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Vanessa Palmer

Vanessa began Ballet aged 5, training locally with Patricia Prime, attending once or twice a week until the age of 13. She then went on to study at the Royal Ballet School, firstly at White Lodge, joining the second year in 1982 and graduating to the Upper School at the age of 16.

She danced in the Czardas in 'Swan Lake' at the 1987 school performance, Winter in Kenneth MacMillan's 'Four Seasons' in 1988 and the Gypsy Girl in Frederick Ashton's 'The Two Pigeons' in 1989.

She joined The Royal Ballet in August 1989, aged 19, and was promoted to First Artist in September 1993 and Soloist in September 1999.

Since joining the company she had danced a wide range of corps de ballet roles as well as featured roles such as the woman in the Now Nothing section of David Bintley's 'Still Life at the Penguin Cafe' and the Second Solo Girl in 'Galanteries'; the street dancer, Mercedes, in 'Don Quixote', Acts II and IV solo swan in 'Swan Lake', the lead Hungarian in 'Raymonda Act III' and the Queen of the Wilis in Giselle. Vanessa has also danced the Maid in MacMillan's 'Winter Dreams', a Courtesan and Lescaut's Mistress in 'Manon', a Harlot in Romeo and Juliet, Katia in Ashton's 'A Month in the Country', a Red Girl in Les Patineurs' and Winifred Norbury in 'Enigma Variations', Mrs Grose in William Tuckett's 'The Turn of the Screw', Prayer in De Valois' 'Coppelia', Helena in 'The Dream', Arabian in 'The Nutcracker', d'Jampe in 'La Bayadere and Angry Woman in 'The Concert'.

Vanessa Palmer, right foreground
Photo & : Bill Cooper

She danced in the company premiere of Twyla Tharp's 'Push Comes to Shove' and during the 1998 Dance Bites tour she appeared for the first time in William Forsythe's 'In the middle somewhat elevated'.

In the 2001/2002 season she made her debut as the Nurse in John Cranko's 'Onegin'.

This present season Vanessa will be dancing in Swan Lake as one of the Two Swans in Act II, Spanish in Act III and solo swan in Act IV, The Arabian and Spanish in 'The Nutcracker', Maid in 'Winter Dreams' in Scenes de Ballet, Leto in 'Apollo', Mistress in 'Manon' and Harlot in 'Romeo and Juliet'.

Click here to read the full Spotlight interview>>