Sarah Wildor

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Sarah Wildor
Born 1972 (age 45–46)
Eastwood, Essex, England
Occupation actress, ballerina, theatre dancer
Spouse(s) Adam Cooper
Children 2

Sarah Wildor (born 1972) is an actress and a dancer. She is most noted as a former principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, a leading international ballet company based at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.


Wildor was born in 1972 in Eastwood, Essex, England.[1][2] She received her professional dance training at both the lower and upper schools of the Royal Ballet School. She joined the Royal Ballet in 1991, was promoted to Soloist in 1995, then Principal in 1999.[1][3] During her career with the Royal Ballet,[4] she was celebrated for her musicality, grace, intensity and personality.[1] She resigned from the Royal Ballet in 2001 [5] to freelance and expand into Musical Theater and acting.

Wildor married the actor, dancer, choreographer (and former Royal Ballet principal) Adam Cooper in 2000[6] and they have two children.[7][8][9]

Selected ballet repertoire in which she played leading roles with the Royal Ballet Company[4][edit]

Productions by Dame Ninette de Valois[edit]

Productions by Sir Frederick Ashton[edit]

Freelance Dancer[edit]

Wildor took a leave of absence from the Royal Ballet in 1997 to play the lead in Matthew Bourne's Cinderella in London[18][19][20][21] and in Los Angeles, CA.[22][23]

Upon leaving the Royal Ballet in 2001,[5][24][25] after a decade at Covent Garden, Wildor guest-starred with Scottish Ballet. She played the Young Girl in the company's revival of Frederick Ashton's 1961 romance The Two Pigeons. It opened at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre in 2002.[26]

Later in 2002 Sarah Wildor together with Adam Cooper presented a tribute to Sir Kenneth MacMillan at Exeter[17][27] and in Japan.

Wildor played the role of Madame de Tourvel in a newly interpreted, 2005 production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. This version was conceived as a mixture of mime and dance. It was co-directed by Adam Cooper and Lez Brotherston, and choreographed by Cooper who also played the role of Viscomte de Valmont. The piece premiered in Japan early in the year[28][29] before a summer season at Sadler’s Wells.[30][31][32][33][34]

Musical Theater[edit]

Her first role in Musical Theater was in 2002 in Susan Stroman's dance musical Contact and she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[15][35][36]

She followed with the female lead role in the 2003 production of On Your Toes, with Adam Cooper providing the choreography and playing the male lead. Most notable was their duet to Richard Rodgers 'Slaughter on 10th Ave'.[37] Wildor played the vampish Russian ballerina Vera Baronova, the role in which Natalia Makarova made a huge impact in the last London production 20 years ago.[38][39]

In 2009 she and Cooper again danced the famous 'Slaughter on 10th Ave' ballet (to different choreography) in a show called Shall We Dance, conceived by Adam Cooper. This stage production was an ambitious all-dance show based on Richard Rodgers’ songs and was directed and choreographed by Cooper. It was performed at Sadler’s Wells.[40][41][42][43][44][45]


She played Elizabeth in the 2004 Joseph Wright's production of Frankenstein (based on the Mary Shelley classic) at the Derby Playhouse. Reviewer Alfred Hicklin says: "Sarah Wildor's willowy Elizabeth is particularly impressive, given that she has little to do but wring her hands in despair; the accomplishment of her gestural language is testament to her former career as a principal with the Royal Ballet." [46]

Wildor appeared in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.[7]

Sarah Wildor and Adam Cooper appeared in 2005 at the Seven Oaks Playhouse in a new production of Australian Peta Murray’s 1991 two-hander Wallflowering under Julian Woolford’s direction. They played a suburban Australian couple in Murray’s comedy about love, marriage and ballroom dancing. The play includes short dance sequences, which counterpoint the dialogue scenes, and there is a continuous alternation between speech and dance.[47] [48][49]

Wildor played an "awful dancer" in director Gavin McAlinden's 2007 production of You Can't Take it With You at Southwark Playhouse. This is a 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy from Moss Hart and George S Kaufman.[50]


  • Sarah Wildor is a patron of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Classical Ballet Faculty[51]
  • Wildor was one of the judges at the 2014 finals of the Opera House competition of young British dancers.[52]


