The Royal Ballet Principal dancers attend art launch

Calken gallery Royal Ballet Collection launch

The Royal Ballet Collection, created by artist Michael James Talbot and inspired by dance and the dancers of The Royal Ballet has been unveiled at the Royal Opera House.

Michael James Talbot unveiled The Royal Ballet Collection together with Principal dancers from The Royal Ballet, Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson; on whom two of the sculptures have been modelled .

The collaboration between The Royal Ballet and British artist Michael James Talbot brings together the art of dance with fine art sculpture and drawings. Talbot worked closely with Principal dancers Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson, who have given considerable amounts of their time to work with him on portrait sculptures in which their poise and grace are beautifully captured and immortalised in bronze.  A series of drawings and watercolours, produced by Talbot as studies for the sculptures will also be available as special limited edition prints.

Talbot says, ‘This project is the beginning of a dialogue between sculpture and dance that allows me to work with artists of the highest calibre from The Royal Ballet. Sculpture is drawn to ballet like a moth to a flame, The Royal Ballet being its brightest flame. To stand in a rehearsal room in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden is to see the sinew and bones of the ballet literally and metaphorically.’

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, added, ‘It’s always exciting for us as a Company to work in partnership with other artists and I know both Edward and Lauren have really enjoyed working with Michael. He has captured the beauty of the body in these drawings and sculptures and it’s been fascinating to see them at various stages in development.’

Talbot’s figurative artwork is renowned for its exquisite detail and anatomical precision. This accuracy and attention to detail is an important factor in The Royal Ballet Collection, where each piece is carefully crafted to ensure that the poise and posture of the dancer is captured as precisely as possible. To achieve this, Talbot works closely with the dancers at the Royal Opera House, observing and measuring them as he sculpts the clay model. During this creation phase the clay sculpture is carefully scrutinised by the expert and experienced eyes of The Royal Ballet directors and Talbot will often make minute adjustments to ensure the highest degree of integrity in the final study.


The The Royal Ballet Collection is available now and sales of these beautiful works of art support The Royal Ballet. 


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