Meet the Men in Black: the Outtakes

Our idea for a feature to coincide with the Royal Ballet revival of John Cranko’s Onegin involved producing group shots and individual portraits of the four principal dancers cast as “the Man in Black”. Arriving at the Floral Hall one morning in September, it dawned on us how focused we would need to be in order to generate workable shots of Johan, David, Thiago and Federico: the boys were headed to their daily ballet class and there was neither time for icebreaking, nor for a dry run.

We wondered how the group dynamics would work. Would these guys get along with each other? On top of that, we felt responsible for the fact their alarm clocks had rung earlier than usual that day (we know just how valuable sleep is when you’re a dancer). As they arrived, coffee in hand, friendly smiles all around, we felt relieved. Our friend and photographer Dominic Dudley took his spot behind the lens and “action!” We often hear how dancers are just the opposite of camera-shy and it is true. The four of them looked at ease within seconds. In the end our short session produced many interesting photos. It would have been a shame not to share them all, so we hope you enjoy these extras:

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More of Dominic’s pictures in his blog post about the photoshoot.

Did you catch any performances of this ballet? Use the comment form below and tell us about your favorite Onegin (from the Royal Ballet or any other company).

All photos by Dominic Dudley ©

The Royal Ballet’s final performance of Onegin will take place on Monday (25 October) with Johan Kobborg as Onegin and Mara Galeazzi as Tatiana.

For more information & booking visit the ROH website.

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).


  • October 26, 2010

    Imogen Dent

    I’d second Denise on that – wish there were a Dvd!

  • October 26, 2010

    Denise Schult

    Onegin is one of my favourite ballets and I have seen the Royal Ballet dance it about 7 or 8 times – I took my daughter last week to see the 20th October performance and it was lovely as always. Beautiful portrayals by all four leading dancings. I wish there would be a televised performance or DVD done of this ballet – it derserves to be much more widely known and shown

  • October 26, 2010

    La Darina

    I think Thiago Soares is so intense in everything he does, I really loved his Onegin!

  • October 26, 2010


    Glad to know you enjoyed the performance. We heard wonderful comments about their Onegin / Tatiana and yes, it is great to see Federico tackling dramatic roles.

  • October 26, 2010

    Imogen Dent

    I was at “Onegin” on the 8th and was blown away, especially by the two leads (& by their focus – this was the performance where someone in the stalls started shouting during the mirror scene). Laura Morera was terrific and it was lovely to see Federico Bonelli given a chance at last to show off the fact that he can act!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Ballet Bag, Steve Ha. Steve Ha said: Looking at the 13th pic…please tell me Johan slid down the bannister! RT @theballetbag Outtakes of Onegin photoshoot [...]