Eric Underwood is a Soloist with The Royal Ballet. He was born in Washington, D.C., and trained locally under the direction of Barbara Marks. After only eight months (there were no other boys at the school) Eric moved to the School of American Ballet in New York.
At the School of American Ballet Underwood was awarded the Philip Morris Foundation Scholarship. He joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2000, promoted to Soloist, 2001, and then joined American Ballet Theatre in 2003. His repertory included leading roles in The Four Temperaments, Agon, Forsythe’s Work within Work, Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Swan Lake (Von Rothbart) and roles in Cinderella (Officer), Manon (Gentleman) and Sylvia (Apollo).
He joined The Royal Ballet in 2006 as a First Artist and was promoted to Soloist in 2008. He has danced Mrs Pettitoes and the Consort to the Queen of Fire (Homage to The Queen), among others, and created roles in Chroma, DGV: danse à grande vitesse, Seven Deadly Sins and Electric Counterpoint. Underwood is also a model with Premier Model Management (mother agency) and Elite Model Management in Milan.
When making Chroma (2006), Wayne McGregor was workshopping it, with the structure of the piece coming near the end. At the first workshop, Underwood didn’t want to be inhibited, and wanted to be receptive to ideas and experiment freely.
Eric Underwood in the role of Polyphemus in Wayne McGregor’s production of Acis and Galatea – a rare and beautifully crafted collaboration between The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet.