Gary Avis & Friends Gala

Via Press Release:

Ipswich-born Royal Ballet Principal Character Artist Gary Avis is bringing dancers from the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet to his home town this September to take part in a unique charity gala event in support of The Hunger Project. After a 40-year gap, East Anglian audiences will once again have the chance to see stars from both companies perform at the Regent Theatre, Ipswich.

Gary Avis by Andrej Uspenski ©

Guest artists currently include:

From the Royal Ballet, Roberta Marquez, Steven McRae, Nehemiah Kish, Yuhui Choe, Bennet Gartside, Melissa Hamilton, David Pickering, Paul Kay and Leanne Cope. They will be joined by English National Ballet Principal dancer Begoña Cao.

Gary says of the upcoming event:

I have been dancing on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Royal Albert Hall and so many other wonderful venues around the world for many years now and yet I’ve haven’t set foot on the stage of The Regent Theatre, where the whole journey of my career actually began, for over 20 years. I’m so excited to finally be able to do that and perform for my home town.

We wanted to do something to raise money and promote The Hunger Project. I also wanted to give young people in East Anglia an opportunity to interact with some of the world’s truly great ballet dancers.

Having been in Ipswich with Dame Monica Mason and Anthony Russell-Roberts in the past few days to help launch the exhibition Sir Frederick Ashton: the Ballet and Suffolk (being held in a number of venues in town until October), I am delighted to have their full support for this project and I’m so thrilled that we will be including a number of Sir Frederick’s greatest creations in the show along with a diverse selection of works by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Christopher Wheeldon, Alastair Marriott and, of course, Liam Scarlett who is also from Ipswich.

Gary, who is also Ballet Master at The Royal Opera House, has formerly danced with English National Ballet, co-founded K-Ballet in Japan and partnered Darcey Bussell in many roles, including her farewell performance at the ROH broadcast live by the BBC around the world.

His repertoire includes not only dancer-actor roles like Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Ugly Sister in Cinderella, Monsieur GM in Manon, Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, but also classical partnering roles such as Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV and Alastair Marriott’s Sensorium. Gary has also created roles for and worked with many of the world’s greatest choreographers including Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Christopher Bruce, Christopher Hampson, Glen Tetley, Ronald Hynd, William Tuckett, David Bintley, Ashley Page, Mark Morris and Twyla Tharp.

See also:

The Royal Ballet’s Gary Avis & Friends:

The Regent Theatre, Ipswich, Sunday 11 September at 1.30pm and 6.30pm.

Tickets start at £10 and will be on sale from Friday 10 June from The Regent Box Office on +44 (0) 1473 433100 or online at

Special packages for families, groups & VIP tickets available. For more information call +44 (0) 1473 433100.

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!).