Birmingham Royal Ballet says farewell to six dancers at the end of the 2017/18 season

Nathanael Skelton, Feargus Campbell and Oliver Till in the Russian Dance in The Nutcracker

Birmingham Royal Ballet says farewell to six dancers at the end of the 2017/18 season, including principals Nao Sakuma, Chi Cao and Jenna Roberts who give their final performances in June 2018 following long successful careers.

After joining the Company together in 1995, Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao have led Birmingham Royal Ballet in the classical repertoire for 23 years. Both renowned for their refined, virtuoso technique and sensitive dramatic interpretations, the pair have enjoyed a beautifully matched partnership. Together, they have produced outstanding performances throughout their careers, shining particularly in the 19th-century classics of Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

Chi Cao’s final performance will be with Nao Sakuma in Romeo and Juliet at Birmingham Hippodrome on Saturday 30 June 7.30pm; an opportunity to celebrate the end of a career-long partnership.

Nao Sakuma’s final performance will be La Fille mal gardée at The Bristol Hippodrome on Friday 6 July, 7.30pm.

Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao in Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Bill Cooper
Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao in Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Bill Cooper

Jenna Roberts joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2003 and progressed rapidly through the Company, becoming a Principal in 2012. Jenna has danced, with great versatility, the leading roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Daphnis and Chloë and Cinderella. A favourite with audiences in Birmingham and the Company’s touring venues, she is particularly celebrated for her moving portrayal of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Additionally, she has created roles in Jessica Lang’s Lyric Pieces, Alexander Whitley’s Kin., Michael Corder’s Le Baiser de la fée and David Bintley’s The Tempest.

Alongside her impressive repertory, Jenna also danced Juliet in the Ballet Hoo! Ballet Changed My Life television series and has worked extensively with Freefall Dance Company – Birmingham Royal Ballet’s associate company for dancers with severe learning disabilities.

Jenna Roberts’s final performance will be Romeo and Juliet at Birmingham Hippodrome on Friday 29 June, 7.30pm.

Jenna Roberts in Kin
Jenna Roberts in Kin

Soloist Feargus Campbell leaves Birmingham Royal Ballet after 13 years, during which time he has proved a highly valuable and popular member of the Company. His varied repertory includes Paris in Romeo and Juliet, Bottom in The Dream, Benno in Swan Lake, Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room and roles in David Bintley’s Carmina Burana, Fasterand The Prince of the Pagodas.

Artist Anna Monleon leaves the Company after six years. Her performances include the White Cat in The Sleeping Beauty, Mrs Dimple in Pineapple Poll, Lead Czárdás and Mazurka in Coppélia and the Spanish Dance in The Nutcracker.

Brogan McKelvey in The Nutcracker. Photo by Bill Cooper.
Brogan McKelvey in The Nutcracker. Photo by Bill Cooper.

Artist Brogan McKelvey also leaves the Company at the end of the 2017/18 season to pursue choreographic and production opportunities across the country.  

Full details of new, departing and promoted dancers will be announced at the end of the season.

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