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Classical News, Jazz, Opera, World Music, Theater, Ballet ...

Royal Ballet dancer hits back on stage fright claim
Retiring Royal Ballet Principal Deborah Bull has hit back at the British press who over the weekend cited pre-performance nerves as her reason for quitting.

One of Britain’s most celebrated ballerinas, Deborah Bull is retiring as a dancer to take up the new role of Artistic Director of the Royal Opera House’s two studio theaters - The Linbury Studio Theatre and Clore Studio Upstairs.

Miss Bull, who mentioned stage fright in a number of interviews, then found headlines such as “Nerves force ballet star Bull to quit dancing” in the weekend papers, has made a public statement on her personal website.

“I’m not retiring from dancing – just retiring from my position as a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet – and I’ve certainly not been ‘forced to give up’ by stage fright,” she asserts. "I did discuss pre-performance nerves in two interviews, but for the sub-editors to deduce from my comments that ‘stage fright forces Deborah Bull to give up dancing’ is a more impressive leap than I ever managed on the Covent Garden stage.”

In her new role, Deborah Bull will be responsible for developing and implementing an artistic programme for the two venues, in collaboration with the resident companies and staff of the Royal Opera House.

“After 20 years with The Royal Ballet, I am delighted that I will be able to continue to contribute to the Royal Opera House in a new capacity,” she says.

British born Miss Bull joined the Royal Ballet in 1981 and was promoted to Principal in 1992. She has made a name for herself, not only as a ballerina, but also for her books, videos, television appearances and public speaking. She was appointed to the board of the South Bank Centre in 1997, the Arts Council of England in 1998, and has debated at the Oxford Union. In this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, Deborah Bull was made a CBE.

Commented David Lister in The Independent, “Miss Bull does not exactly fit the image of the ethereal, chain-smoking, bundle of raw emotion that can be a prima ballerina.”

Tony Hall, Royal Opera House Executive Director, says “I am delighted that Deborah Bull has agreed to take up this challenge. With her manifold skills as a dancer, writer, administrator, and broadcaster Deborah will continue to be a huge asset to the organisation."

Deborah Bull retires as a Principal of The Royal Ballet at the end of the 2000/2001 season, and will take up her new position full time in January 2002.

Tue Jun 12 2001 (10:53:58 AM)

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