Gary Avis Graduation
Born in Ipswich, Gary trained at The Linda Shipton School of Dancing in modern, ballet and tap before leaving Ipswich at the age of 16 to attend Doreen Bird College of performing Arts. At the end of his second year, his particular talent for ballet was spotted and Gary was offered a place at The Royal Ballet Upper School. Amazingly, after only one year’s full time ballet training, he was invited to join The Royal Ballet Company.

That was 1989 and with an international career now in its 25th year, Gary is now Ballet Master and Character Principal at The Royal Ballet and has danced an incredibly wide variety of dramatic roles with the company. Known affectionately by audiences around the world as 'Mr Royal Ballet', Gary has also consistently received high praise from the critics and been described as one of the greatest dance actors in the history of The Royal Ballet.
Gary Avis in Cinderella
His current repertoire includes Drosselmeyer – The Nutcracker, Tybalt and Lord Capulet - Romeo and Juliet, Ugly Sister– Cinderella, Monsieur GM and The Gaolor – Manon, Von Rothbart – Swan Lake, Orion – Sylvia, The Duchess - Alice in Wonderland, High Brahmin - La Bayadere, The Immortal Kostcheï – Firebird, Madge - La Sylphide, The Emporer - Prince of The Pagodas, Paris Singer - Isadora, Prince Gremin - Onegin, Emperor Franz Josef and Bay Middleton - Mayerling to name but a few!!

As a dancer Gary created roles for many of the world’s leading choreographers and has had the privilege of partnering many of the world's greatest ballerinas, perhaps most notably the wonderful Darcey Bussell. Together they created the iconic 3rd pas de deux in Christopher Wheeldon’s Danse a Grande Vitesse (Southbank Show Award and Olivier Award nominee) and performed Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s ‘Song of The Earth’, which was Darcey’s farewell performance at The Royal Opera House (broadcast live on BBC2). At that performance both Darcey and Gary shared the stage with the Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta.
Gary Avis and Mara Galeazzi
In addition to his work with The Royal Ballet, Gary continued his partnership with Darcey Bussell around the country in the spectacular arena tour of Viva La Diva with Katherine Jenkins (available on DVD) and also on the cult primetime BBC show Strictly Come Dancing. Most recently they danced together in 'Spirit if the Flame' at the Closing Ceremony of The Olympic Games in London culminating in the extinguishing of the stunning Olympic Cauldron.

Gary also co-founded K-Ballet Company in Japan, appeared in two series of ‘Ballet Boyz’ on Channel 4 and enjoyed two wonderful seasons with English National Ballet where he received wonderful notices for his performance in Derek Dean’s Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall, Tybalt in Rudolph Nureyev’s production of Romeo and Juliet and (despite the critics overall reaction to the production) Drosselmeyer in Gerald Scarfe’s production of The Nutcracker.
Gary’s attitude towards performing is perhaps best summed up in this quote: "I take all I can from the amazing people who I’ve had the privilege of learning many of my roles from, but that’s not all there is to it. There has to be more. I always want to bring my own thoughts to a role. I want to make sure every performance I give is fresh and different, it really matters that roles continue to evolve. Ballet may have the reputation of being a 'high art' but it HAS to be accessible and entertaining too.'
Gary was appointed Ballet Master to The Royal Ballet in January 2010. In June 2011 Gary was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University Campus Suffolk and in January 2012 Gary won the 2011 Critics' Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Male Performance - Classical.

Gary is proud to be a Patron of Chelsea Ballet.

Gary has been painted/studied dancing with Darcey Bussell by artist Fletcher Sibthorp . You can see some of his images opposite.

More details on Royal Ballet Repertoire
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