British dancer Christopher Saunders is Rehearsal Director and a Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and entered the Company in 1983, promoted to Soloist in 1991 and Principal Character Artist in 1997. He was appointed Ballet Master in 2001 and Rehearsal Director in 2017.
Saunders was born in Gosport and trained with Joan Stevenson in dance, singing and tap. He made his professional debut aged nine in Gypsy with Angela Lansbury. He joined The Royal Ballet School in 1975 and graduated into the Company in 1983. His many roles with the Company include the title role in Don Quixote, Lord Capulet (Romeo and Juliet), Drosselmeyer (The Nutcracker), Von Rothbart (Swan Lake), Monsieur G.M., Tsar Nicholas II (Anastasia) and Kostcheï (The Firebird). He has created roles in works including Tombeaux, Love’s Fool, The Seven Deadly Sins and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Saunders has rehearsed and staged many of the ballets in the Company’s repertory. He has worked as a stager for companies across Europe and in Japan and the USA.