Darcey Bussell was born in London in 1969. Having trained at the Royal Ballet School, Darcey started her professional ballet career at Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, but after only one year she moved to The Royal Ballet, as the late Kenneth MacMillan had noticed her exceptional technique. In 1988 he created the leading role of Princess Rose for her, in his new ballet The Prince of The Pagodas. On the opening night of the show, she became the youngest principal dancer in the Royal Ballet, at just 20 years old.
Darcey remained with The Royal Ballet throughout her career, but also performed as a guest artist with many leading ballet companies including New York City Ballet, the Kirov, Hamburg ballet, La Scala and the Australian Ballet. She has been featured in numerous television documentaries including the BBC’s Britain’s Ballerina (2005). Darcey retired in 2007 with a final performance of MacMillan’s Song of the Earth performed at the Royal Opera House, which was broadcast live on BBC Two to an audience of 3.3m. Following this retirement, she co-created and starred in the touring song & dance show, with JKatherine Jenkins called show Viva La Diva, which culminated in selling out two shows at London’s 02 Arena. She came out of retirement to dance the Spirit of The Flame, leading a troupe of 200 dancers, at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony.
After retiring from dancing, Darcey has broadened her commitment to the world of dance. She is the President of the Royal Academy of Dance, the International patron of the Sydney Dance Company and the Patron of the Du Boisson Foundation. She is a patron of the International Dance Teachers Association, Ceccetti UK, Ceccetti Australia, the Dance Teachers’ Benevolent Fund UK and the New English Ballet Theatre. She is an ambassador for the giving programme of the New Zealand School of Dance and is on the board of the Margot Fonteyn Foundation. She is a patron of the medical charities Sight for All, Borne and the Henry Spink Foundation.
Consistent with her philosophy of promoting all forms of dance, Darcey joined the judging panel of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2012. Her extensive broadcast work includes being a judge on the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, documentaries including Darcey Dances Hollywood, Looking for Audrey, Looking for Margot a soon to be released Fred Astaire documentary, and presenting The Royal Ballet’s worldwide cinema live simulcasts since 2014.
In 2016 Darcey launched a dance fitness brand called Diverse Dance Mix (DDMIX), particularly aimed at school children. Darcey hopes that dance fitness will become a mainstream component of PE in schools.
Darcey’s books include Darcey Bussell: A Life in Pictures, her autobiography, now in third re-print and a series of children’s books titled Magic Ballerina, which have sold over 1.4m copies. Darcey has produced two books on Pilates, an exercise form she practiced extensively during her ballet training and career.
Darcey was the subject of a 1998 Omnibus documentary dedicated to her life as a principal dancer. Her other television appearances include French & Saunders and The Vicar of Dibley. She has featured on Desert Island Disc’s, had a wax work featured in Madame Tussauds. She has been fortunate to be photographed by some of the world’s most respected photographers, such as Mario Testino, Lord Lichfield, Lord Snowdon, Patrick de Matineau and John Swanell.
Modelling assignments have been undertaken for Marks &Spencers for their “View From” range, Boodle and Dunthorp, Dunhill, Mulberry, The World Gold Council, a De Beers Diamonds advertorial in Tatler, British Vogue, Harvey Nicolls, Simpsons of Piccadilly and Audi. Her picture has graced the cover of numerous magazines including: GQ, Tatler, Harpers & Queen and The Times Magazine.
If you want to an autograph from Darcey then please write to her c/o TCB Group at the postal address.
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