An interview with Ballet Dancer Anna Rose O’Sullivan

Royal Ballet First Soloist, London-born Anna Rose O’Sullivan is living her dream in this enchanting city

When you begin dancing at just two years old, it becomes more than just a career, it’s a life passion – and that’s exactly the case for first soloist of The Royal Ballet, Anna Rose O’Sullivan. As she is about to debut as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Anna has taken time out of her regimented rehearsal schedule to talk to us about London life and her dancing credentials.

Tell us what it’s like to be a first soloist.
It’s exciting! Performing as a First Soloist means portraying a central part in unfolding the narrative through dance which is incredibly rewarding.

Please tell us about your up-coming productions and roles - what are you most looking forward to for the season ahead?
I feel very fortunate to be performing roles in Enigma Variations, Concerto and Onegin for the first time and very much looking forward to making my debut as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Swanhilda in Coppélia.

How do you prepare for a big show?
I treat it as I would any other day. I’ll take morning class but I will be extra conscious to conserve my energy. I’ll make sure I eat a nutritional meal early enough so that I have fuelled my body and then it’s down to enjoying the stage because the preparation has been done. Costume goes on and then I’m that character for a few hours.

What’s your favourite ballet memory?
It’s hard to pick one because I have so many ... I have very fond memories of dancing as a child but in my professional career it would be my debut as Juliet in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet .

What would you be if you were not a ballet dancer?
I would have gone down another artistic avenue. I love to sing and performed in a couple of musicals as a child so perhaps I would have ventured more into musical theatre.

What’s special about the Royal Opera House?
The Royal Opera House is the most beautiful theatre. It has a great sense of encompassing the audience with the performer because of its dome like shape. With iconic historic performances from incredible talents and repertoire it has an archive that you can’t help but feel it when you step onto stage .

What would someone be surprised to learn about you?Perhaps that I sing in a choir with my grandmother.

Where’s your favourite neighbourhood in London?
The West End - it’s the hub of the excitement and holds many fond memories for me.

What does your perfect day in London look like?
My perfect day in London would be having brunch, going for a walk in the park with a picnic, visiting one of London’s art galleries followed by a delicious dinner and watching a West End theatre show all with my family and friends.

Share your best London secret.
There’s an incredibly beautiful church in Covent Garden. It is called Corpus Christi and it’s a wonderful place of calm to visit for a while away from the business of London.

What’s your favourite thing about staying at a hotel?

The 24hr room service. Always helpful when you’re performing late in the evening on tour and need a late tasty meal.

Anna will be performing in The Sleeping Beauty and Coppélia over the festive period. roh.org.uk

Quick fire questions:

Brunch or dinner? Dinner

Sunrise or sunset? Sunset

Tea or coffee? Coffee

Beach or city? City

Book or film? Film

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