Discover more about Zenaida Yanowsky

Zenaida Yanowsky, former Principal at The Royal Ballet, will join Northern Ballet to perform in the evening shows of Las Hermanas, as part of our celebration of Sir Kenneth MacMillan at Leeds Grand Theatre.

Zenaida was born into a family of dancers in France, before growing up in Spain. Her parents, Anatol Yanowsky and Carmen Robles were both members of Lyon Opera Ballet who, after successful stage careers opened their own company and ballet school in Gran Canaria. Zenaida trained there, alongside her brother Yury who is a Principal at Boston Ballet and her sister Nadia, who is a Soloist with HET National Ballet.

Aged 18, Zenaida joined Paris Opera for two years, before moving to The Royal Ballet in 1994 as a First Artist. She was later made Principal in 2001, before retiring from the company in 2017.

Zenaida has performed leading roles in the classical, dramatic and contemporary repertories, and created roles for and worked with choreographers including Mark Baldwin, Kim Brandstrup, Christopher Bruce, Siobhan Davies, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Flemming Flindt, William Forsythe, Javier De Frutos, Jiří Kylián, Cathy Marston, Ashley Page, Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett, Glen Tetley, Twyla Tharp, Will Tuckett and Christopher Wheeldon (including Mother/Queen of Hearts (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) and Paulina (The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet).

Having already danced some impressive repertoire with The Royal Ballet, she performed the 'Black Swan' pas de deux with Roberto Bolle at Buckingham Palace as part of the 'Prom at the Palace', an event held to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2002.

Her many awards include the silver medal at Varna International Ballet Competition (1991), gold medals at the European Young Dancers Competition (1993) and Jackson International Ballet Competition (1994).

Last month, Zenaida won the Grishko Award for Best Female Dancer at the National Dance Awards, in recognition of her 23 years with The Royal Ballet, her third win after best female dancer in 2003 and outstanding female performance (classical) in 2016.

Just this week Zenaida was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Dance at the 2018 Olivier Awards, for her performance in Liam Scarlett’s Symphonic Dances at the Royal Opera House.

The chance to see her perform outside London is a rare one - don't miss her debut with Northern Ballet for two performances only in Leeds.

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