An interview with Aaron S. Watkin | Why Dance Matters

Aaron S Watkin seems like a man who knows what he likes: perfect material to direct a leading ballet company, and to judge a leading ballet competition. The new artistic director of English National Ballet was recently a judge for the Royal Academy of Dance’s Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition in London. Canadian-born Aaron danced with many international companies and led the Semperoper Ballett in Dresden for 17 years, and has just taken charge at English National Ballet. What are the sensitive choices he must make as a director – and as a Fonteyn judge?

Born in British Columbia, Canada, Aaron graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada in 1988. He enjoyed a full career in dance including National Ballet of Canada, English National Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt and the National Dance Company of Spain. Having been Associate Artistic Director in Madrid and a choreographic assistant to William Forsythe, he became Artistic Director of the Semperoper Ballett, Dresden in 2006. After a 17-year tenure he became Artistic Director of English National Ballet in 2023.

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