Dance Magazine keeps track of promising new talent every year with its 25 to Watch, and this year’s batch includes a nomination of mine: The Royal Ballet’s Claire Calvert, an impressive British talent who was promoted to Soloist last summer and is taking on more and more roles, including only recently the Rose Fairy in Nutcracker. My little piece on her is in the January issue:
Claire Calvert is a ballerina with true grit. Few corps members would dare to ask to learn a principal role, but in her third season with The Royal Ballet, in 2009, the British-born 24-year-old essentially cast herself as the Lilac Fairy after noticing the company was short on dancers for the part and showing her mettle in rehearsal.
Her boldness paid off: For Calvert, who received her training at The Royal Ballet School, the role was a stepping stone to more soloist work. With her voluptuous lines à la Sara Mearns, sparkling technique, and fearlessness in performance, she has made a specialty of roles that require a mature command of the stage. In 2011, she was featured in The Royal Ballet’s live broadcast of The Sleeping Beauty and guided Lauren Cuthbertson’s Aurora with quiet authority and musicality. As Lescaut’s Mistress in Manon, her luscious épaulement and witty allure draw the eye, as does her easy, assured rapport with principal Thiago Soares. Calvert was rewarded last summer with a promotion to soloist, and has the potential to break a few molds with her womanly beauty. Look for her this spring in La Bayadère, where she makes her debut as Gamzatti, at the Royal Opera House.