Aaron S. Watkin


Born in Canada, Aaron Sean Watkin graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada in 1988 winning the prestigious Erik Bruhn Award, awarded to the most promising student in the school. He enjoyed a full career in dance beginning with leading classical companies including National Ballet of Canada, English National Ballet and Dutch National Ballet, where he worked his way up from corps de ballet to the ranks of soloist. After seven years of the classical repertoire, he was invited by world renowned choreographer William Forsythe to become a Principal Dancer with Ballett Frankfurt. During this time Watkin learned a completely new vocabulary of dance and had numerous opportunities to create new works with Mr Forsythe, the experience was invaluable. He always admired the works of Mr Nacho Duato and in 2000 joined his company, the National Dance Company of Spain. By this point Watkin's professional experience in dance included an excellent knowledge of diverse repertoire including the classical ballets of Petipa, Ashton and Wright and the contemporary works of Balanchine, Forsythe, Kylián, Duato and many others. In June 2002 Watkin was appointed Associate Artistic Director to Víctor Ullate Ballet in Madrid. Watkin was a personal choreographic assistant to Mr William Forsythe, in charge of setting and rehearsing his ballets on dance companies throughout the world, including Kirov Ballet, Paris Opera, Dutch National Ballet among others. In 2005 he also assisted Mr David Dawson for his creation of Reverence for Kirov Ballet and Mr Johan Inger, for his creation of Negro con Flores for Cullberg Ballet. In addition, he was a guest teacher to many of Europe's leading dance companies, Artistic Associate Director of The Loft Dance Studio in Brussels, Belgium and Artistic Associate Director of the annual Dance For Life AIDS Benefit Galas at the Cirque Royal Theatre in Brussels, Belgium. In August 2006, Aaron S. Watkin was appointed Artistic Director of the Semperoper Ballett Dresden, where he choreographed his first full-length ballet production »The Sleeping Beauty« in 2007. During his time in Dresden, he also choreographed »La Bayadère« (2008), »Swan Lake« (2009) and created »The Nutcracker« in collaboration with the Rector of the Palucca University of Dance Dresden, Prof. Jason Beechey (2011). At the Semperoper, Watkin also premiered his own creation of »Don Quixote« in 2016. For the 2023/24 season, Watkin moved to the English National Ballet in London as Artistic Director. This season, his »The Sleeping Beauty« is back on the Semperoper's programme in an adaptation by Semperoper Ballett’s interim Artistic Manager Marcelo Gomes. (Status: 2023)

Aaron S. Watkin, Artistic Director Semperoper Ballett © Semperoper Dresden/Jubal Battisti
Aaron S. Watkin, Artistic Director Semperoper Ballett © Semperoper Dresden/Jubal Battisti