Céline Gittens

Principal

Introduced by David Bintley

Céline Gittens joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2006 and is one of our most recently promoted Principals. She was born in Trinidad and grew up in Vancouver, Canada, where her training, both with her mother and at Vancouver’s Goh Ballet Academy, led to her winning the gold medal and audience choice award at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance Genée International Ballet Competition in 2005. Céline is a dancer of immense strength, her powerful technique being redolent of the kind of dancing we most readily associate with North America and which has already been seen to such strong effect in performances as the Striptease Girl in Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Fortuna in Carmina burana and the leading role in Elite Syncopations. Having spent all her professional life with a British company however, Céline has developed a more understated side to her performances which is standing her in good stead for the classics. She debuted the dual roles of Odette / Odile in Swan Lake in 2012, but her big breakthrough came during our 2015 tour to Japan when, due to another dancer being injured, and with only one day’s notice, she stepped in to perform this most taxing ballerina role on opening night in Tokyo to great acclaim. Other leading roles which are garnering her plaudits include the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanilda in Coppélia, the Gypsy Girl in The Two Pigeons and most recently a very demure and youthful Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Celine also gained an MPhil from the University of Birmingham in 2012.

REPERTORY INCLUDES
Frederick Ashton: Daphnis and Chloë (Nymph, Pirate, Shepherdess), Dante Sonata (Lead Child of Light) and The Two Pigeons (Gypsy Girl)
George Balanchine: Symphony in Three Movements, Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Striptease Girl)
David Bintley: The Prince of the Pagodas (Empress Épine), Beauty and the Beast (Vanité), The Shakespeare Suite, Carmina burana (Fortuna), Sylvia (Diana), The Dance House, 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café ('Now Nothing'), E=mc² ('Mass', 'Energy'), Faster, Take Five ('Two Step'), Aladdin ('Diamond'), Cinderella ('Summer') and David Bintley and Galina Samsova's production of Giselle (Myrtha, Bathilde)
John Cranko: Card Game (Ace of Spades)
Mikhail Fokine: The Firebird (Princess) and Petrushka (Nursemaids)
Kit Holder: Small Worlds and Quatrain
Joe Layton: The Grand Tour (Theda Bara)
Kenneth MacMillan: Elite Syncopations ('Alaskan Rag', 'Bethena Concert Waltz'), Concerto (Second movement) and Romeo and Juliet (Harlots)
Rudolph Nureyev: Raymonda Act III (First Variation)
Marius Petipa: Paquita
Twyla Tharp: Nine Sinatra Songs ('Somethin' Stupid')
Ninette de Valois: Checkmate (Black Queen)
Peter Wright's productions of The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy, Rose Fairy, 'Arabian Dance'), Coppélia (Swanilda, 'Dawn'), The Sleeping Beauty (Enchanted Princess, Fairy of Joy) and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake (Odette/Odile, Two Swan Maidens, Polish Princess)

AWARDS
RAD Solo Seal, 2004; gold Medal and Audience Award, Adeline Genée Awards, 2005; finalist, Prix de Lausanne, 2006.