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What's become of the British ballet dancer?

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All the UK companies have a distinct lack of British principals and this is felt by some to be a problem.

This comment was made in the context of the debate around Simone Clarke, one of two British principals at the English National Ballet. Why is it that Britons are now a minority in the principal ranks of Britain's ballet companies? Is there a deficiency in the way British ballet students are being trained? Is this training incompatible with the current repertoire of local companies? Will the influx of foreign stars bring about the downfall of the English classical style? Since I have few opportunities to observe British companies first hand, I'm very interested in the opinions of posters from Britain and whether they see the lack of British principals as a problem.

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I've just had a look at the BRB website. Of the seven principals currently listed one (British) went through RBS; three (one British, one Chinese, one Japanese) went through RBS Upper School. Most of the senor soloists and a number of the soloists as well as the more junior ranks also had training at RBS and other British dance schools.

Is it an issue of training or nationality? As far as I am concerned, BRB is a British Company with many dancers (of whatever nationality) who have had a British training at RBS and other British schools. Most of the dancers who are not British have chosen to make their careers with BRB and that is far more important to me.

Within NBT, although at principal level, there is only one British principal - three of the six are British trained. The majority of the dancers are British or British-trained.

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