Monica Zamora was born in Guipuzcoa, Spain and begun her training at the age of ten with Ion Beita in Bilbao. At the age of fifteen she won the “First Scholarship” at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, and in 1989 entered the Royal Ballet School in London. Whilst still a pupil at the school, she was chosen by Kenneth Macmillan to dance in his Concerto (second movement pas de deux) at the school’s annual performance at Covent Garden, and in the following year to dance “Bethena Girl” in his Elite Syncopations also at Covent Garden.. That same year, David Bintley created a principal role for her in Petits Riens, a ballet especially commissioned for the school.
In 1991 she was offered a contract by Sir Peter Wright to dance with the Birmingham Royal Ballet (formally Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet). In her first season with the company, she was chosen by Sir Kenneth Macmillan to dance Juliet in his restaging of Romeo and Juliet and was also cast in the principal role in his ballet Galanteries. She was promoted to soloist in 1994 and principal in 1997. Since joining the company she has toured all over the world and danced a wide variety of choreographic styles. Her repertoire encompasses the ballets of Petipa, Fokine, Massine, Balancine, Ashton, Macmillan, Van Manen, Robbins, Tharp, Sir Peter Wright and David Bintley (the current Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet), who has created many leading roles for her.
Monica has made guest appearances in the U.S.A, Japan, Spain and at the Prix de Lausanne, where in 1998 and 2001 she was also a member of the jury. From March to June 2002 she appeared as a guest with the Australian Ballet in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne performing a variety of roles including Flavia in Spartacus. Lord Snowdon was commissioned to photograph Monica for Vogue and Anthony Crickmay has photographed her for the London Times. She has also made many television appearances both in England and abroad.
Monica left The Birmingham Royal Ballet in the summer of 2003 and since then has worked with the George Piper Dancers performing the works of William Forsythe, Russell Maliphant, Cathy Marston and Christopher Wheeldon. As a freelancer Monica has also worked with Goyo Montero in a collaboration for the Spanish Ministry of Culture and performed Vasos Comunicantes. She has also appeared recently in Oliver Stone’s new movie, Alexander the Great and performed St Michael’s Island by Hideo Fukagawa in Japan.
Photograph of Monica Zamora in Giselle © Asya Verzhbinsky