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Promotions at The Royal Ballet, 2022

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I  think that both promotions have been  anticipated for a  couple of seasons. Clarke first came to notice early on in his time with the company when he replaced Matthew Golding  in  the Somes' role in Symphonic Variations. After that he began  to  acquire  the princely roles as well as de Grieux and Romeo . He danced with Yanowsky in her last season with the company giving audiences a brief glimpse of what might have been if he had been a few years older or she a few years younger. as his height gave her a freedom of movement that she sometimes lacked with other partners. He gave an authoritative account  of the leading male role in Scenes de Ballet. partnering two very different ballerinas with equal success. 

Bracewell spent several years with BRB where he gave some outstanding performances. A serious injury slowed his progress to the top in Bow Street. He is an extraordinary dancer who is very much at home in roles created on Dowell and in the sort of roles in which the older dancer made his mark. Coming back from injury he gave the best performance of Troyte in Enigma Variations that I have seen since Dowell retired from the role. He has since made an equally impressive debut in A Month in the Country again in a role made on Dowell.

 Given that these two promotions were not at all unexpected,  being more a question of when rather than if I think  that there will be more  interest in seeing who else among the ranks of the very talented male dancers  is promoted. Among the men there are  far more candidates for promotion than there are vacancies. There are plenty of interesting and talented female dancers in the junior tanks of the company but perhaps fewer obvious candidates for promotion  say to  First Soloist. Perhaps the casting of the supporting  roles in Like Water for Chocolate and the casting for the first booking period of the 2022-23 season will throw some light on which of the women  is likely to move up the ranks of the company in due course.

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When I saw William Bracewell make his debut as Romeo at BRB, much to my friends surprise given that at the time I had a very favourite dancer, I said he was the best Romeo I had ever seen in any production.  I think he has some very special qualities but may not be the flashy virtuoso dancer that people seem to expect to be international standards.  On the whole I prefer his style.

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