saw her in this role. She was a wonderful Raymonda as well.

Edited by Jacqueline
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Over the past year or so it has been noticeable that the Times' picture editor likes to fill odd spaces in the News pages with a ballet or dance related photo - and why not, when these can be so appealing to the eye?  So this morning we find one of Zen as a radiant Marguerite, linked to a caption noting that she will 'step down' next July.

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