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Viviana Durante

Curriculum Vitae

Artistic Director, English National Ballet School and Viviana Durante Company
Prize Winner 1984, Jury member 2011 and 2016, Prix de Lausanne
Jury Vice-President, Prix de Lausanne 2022

When I first visited Lausanne as a competitor, the Prix was eleven years old and I was several years older. As a prize winner, then as a performer, coach and judge, and now as director of a partner school, I’ve been privileged to witness its growth to become a fixed pole of our profession. The Prix has inspired many excellent imitators, but it still holds a special place in our hearts. Always more than a competition, it provides a platform for young dancers to be seen, to learn and to connect, and acts as a force for positive change across the dance community.

One of the foremost dance artists of her generation, Viviana was born in Rome and trained at The Royal Ballet School from age 11. She joined The Royal Ballet aged 17 and two years later attracted national media coverage when she took over as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake in mid-performance, never having been taught the role.

Promoted to Principal Dancer at 21, she danced all the major roles, winning equal acclaim in the classics and in dramatic ballets by MacMillan, creating roles in his Winter Dreams and The Judas Tree among many new works. She guested with leading companies worldwide and, after leaving The Royal Ballet in 2000, was a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, La Scala Milan and Japan’s K-Ballet while also acting on stage and screen. She has received numerous international honours and has been named Dancer of the Year in four countries.

Most recently, Viviana has coached for The Royal Ballet, ENB and ABT. She holds diplomas in dance teaching from The Royal Ballet School and Trinity College London and has taught internationally. She is a frequent judge at competitions including Lausanne and Beijing and in 2019 opened the Belgrade Festival as guest of honour. She was consultant editor of the 2018 DK book Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story and is a regular guest on radio and TV arts programmes. In 2017 she founded Viviana Durante Company to bring neglected ballet masterpieces and exceptional new work to a wide audience; the company was most recently seen in Isadora Now at the Barbican Theatre. In 2019 she was appointed Director of Dance at English National Ballet School and in 2020 became its Artistic Director. The same year she instigated World Ballet School Day of which she currently serves as president. She is a patron of the Hammond School and New English Ballet Theatre and a trustee of Dancers Career Development.