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Deborah Bull

A 1980 Prix de Lausanne winner and a member of the Royal Ballet from 1981 to 2001, becoming Principal Dancer in 1992. Early in 2002, Deborah Bull was engaged as the Creative Director at the introduction of the ROH programme at the Royal Opera House.

Name: Deborah Bull

Birthplace: Derby, UK

Training: Janice Sutton School of Dance (1970 – 74) and Royal Ballet School (1974 – 81)

Prix de Lausanne: Laureate 1980 – Member of the Prix de Lausanne Artistic Committee since 2002

Previous companies/positions: The Royal Ballet (joined 1981, left 2001) Principal since 1992

Current company/position: Creative Director, Royal Opera House

Favorite roles/choreographies: Swan Lake (Petipa/Ivanov); Wayne McGregor, Georges Balanchine and William Forsythe

Career highlights:

  • Learning Steptext directly from the choreographer, William Forsythe over a six week period in the studio. It meant that I had an in depth knowledge not only of the steps but of the choreographer’s intentions which allowed me to make each performance a journey of personal discovery.
  • Setting up the Artists’ Development Initiative in my final years as a dancer. This initiative brought exciting independent artists into the ROH and offered dancers at the ROH a chance to work with them on their projects developing new skills – perhaps in marketing, press, administration or fundraising. Sometimes these artists were choreographers – the first choreographer I brought into the ROH was Wayne McGregor who is now the Resident Choreographer with The Royal Ballet.

Message to the Prix de Lausanne candidates: Remember that however important dancing is in your life, you are first and foremost a person….. the more interests and passions you have outside dance, the more interesting an artist you will be.

Message to the Prix de Lausanne organisation: The Prix de Lausanne has been instrumental in the success of so many dancers – the dance world is without doubt richer because of its long history. I admire the rigorous approach the Prix takes to the support of dancers, focussing on long term potential and development through the provision of scholarships and apprenticeships and I share with the Prix a holistic view of the dancer and the dancer’s needs. That is why I continue to support the Prix over 25 years after I won my own Prix de Lausanne.