The Mariinsky Theatre Trust is grateful to BP for its ten-year support of the Mariinsky UK touring programme. This partnership builds on the strong relationship already established between BP Russia and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and forms part of BP's cultural programme in the UK.

Xander Parish OBE


Xander Parish has been supported by the Mariinsky Theatre Trust at the Mariinsky Ballet since 2010. From that that time his career developed consistently until his promotion in July 2017 to the role of Principal Dancer. He was awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List for services to dance and UK/Russia cultural relations.

Xander was born in East Yorkshire, England, and began dancing at the Skelton Hooper School of Dance in Hull at the age of 8. He joined the Royal Ballet Lower School, White Lodge in 1998 and continued his training at the Royal Ballet Upper School from 2002-2005. While at the Upper School, Xander won the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award (2003), The Young British Dancer of the Year Award (2nd prize 2004) and a Silver Medal at the Genee International Ballet Competition (Athens, 2004).

Xander joined The Royal Ballet Company in August 2005 along with his sister Demelza. They were the first brother and sister to be members of The Royal Ballet together. Here Xander’s repertoire included: The Sleeping Beauty (Lilac Fairy Cavalier), The Nutcracker (Arabian Dance, Waltz of the Flowers), Swan Lake (Cadets, Mazurka), La Fille mal gardée (Colas’ Friends), Les Patineurs (Brown Boys), McGregor’s Dido and Aeneas and Fenton’s Song Without Words and Seacastles. Xander created roles in Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à grande vitesse, Tuckett’s The Seven Deadly Sins and Fenton’s Monument. He also choreographed for The Royal Ballet’s Draftworks program.

In 2009, Xander was invited to join The Mariinsky Ballet by its ballet director Yuri Fateyev and joined the company in January 2010 aged 23 as its first and only British dancer. His repertoire includes: Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Count Albrecht (Giselle), Prince Desiré (The Sleeping Beauty), Romeo (Romeo & Juliet), The Nutcracker Prince (The Nutcracker ch. Vainonen), Vronsky (Anna Karenina ch. Ratmansky), Jean de Brienne (Raymonda), Male Principal (Le Parc), Vaslav (The Fountain of Bakhchiserai), Andrés (Paquita), The Golden Slave (Scheherazade), The Poet (Chopiniana/Les Sylphides), John the Baptist (Salome ch. Faski), Ashton’s Sylvia (Aminta) and Marguerite & Armand (Armand), Balanchine ballets including Apollo, Jewels (Emeralds & Diamonds), Serenade (Waltz, Elegy) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), Hans Van Manen’s Adagio Hammerklavier & Variations For Two Couples, Millepied’s Without & La nuit s’achève and McGregor’s Infra. His repertoire as a guest artist also includes Gauthier’s Ballet 101, Le Spectre de la Rose, and Ashton’s The Drea‘ (Oberon).

Xander Parish as Romeo and Viktoria Tereshkina as Juliet


“I have the great privilege of being supported by The Mariinsky Theatre Trust and having had that generous support since I arrived in Russia in 2010. As The Mariinsky’s first British dancer, I feel like I am representing my country in what I am doing here and to have the support of the Trust behind me is invaluable. The Mariinsky Trust has great success in strengthening the cultural bond between the UK and Russia through the famous Mariinsky Theatre under the leadership of Maestro Gergiev. I am honoured to be another string to that bow and hope our cooperation together will continue to have very positive effects on the UK Russia relationship.” Xander Parish

Xander has toured with the Mariinsky Ballet to Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Oman, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the USA, and has been a guest artist with English National Ballet, The Kremlin Ballet, The Ballet Company of the Opera National Bucharest, The Stanislavsky Ballet and has also performed with ‘Roberto Bolle and Friends’.

Xander was the recipient of the Taglioni Award in the category “Best Young Male Dancer” (Berlin, 2014), the recipient of the Léonide Massine Prize in the category “Emerging Talent on the International Scene” (Positano, Italy, 2014) and won the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards ‘Outstanding Male Performance (Classical)’ category for Apollo 2014.

In May 2016 Xander made his debut with American Ballet Theatre at The Metropolitan Opera House in New York as an ABT Exchange Artist dancing the role of Aminta in Ashton’s Sylvia partnering ABT Principal Isabella Boylston.

In January 2017 The University of Hull bestowed on Xander an Honorary Degree “Doctor of the University, honoris causa”.

Click HERE to see a full list of Xander’s roles with the Mariinsky Ballet.

Click HERE for Xander’s own website.