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Melissa Hamilton joins Semperoper Ballet

Posted on May 7, 2015

melissa hamilton andrej uspenski

melissa-hamilton-andrej-uspenskiThe Royal Ballet’s Melissa Hamilton will take a leave of absence to join Dresden’s Semperoper Ballett for the 2015–16 season. She will first appear with the company in the title role of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon in November 2015.

Kevin O’Hare, director of The Royal Ballet, said: “After eight years with the company, Melissa has progressed to the rank of first soloist and has excelled in a wide-ranging repertory. At this stage in her career I am pleased to be able to give Melissa this opportunity to work with the Semperoper Ballet Dresden and hope that she enjoys the experience.”

Aaron Watkin, artistic director of the Semperoper Ballet, said “I was very happy when Melissa approached me concerning joining our company next season. She is a dancer I have always admired, extremely versatile and represents exactly the type of artist I need leading our company.” He added that Hamilton was “outstanding” in the contemporary and neo-classical repertoire, but looked forward to “challenging her in new classical roles with us.”

During the 2015–16 season, Hamilton will dance leading roles in ballets by William Forsythe, David Dawson and Alexander Ekman. She is also scheduled to dance Manon on November 7 and 11, Nikiya in La Bayadère on February 27 and March 4, and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty on May 16 and 27. For more information, see the Semperoper Ballet website.


Picture: Melissa Hamilton. Photograph: Andrej Uspenski



Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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