Australian dancer Amelia Townsend only just joined the Royal Ballet three years ago, but recently she was handed one of those starring moments that most dancers can only dream of.
The occasion was the premiere of a new ballet by rising choreographer Kyle Abraham, called The Weathering. The premiere had excited a lot of interest because Abrahams is only the second black choreographer to have been brought in to choreograph for the prestigious company since Carlos Acosta created his Carmen.
No less than Natalia Osipova, principal ballerina and international star, was to dance the leading role. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for Townsend, she was indisposed, and Townsend was called in at the very last minute to replace her for two performances.
Townsend has been in the company since 2019 and is ranked "artist" (similar to corps de ballet), so taking the role was a huge leap up the ranks.
Weathering was part of a triple bill which also included Solo Echo, by Cristal Pite, and DGV: Danse a grande vitesse, by Christopher Wheeldon.
We don't have footage of Townsend dancing the part, but see below to watch rehearsals with Osipova to get an idea of the role Townsend danced.