Join The Friends for a warm online conversation with Leanne Benjamin OBE AM as she details her ballet journey and divulges insights on her soon to be launched autobiography ‘Leanne Benjamin: Built For Ballet.’
Leanne was born in Rockhampton, Australia. At 16 she joined The Royal Ballet School, won the Prix de Lausanne, won the Adeline Genée gold medal that was bestowed to her by Margot Fonteyn, and performed the role of Giselle at Covent Garden in the Royal Ballet School’s annual performance.
Leanne joined Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet in 1983, English National Ballet in 1988 and the Deutsche Oper Ballet Berlin in 1990 before joining the Royal Ballet in 1992 at Kenneth MacMillan’s invitation, where she performed as a principal dancer for 21 years.
Her wide repertory included most of the classical and neo-classical repertoire. She created new roles for choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, and Twyla Tharp. She was one of the last dancers to work with Ninette de Valois, Frederick Ashton, and Kenneth MacMillan.
In 2005 Leanne received an OBE in recognition of her services to dance, in 2014 an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts by Central Queensland University and in 2015 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. In 2016 Leanne was appointed a Governor of The Royal Ballet Companies and became the Vice-Chair in 2020.
Leanne is the Patron of the Tait Memorial Trust where an annual award is given in her name to support young Australian and New Zealand Dancers to train in the UK. She is now coaching pre-professional students and working with a number of international ballet companies as a coach to their principal dancers.
Hosted via Zoom, a reminder email will be sent two hours prior to the event starting. Event access details will be provided upon RSVP.
This virtual event is free for Friends members and $5 for non-members.