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Principal dancer Rupert Pennefather to leave Royal Ballet after 16 years

Rupert Pennefather and Aline Cojocaru in Cinderella at the Royal Ballet in 2010. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Royal Ballet principal dancer Rupert Pennefather is to leave the company after 16 years.

During his time at the Royal Ballet, Pennefather, who became a principal in 2008, has partnered dancers including Sylvie Guillem, Marianela Nunez and Darcey Bussell.

Pennefather said: “I am so grateful for my time with the Royal Ballet. I will always treasure having danced with so any wonderful partners in such incredible productions. I feel it’s time to see what other opportunities the future holds.”

Replacement casting for his scheduled performances in 2015/16 season will be announced shortly.

Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare said Pennefather had excelled in works by choreographers including Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan.

He added: “Rupert has been a wonderful dancer with the Royal Ballet. We wish him every future success.”