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Born in Ipswich, Liam Scarlett trained at the Linda Shipton School of Dancing and then The Royal Ballet School before graduating to The Royal Ballet in 2005. He was promoted to First Artist in 2008, as a dancer his repertory included Alain in La Fille mal Gardée, Magdaveya in La Bayadère, Peter Rabbit in The Tales of Beatrix Potter, Neapolitan pas de deux in Swan Lake, Golden Hours in Elite Syncopations, Gloria (pas de quatre), Chroma, Dancing Master in Cinderella, Beggar Chief in Manon, Les Patineurs, Texas Kangaroo Rat in Still Life at the Penguin Café, Rubies, Puss In Boots in The Sleeping Beauty and The Rite of Spring among others and working with choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, David Bintley, Wayne McGregor and William Tuckett.
In 2012 he retired from dancing and was appointed Artist in Residence with The Royal Ballet and went on to create his first full length work Hansel and Gretel (2013) in the Linbury Studio Theatre. He worked closely with designer John Bausor who created a dark and unique twist to the old children’s tale.
While at the school he won both the Kenneth Macmillan and Ursula Moreton Choreographic Awards and was the first recipient of the De Valois Trust Fund Award presented by Sir Peter Wright and Deborah, Lady Macmillan. He was commissioned to create Monochromatic (2004) and Allegro de Jeunesse (2005) for The Royal Ballet School’s annual performances at The Royal Opera House.
Since joining The Royal Ballet he has created Few Things Are (2005), Vayamos al Diablo and Despite (2006), for ROH2’s In Good Company. He has worked with several of the principals creating pas de deux for Gala’s worldwide including Impromptu, Nocturne, Querencia and Somente. For The Royal Ballet’s New Works in the Linbury he created Of Mozart (2008) and Consolations and Liebestraum (2009) both of which were nominated for a Critics Circle Dance Award for best new Classical Choreography. He returned to The Royal Ballet School in 2009 to create Danse Bohemienne and Toccata for the graduate students again for The Royal Opera House.
In 2009 he participated in the New York Choreographic Institutes Fall Program creating Gargoyles with members of New York City Ballet. He has also participated in ROH2’s Dancelines for three years led by Kim Brandstrup. He was a member of the Jury for the 1st Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition in 2011.
His first commission for the main stage with The Royal Ballet Asphodel Meadows (2010), was nominated for a South Bank Show Award, an Olivier Award and won the Critics Circle Dance Award for best Classical Choreography. He followed this with Sweet Violets (2012) a psychological dance drama based on the painter Walter Sickert and the notorious Jack the Ripper cases.
He also was part of the creative team involved in The Royal Ballet and The National Gallery’s Titian: Metamorphosis 2012, where he choreographed Diana and Actaeon (2012) working with Turner Prize Winner Chris Ofili.
In America he created and designed Viscera (2012) for Miami City Ballet, which entered The Royal Ballet repertoire in 2012. He also created and designed Euphotic (2013) for Miami City Ballet, his first scenic and costume design.
He created Gala works for The Royal Ballet including Jubilee Pas de Deux (2012) for Her Majesty The Queen as part of the Extraordinary World Gala. And a Grand Défilé with members of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet for the International Olympic Committee set to Beethoven.
Serpent (2013) for BalletBoyz: TheTalent, was his first commission for a contemporary company.
His first commission for K Ballet was Promenade Sentimentale (2013) to music by Debussy.
In 2013, Liam created his own version of The Firebird for the Norwegian National Ballet, followed closely by Vespertine, his second commission, to which he also designed the costumes.
Linking up with John Bausor again, Liam created No Man’s Land for the English National Ballet, in memory of the centenary of the First World War.
2014 brings a plethora of new commissions. Hummingbird – a non-narrative – was created for the San Francisco Ballet to critical acclaim. He shortly, will be producing works for American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and The Royal Ballet.