One singular sensation!
Former Royal Ballet School student, Xander Parish - the first-ever Briton to become a member of Russia’s legendary Mariinsky Ballet - visited the Upper School today. The Yorkshire-born dancer was keen to visit his alma mater and dropped in during a short break from rehearsals at the Royal Opera House, where the Mariinsky Ballet is performing until 13 August.
The School’s Director Gailene Stock introduced Xander to students taking part in The Royal Ballet School’s International Summer School 2011 and he watched dancer Lisa Norman putting students through their paces in a rehearsal of the One Singular Sensation finale from A Chorus Line. The piece will be performed on the last day of the International Summer School this Saturday as part of the final Summer School demonstration for an audience made up of parents, teachers and friends.
A former Royal Ballet School Junior Associate in Leeds, Xander won a place to attend the Lower School, White Lodge in 1998. Upon graduation from the Upper School in 2005, Xander joined The Royal Ballet. In January 2010, he was invited to join the Mariinsky Ballet as a full-time member where he is currently in the rank of coryphée.
Founded in the 1740s, the Mariinsky Ballet is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest ballet companies and the guardian of one of the purest forms of classical ballet.
Xander said today:
‘It’s thrilling to be back in London and to catch up with so many old friends and colleagues and to visit the School where I spent so many years training and studying in preparation for life as a professional dancer. I am so grateful to Gailene and all the teachers for helping me on this incredible journey.’
The Mariinsky Ballet presents Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Homage to Fokine from 25 July – 13 August.
Box Office: 020 7304 4000 or visit www.roh.org.uk
Pictured: Xander Parish, Lisa Norman and Summer School students during a rehearsal of the finale from A Chorus Line
Photo: Jim Fletcher