A very beautiful English ballet dancer, the best of her generation; though at Covent Garden she is still overshadowed by the guest artist, the simply perfect Sylvie Guillem. Born in London in 1969(?), she entered the Royal Ballet's school at the age of 13. In 1986 the choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan was captivated by her, still a student, and she created the leading role in his Concerto. After a two-year stint with the Sadler's Wells company she joined the Royal Ballet in 1988 and Sir Kenneth gave her more leads in new ballets of his: Princess Rose in The Prince of the Pagodas and Masha in Winter Dreams. She was promoted rapidly to Soloist, First Soloist, and in 1989 Principal (the youngest ever), at the first night of The Prince of the Pagodas. She was a star from the first.

She looks very good, she dances superbly - her Sleeping Beauty is especially wonderful -; but there is an obvious lack of thought. There is power but no depth, no real sexiness. I haven't read her ghost-written biography but I have a read a review that was quite painful in skirting around the complete lack of insight.

Darcey became an OBE in 1995. There is a painting of her by Allen Jones in the National Portrait Gallery. She is married to an Australian financier called Angus Forbes, and they have two young daughters. In October 2005 she announced her intention to retire from full-time dancing now, at the age of 36, saying that family was becoming increasingly important to her and she wanted to leave still at the height of her powers. She will continue to dance guest roles with the Royal Ballet.

Official home page www.darceybussell.com isn't very interesting.

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