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Viviana Durante

Viviana Durante
Direttrice English National Ballet School

Director of Dance

Born in Rome, she trained at The Royal Ballet School from age 11 and joined The Royal Ballet at 17. Two years later she attracted national attention when she took over as Odette/Odile in midperformance, never having been taught the role.

Promoted to Principal Dancer at 21, she danced all the major roles, winning equal acclaim in the classics and in dramatic ballets by MacMillan, creating roles in his Winter Dreams and The Judas Tree among many new works. She guested with leading companies worldwide and, after leaving The Royal Ballet in 2000, was a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, La Scala Milan and Japan’s K-Ballet while also acting on stage and screen. She has received many international awards and has been named dancer of the year in four countries.

Most recently, Viviana has been a regular guest coach for The Royal Ballet and has also coached for ENB and ABT. She holds diplomas in dance teaching from The Royal Ballet School and Trinity College London and has taught internationally.

She is a frequent judge at competitions including Lausanne and Beijing and in 2019 opened the Belgrade Festival as guest of honour. She was consultant editor of the 2018 DK book Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story. In 2017 she founded Viviana Durante Company to bring both neglected masterpieces and exceptional new work to the stage. The Company made its debut at the Barbican Pit in 2018 with Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time and the following year presented a Kurt Weill programme at Wilton’s Music Hall, including a new work by Javier de Frutos that saw Viviana return to active performing.