  1. ^ a b c [1]
  2. ^ "Sarah Wildor : Biography". Retrieved 2016-12-24.
  3. ^ Oxford Dictionary of Dance Editors. "Sarah Wildor". The Oxford Dictionary of Dance. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b Margaret Willis (1 July 1997). "Sarah Wildor". Dance Magazine. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b Allen Robertson (28 September 2001). "A leap into the unknown". The Times (United Kingdom).
  6. ^ Ismene Brown (8 April 1999). "And they lived happily ever after" (PDF). Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b Ismene Brown (7 July 2009). "Adam Cooper is the dancing king". Evening Standard [London (UK)]. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  8. ^ Allison Potts (6 August 2009). "Adam Cooper: Choreographer, Librettist, Director, Principal Dancer". The London Ballet Circle. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  9. ^ Matthew Hemley (17 February 2012). "Adam Cooper: Don't rain on his parade". The Stage. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  10. ^ Jennifer Fisher (20 May 1997). "Dancer Sarah Wildor, a Woman of Principals Ballet: Rising star with Britain's Royal troupe will bring her fresh approaches to Frederick Ashton's Chloe during performances in Costa Mesa". Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles, Calif]. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  11. ^ Lewis Segal (26 May 1997). "Sarah Wildor Conveys Rich Inner Life in 'Ravel Evening'". Los Angeles Times.
  12. ^ Lynette Halewood (August 1999). "Royal Ballet 'Ondine'". Ballet Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  13. ^ Judith Mackrell (16 November 2000). "Wildor the water sprite". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  14. ^ Anna Kisselgoff (15 July 1994). "DANCE REVIEW; English Style Looking A Lot Like International". New York Times. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  15. ^ a b Tom Bowtell (27 Feb 2003). "Sarah Wildor".
  16. ^ Judith Mackrell (29 June 2005). "Pas de deux". The Guardian.
  17. ^ a b Allen Robertson (9 July 2002). "Dance". The Times (UK). Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  18. ^ David Dougill (12 October 1997). "Blast from the past". Sunday Times. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  19. ^ Jann Parry (2 January 1998). "Cinderella". Dance Magazine. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  20. ^ Jenny Gilbert (12 October 1997). "Dance review: Cinderella jitterbugs the night away". The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Matthew Bourne's Cinderella Trailer". Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  22. ^ Jennifer Fisher (20 May 1997). "Sarah Wildor, The Royal Ballet". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  23. ^ Lewis Segal (9 April 1999). "'Cinderella' Ballet Fits the Score". LA Times. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  24. ^ Ismene Brown (6 Oct 2001). "Trouble brewing as technique takes centre-stage". Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  25. ^ Ismene Brown (29 Mar 2002). "Dancing in a minefield Sarah Wildor and Adam Cooper, one of ballet's most beautiful couples, fail to avoid explosive topics as they tell Ismene Brown about life since Wildor resigned from the Royal Ballet". The Daily Telegraph [London (UK)]. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  26. ^ Donald Hutera (4 May 2002). "Dance". The Times (United Kingdom).
  27. ^ Donald Hutera (6 July 2002). "A Tribute To Sir Kenneth Macmillan". The Times. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  28. ^ Nobuko Tanaka (2 February 2005). "Seduction twice over by Cooper". The Japan Times. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  29. ^ Debra Craine (29 March 2005). "At the feet of a great seducer". The Times. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  30. ^ Ismene Brown (18 July 2005). "Glamorous Liaison". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  31. ^ Jann Parry (30 July 2005). "Who needs small talk?". The Observer. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  32. ^ Katie Phillips (4 August 2005). "Les Liaisons Dangereuses". The Stage. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  33. ^ Nadine Meisner (31 July 2005). "Dance: Take another little piece of my heart". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  34. ^ Clifford Bishop (3 July 2005). "The shock of the cruel". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  35. ^ "Hollywood stars go head-to-head with EastEnder in awards". The Daily Mail. February 2003. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  36. ^ "QUICK TAKES; London likes Stritch and Paltrow". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 17 Jan 2003. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  37. ^ Terri Paddock (9 May 2002). "Cooper and Wildor generate heat in On Your Toes". Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  38. ^ Nadine meisner (31 July 2003). "In step with each other". The Independent [London (UK)]. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  39. ^ Terri Paddock (7 May 2003). "Wildor Joins Husband Cooper for RFH On Your Toes". Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  40. ^ Ismene Brown (7 July 2009). < "Adam Cooper is the dancing king". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  41. ^ Terri Paddock (20 July 2009). "Adam Cooper On ... Richard Rodgers & Shall We Dance". What’s On Stage. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  42. ^ Laura Thompson (30 July 2009). "Adam Cooper's Shall We Dance, at Sadler's Wells - review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  43. ^ Chris Wiegand (15 July 2009). "Pas de deux: Adam Cooper and Sarah Wildor on Shall We Dance". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  44. ^ Terry O'Donovan (2009). "Shall We Dance". British Theater Guide. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  45. ^ Sarah frater (30 July 2009). "Rodgers revival misses a trick". Evening Standard. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  46. ^ Alfred Hickling (14 October 2004). "Review: Theatre: Frankenstein: Playhouse, Derby 3/5". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  47. ^ Terri Paddock (11 Aug 2005). "Cooper & Wildor Swap Dance for Wallflowering Play". What’s On Stage. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  48. ^ Charlotte Cripps (3 October 2005). "Preview: Wallflowering, Playhouse, Sevenoaks". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  49. ^ Lisa Whitbread (6 October 2005). "Wallflowering". The Stage. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  50. ^ Fiona Mountford (30 Oct 2007). "You can't take it with you". Evening Standard. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  51. ^ "ISTD is proud to present the 2014 Imperial Ballet Senior Awards". 3 February 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  52. ^ staff writer (10 March 2014). "Young British Dancer of the Year 2014 winners announced". Retrieved 23 September 2014.