Marcelino Sambé

Principal of The Royal Ballet


Portuguese dancer Marcelino Sambé is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet Upper School and graduated into the Company during the 2012/13 Season, promoted to First Artist in 2014, Soloist in 2015, First Soloist in 2017 and Principal in 2019.

Sambé was born in Lisbon and studied at the National Conservatory of Lisbon before joining The Royal Ballet Upper School. Performances at the School included in John Neumeier’s Yondering and Alastair Marriott’s Simple Symphony at the School’s annual matinee, and a summer gala in Venice in 2012. His repertory with the Company includes Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Albrecht (Giselle), Franz (Coppélia), Colas (La Fille mal gardée), Oberon (The Dream), Hans-Peter/Nutcracker (The Nutcracker), Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Brother Clown (The Winter’s Tale), Beggar Chief and Lescaut (Manon), Crown Prince Rudolf (Mayerling), Bronze Idol (La Bayadère), Basilio (Don Quixote), Officer (Anastasia), Bluebird and Florestan (The Sleeping Beauty), pas de trois (Swan Lake), Footman/Frog (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Gypsy Boy (The Two Pigeons), Blue Boy (Les Patineurs) and in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Tarantella, Jewels, The Human Seasons, Obsidian Tear, Aeternum, Requiem, La Valse, Aeternum, Within the Golden Hour, Multiverse, Elite Syncopations, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tarantella, Symphony in C, The Human Seasons, Infra, Concerto, Medusa, Dances at a Gathering, Voices of Spring, woman with water, Solo Echo, Rhapsody and For Four. He created Pedro in Christopher Wheeldon's Like Water for Chocolate and roles in Kyle Abraham's Optional Family: A Divertissement, Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, Kim Brandstrup’s Ceremony of Innocence, Marriott’s Connectome, Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable, Cathy Marston's The Cellist and Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works and The Dante Project.

Sambé is a keen choreographer and was selected as one of the UK’s emerging choreographers by Youth Dance England in 2012. His M’ cã cré sabi won second prize at the 2011 Ursula Morton Choreographic Awards and was performed in the School’s annual matinee that year. Works include Preparations for the Last TV Fake and The Chosen Victim for The Royal Ballet’s Draft Works. Sambé’s dance awards include a silver medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 2008, first prize at the Youth American Grand Prix in 2009, a gold medal and special award at the USA International Ballet Competition in 2010 and the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards for Outstanding Male Classical Performance (2017) and Best Male Dancer (2019).

Find Out More

Watch Marcelino in performances on Royal Opera House Stream. You can also watch his exclusive interview as part of the Spotlight on... series.

  • Ballet and dance

Spotlight on... Marcelino Sambé

21 minutes

Marcelino Sambé discusses his career with The Royal Ballet in this new series, exclusively on Royal Opera House Stream.

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