Visit London Blog » royal ballet company Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:17:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Guest Editors: Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares Tue, 04 Feb 2014 17:07:41 +0000

Royal Ballet dancers, and husband and wife team, Thiago Soares and Marianela Nuñez tell their London Story in the video above.

During our interview the two dancers, who are both South American but met at London’s Royal Ballet told us about their life and work in London. We’ve used some of their favourite London experiences to populate our homepage from 4 to 6 February.

Here’s Marianela and Thiago’s London top five:

Covent Garden and the Royal Ballet

T: We have a really strong connection with Covent Garden. Because really, that’s where the dreams came true, isn’t it – both onstage and offstage.

M: Covent Garden definitely is a very special place for us.

T: We’ve spent so many nights here, visiting restaurants and doing things for the Royal Ballet Company, and of course, so many nights on stage at the Royal Opera House, here, so whenever we are walking around the piazza, it feels like home to us.

London Restaurants

T [It’s hard for me to surprise Marianela because] she’s not that keen on surprises and we work so hard that she knows exactly what she wants to do when she’s not dancing, whether that is go to a restaurant or go to her favourite shops. We very much like Roka, the Japanese restaurant on Charlotte Street.


M: We bought our first flat in Highbury & Islington and we’ve been living there for two years now. We fell in love with the area straight away. It feels very ‘homey’ and we are only 10 minutes from Upper Street which I love – it’s full of great restaurants, beautiful little boutiques and we are so happy there. We are only 20 minutes door-to-door from the Royal Opera House, so it’s very handy too.

T: A great nightlife as well, some great pubs and small clubs too.

M: Close to our flat we have Highbury Fields as well and I love it there. I also like to go to Columbia Market on Sunday mornings, I love it and could spend hours there.

London in 24 hours: Start at Portobello Market 

T: I would take them to maybe Portobello Market in the morning, walk around, get some cool stuff and look at the funky shops.

M: I would take them to see all the big sights like Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral. The Underground means you can get round the city in just one day. I would take them to my favourite shop, Liberty’s. So, see all the main spots and then finish your day by coming to the Royal Opera House to see us dance.

The National Gallery

M: We are very lucky to have the National Gallery right here near the Royal Opera House. I remember when we started going out together, he would call me and say, ‘Hi, I’m on a lunch break and I’m at the National Gallery.’ It’s amazing for us from where we come from as we don’t have that free entrance. We go there and get inspiration from all that incredible artwork.

T: There is so much going on in London, a lot of culture and a lot of art, and the real tradition that there is in this city in theatre, which is our field, is really amazing. You can just walk from here and see a number of high-class performances at so many places. I really believe that art makes all of us better people.

Discover more stories and enter a competition to win a fantastic stay in London at #TheLondonStory

What would you recommend to visitors to London?

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Video: Royal Ballet Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta Talks about Creativity Thu, 20 Oct 2011 10:00:42 +0000

Here’s another great video produced by the Foreign Office: this time featuring Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta.

Acosta is one of the most influential male dancers of our time. This short film coincides with his performances in the Royal Ballet’s productions of Limen, Marguerite and Armand and Requiem in October 2011.

The film is one of the See Britain Through My Eyes series featuring individuals from home and abroad talking about their experiences of modern Britain in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Agon / Sphinx / Limen at the Royal Opera House Wed, 18 Nov 2009 17:22:47 +0000 Johannes Stepanek and Christina Arestis in Agon. Photo:Bill Cooper

The Royal Ballet’s triple bill of Agon, Sphinx and Limen at the Royal Opera House last night was an interesting lesson in the how modern classical ballet has developed. It was also, unexpectedly, an insight into the behaviour of today’s ballet audience…

The programme seemed designed to educate, starting with Balanchine’s Agon – choreographed in the 1950s, then moving to Glen Tetley’s 1977 work Sphinx, and finishing with Wayne McGregor’s brand new ballet, Limen.

Agon felt very much in line with the avant garde art movements of the late 50s and early 60s. It was apparently quite revolutionary for its time. However, the stark look (costumes were basic black leotards), feel (no discernible storyline) and soundtrack (Stravinsky) left me a bit cold. And my next-door neighbours must have been completely frozen; they didn’t return after the interval.

Sphinx started off a lot better – there was actually a set. And quite an impressive one too, with two gorgeous, sweeping wings made of metal and glass, and a gleaming “altar” in between. Edward Watson as Anubis stole the show for me here – looking incredible and otherworldly even when he removed his Egyptian dog-god mask.

Limen by the Royal Ballet Company‘s resident choreographer Wayne McGregror also began promisingly. A scrim with digital numbers floating across it fronted the stage, while dancers were randomly illuminated in puddles of light behind. Unfortunately, this show of technology prompted another near neighbour to bust out her digital camera, the glowing screen of which proved such a distraction I had to politely remind her it wasn’t a rock concert, while physically restraining my friend from biffing her one.

Situation averted, we settled back to the ballet, which was a celebration of lighting effects, block colours and clever movement. Thinking about it afterwards, I could see the correlation between all three ballets – each one visionary for its time; pushing the boundaries, while drawing on tradition. I might not have loved Agon but you could see that without Baly’s Ballet back then, we wouldn’t have the McGregor of today.

A quick straw poll at VL towers of audiences behaving badly has people chatting, texting, snoring and even vomiting in the theatre. What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve experienced as an audience member?

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