Dancer - principal
Originating from Belgium
Wim Vanlessen, principal dancer for Ballet of Flanders, was born in Belgium and trained at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp. At age 17, he won the silver medal at the Concours International de Danse in Houlgate and the ‘Prix Professional’ at the Prix De Lausanne. In 1994 he joined The Royal Ballet of Flanders, where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer.
He received a lot of media attention for his outstanding performances in Onegin, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadère, Romeo and Juliet, Theme and Variations, Divertimento Nr.15, The Four Temperaments, and Apollo. Wim has worked closely with world-renowned choreographers, developing and creating principal roles in many great ballets such as: In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Herman Schmerman, Artifact, Impressing The Czar, Approximate Sonata (Forsythe), Return To The Strange Land and Forgotten Land (Kylián), Sonate (Béjart), Lost By Last (Jorma Elo), The Chosen One from Le Sacre du Printemps (Glen Tetley), and David Dawson’s The Grey Area, The Sweet Spell Of Oblivion and The Third Light. Since two years he has been working with creative director and choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. He was in Cherkaoui’s current creations Fall and Requiem. In 2016 he presented Boléro by Maurice Béjart and recently he was seen in Yuri Grigorovich's Spartacus, where he danced the title role and where he could share his broad range as a top dancer with the public, which led to a lot of praiseful reviews in the press, really honoring Vanlessen as a top dancer. In Dance Europe (oktober 2017) he was nominated in the category Outstanding Perfomance of a Male Dancer for his performance in Spartacus.
Wim is frequently invited as a guest dancer for international gala performances. He performed at the Gala Des Étoiles in Paris, The Lincoln Center Festival in New York, The Olympic Games in Nagano, The Aoyama Ballet Festival of Tokyo, The Prague Ballet Gala, Dance Salad in Houston and The Gala of the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. In 2014 he starred in the title role of ‘Des Grieux’ in Manon and Suite en Blanc as a guest principal artist with the Australian Ballet at the Sydney opera house. And in 2009 he was invited by Marcia Haydée to dance at the 50th anniversary of the Santiago Ballet in Chile.
Wim Vanlessen frequently gives masterclasses and he is movement-director for fashion- and film shoots. He is often asked as a guest to represent Ballet of Flanders in the world of media and dance. Hij also starred in Hilde Van Mieghem’s film The Kiss.
Due to his enormous talent and versatility as a dancer as well as his determination and perseverance Wim Vanlessen earned his spot in the world of ballet and gets a lot of respect from co-dancers, directors, choreographers, producers and the press all over the world.