Ballet Hoo! index
Countdown to the performance
Programme 1 summary
Programme 2 summary
Programme 3 summary
Programme 4 summary
Meet the Birmingham Royal Ballet team
Meet the participants
What the project has meant to me
A day in the life...
The story of the ballet
How you can get involved with dance
Ballet's project partners
Press and media coverage of the project
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work in the community
12 days to go
Birmingham Royal Ballet's dancers are divided into five ranks including 12 Soloists.
These ranks are broken down as follows: 38 Artists (13 First Artists and 25 Artists), 12 Soloists (6 First Soloists and 6 Soloists) and 7 Principals. For a full list of BRB's dancers, click here.
New young dancers generally join the Company as Artists and then work their way up through the ranks, until they are Soloists or Principals. Casting is very complicated, and with long runs of show, such as the 25 performances of The Nutcracker BRB will give at Christmas, there can be as many as seven or eight different dancers playing the same role on different nights.
Generally speaking, the Principal roles, such as Juliet and Romeo, or the Sugar Plum Fairy are danced by Principal dancers. However, Soloists and even some First Artists may learn the roles incase of injury or to cover a long run of performances.
First Soloists and Soloists, although they also dance principal roles, normally peform secondary roles such as Mercutio and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, or Alain in La Fille mal gardée.
First Artists and Artists, perhaps with the occasional soloist, make up the corps de ballet (literally the 'body' of the ballet), for example, the Swans in Swan Lake or the towns people or guests in the ballroom scene in Romeo and Juliet. Rather than dancing solos, the corps normally dance in groups, in formation. However, as mentioned above, First Artists, and even some Artists do get the chance to dance Soloist or Principal roles. Everyone has to start somewhere!
To see the casting for Romeo and Juliet, click here and follow the links on the right. All of the names listed will have a link taking you to the relevant dancer's biography page. This will tell you what rank they hold within the Company, give you an idea of their background and training, and also give a list of roles they have already danced.