Jonathan Payn

Principal Character Artist & Assistant Répétiteur

Born: Ipswich

Trained: With his mother Janet Kinson and at the Royal Ballet School

Joined: 1993; First Soloist, 2006; Principal Character Artist, 2022

Additional Birmingham Royal Ballet activities: As Artistic Enrichment Officer, I use the skills and talents of the dancers to enrich our engagement activities. I deliver various audience engagement activities including pre-performance talks, relaxed performances and schools' matinees. I also host online 'Tea with' and 'Roundtable conversations' for Supporters of the Company. I am also an Assistant Répétiteur, teaching class and directing rehearsals.

Other dance-related work: I assisted in the staging of Enigma Variations for Sarasota Ballet in 2016 and shadowed the restaging for The Royal Ballet in 2019. I also hold a Fellowship teaching status in the Cecchetti Method and teach regularly. I have been a guest teacher in South Africa, Australia, Japan and Malta. 

Choreography: Into the Ferment for Birmingham Royal Ballet and ballets for Elmhurst Ballet School and the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain.

Favourite full length ballet: Hobson’s Choice has great roles in Albert Posser and Henry Hobson – wonderful, English humour.

Favourite piece of music: Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes – it reminds me of where I was born.

Awards: Kerrison Cooke Bursary at the Paul Clarke Award, 1991; Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition (3rd prize), 1993.

Frederick Ashton: La Fille mal gardée (Widow Simone, Thomas), The Dream (Demetrius), Enigma Variations (Elgar, Jaeger), Dante Sonata (Child of Light), A Month in the Country (Rakitin),  Birthday Offering, Scéne de Ballet and Façade ('Foxtrot')
George Balanchine: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Morosine), Western Symphony and Prodigal Son
David Bintley: Arthur (Merlin), Beauty and the Beast (Merchant, Monsieur Cochon, Woodsman), Edward II (Despenser, Duke of Hainault), Cyrano (De Guiche, Montfleury), Far from the Madding Crowd (Boldwood), Hobson's Choice (Henry Hobson, Albert Prosser), The Nutcracker Sweeties (lead Floreador), The Shakespeare Suite (Macbeth, Richard III), 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café ('Now Nothing'), Cinderella (Major Domo), Aladdin (Sultan), TombeauxThe Prince of the Pagodas (The Emperor, Court Official), The Tempest (Alonso)
John Cranko: Brouillards ('Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq.'), The Taming of the Shrew (Baptista)
Mikhail Fokine: The Firebird (Kostcheï) and Petrushka (Showman)
Oliver Hindle: Libramenta
Joe Layton: The Grand Tour (George Bernard Shaw, Gertrude Stein)
Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Tybalt, Lord Capulet), Elite Syncopations.
Twyla Tharp: In the Upper Room
Ninette de Valois: Checkmate (Red King), The Prospect Before Us (Lawyer)
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia (Dr Coppélius), The Nutcracker (Drosselmeyer) and The Sleeping Beauty (King Florestan XXVI) and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake (Baron von Rothbart)