Final Birmingham shows announced for ballet favourite

BRB dancer heads into retirement at season’s end.

After an incredible 13-year career with Birmingham Royal Ballet, and 12 years as a Principal Dancer, audience-favourite Elisha Willis will hang up her pointe shoes for the very last time at the end of this season.

The next two weeks’ of performances will mark the final chance for audiences to see Elisha in Birmingham dancing on the Hippodrome stage; she is known as an exceptional Company member having represented Birmingham Royal Ballet across the globe from Japan to South Africa.

Elisha Willis created the role of Cinderella in David Bintley’s production which premiered in 2010 and was broadcast on BBC Two to millions of viewers on Christmas Day that same year. She has also become known for her outstanding performances in classic roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Swanilda in Coppélia.

Speaking of her final Principal role as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew Elisha said; “I have spent the past year saying well, that’s my final Nutcracker or that’s my final Swan Lake but I’m glad to be ending with this one, it’s a fun show!”

Born in Australia, Elisha Willis trained at the Australian Ballet School, joining Australian Ballet in 1999 where she was promoted to Soloist in 2001. She joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2003 and, following a succession of accomplished debuts in many leading roles, was promoted to Principal the following year.

Birmingham Royal Ballet Director David Bintley added; “Elisha has been such a central and important dancer to Birmingham Royal Ballet over the past 13 years. She is blessed with a fearless technique which means that she is the perfect dancer to create new roles when I am choreographing. I have loved making roles for Elisha as she has always given her all to the creative process. She was an utterly endearing Cinderella, a beautifully romantic Roxane in Cyrano and a nymph-like Eurydice in The Orpheus Suite. I know that BRB’s audiences have enjoyed watching Elisha as much as we have all enjoyed working with her.”

Elisha will be dancing on selected performance dates in both The Taming of the Shrew (16th-18th June) and the Shakespeare Triple Bill (22nd-25th June).

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