Joseph Sissens

The Royal Ballet: Artist (2016-2018), First Artist (2018-2021), Soloist (2021-present)

The Boys of the Royal Ballet | AnotherMan
Photo by Paul Phung, via Another Man.

Joseph Sissens was born ca. 1998 in Cambridge, England into an Anglo-Caribbean family. Sissens began his training at the Georgina Pay School of Dance and as a young performer, appeared in Oliver! The Musical (West End) and the English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker (as Fritz). He entered The Royal Ballet School at age 13 and performed extensively during this period. As a student, Sissens was featured in school productions of Frederick Ashton’s Les Rendezvous, David Bintley’s SpringTime, Kenneth MacMillan’s Soirées Musicales and Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty and company productions of Charlotte Edmonds’ jojo (for World Ballet Day), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, La Fille mal gardée, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and Giselle. In 2014, he was awarded second prize at the Young British Dancer of the Year awards.

Sissens joined The Royal Ballet directly from the school in 2016 and was promoted to first artist in 2018 and soloist in 2021. With the company, he has created roles in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern and Robert Binet’s Void and Fire. His other repertoire includes John Cranko’s Onegin (Lensky); Frederick Ashton’s Divertissements (Morgen), Monotones I and II, and Symphonic Variations; Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker (Hans-Peter/The Nutcracker); Wayne McGregor’s Obsidian Tear, Yugen, and Infra; Merce Cunningham’s Cross Currents; and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Medusa. Twyla Tharp selected him to perform The Illustrated ‘Farewell’.

Sissens was featured in the celebration performance for Merce Cunningham, Night of 100 Solos; for this appearance, Pointe Magazine said he “stood out.”

As a choreographer, he created a piece for The Royal Ballet, which was featured in their Draft Works in 2017 and he was awarded second prize at the 2015 Ursula Moreton Choreographic Awards for his piece Let My People Go.

Sissens was also nominated for the 2018 National Dance Awards’ Emerging Artist Award and was one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2020.

He has been highly praised for his performances through the years: DanceTabs has called him “beautiful” and “immensely talented” in 2019 and 2020, respectively, and BachTrack called him “outstanding, quicksilver and perfectly-aligned” in 2019.

... and in Ashton’s “Dance of the Blessed Spirits.”
Joseph Sissens in Frederick Ashton’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits. Photo by Richard Termine for The New York Times


Joseph Sissens, Royal Opera House
Royal Ballet – 3 casts in The Dream, Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand – London, DanceTabs
2018 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations, DanceTabs
Royal Ballet dancers at the Joyce Ballet Festival – Program A, An Evening of Solos and Duets – New York, DanceTabs
Meet the 8 Ballet Dancers From Dance Magazine’s 2020 “25 to Watch” List, Pointe Magazine
The Firebird/A Month in the Country/Symphony in C: a gorgeous triple bill to end The Royal Ballet’s season, Bach Track
Men at the Barre: Inside the Royal Ballet – BBC documentary, DanceTabs
Review: Big Names (Royal Ballet!), Small Pieces at the Joyce, The New York Times

See also:

The Boys of the Royal Ballet, Another Man

Video links:

The first dance performance in the Royal Opera House’s new Linbury Theatre (Joseph Sissens, ‘jojo’)
Insights: Kenneth Tharp in conversation with The Royal Ballet for Black History Month
Joseph Sissens of The Royal Ballet School
Anna Rose,O Sullivan [sic] and Joseph
A first glimpse of The Royal Ballet’s Illustrated ‘Farewell’ with Twyla Tharp
The Statement extract (Crystal Pite; The Royal Ballet)
The Royal Ballet rehearse Crystal Pite’s The Statement (Dean, Sissens, Richardson, McNally)

Social media:

Instagram @joseph.sissens

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