Born in Yorkshire, England, Iain Webb started ballet at the age of 14 and moved to London at 16, where he trained for two years with The Rambert School of Ballet, a year at The Royal Ballet School and a further year as an apprentice with The Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, where he was offered a full time position. His main principal repertoire included Ashton’s The Dream, The Two Pigeons, La Fille mal Gardée (Colas and Alain), Bintley’s The Snow Queen, Fokine’s Les Sylphides and Petrushka, Balanchine’s The Prodigal Son and van Manen’s Five Tangos, Coppelia and Swan Lake.
In 1989 he transferred to The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, to perform character roles that included Bottom in Ashton’s The Dream, the Small Sister, Dancing Master and Napoleon in Cinderella and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Pigling Bland in Tales of Beatrix Potter; MacMillan’s The Doctor in Different Drummer and a Client in Manon; and Sancho Panza in Baryshnikov’s production of Don Quixote. In 1996 Webb retired from The Royal Ballet, but was invited back as a guest artist to give three farewell performances at Covent Garden as the Small Sister in Ashton’s Cinderella. After retiring as a dancer, he was invited by Matthew Bourne to be Rehearsal Director for The West End, L.A. and Broadway seasons of Swan Lake and continued to work with Bourne on his production of Cinderella.
In 1999 Webb was asked by Tetsuya Kumakawa to join his newly formed K-Ballet Company in Japan as Ballet Master and two years later was appointed Assistant Director. During this time he also worked with many international stars, including Adam Cooper, with whom he co-directed The Adam Cooper Company and organized their tour to The Kennedy Center. Likewise, he co-produced with Johan Kobborg the London performances of Out of Denmark and staged Roland Petit’s Carmen Pas de Deux for Alessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca for American Ballet Theatre’s 65th Anniversary Gala. Throughout Webb’s career he has produced and directed many international performances, presenting dancers from Royal Danish Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet, to name a few. He has been guest teacher for White Oak Project, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert Dance Company, as well as teaching master classes and workshops for all the major ballet schools in England.
In July 2007 Webb took over the directorship of The Sarasota Ballet and under his leadership the Company performed 124 ballets and divertissements through the 2014 - 2015 Season, including 35 world premieres and 6 American premieres. These include ballets by Ashton, Balanchine, Bourne, Cranko, de Valois, MacMillan, Tharp, Tuckett, Tudor, van Manen and Wheeldon. Under Webb’s direction the Company has received critical acclaim in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times London, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Orlando Sentinel, Dance Europe and Dancing Times (London). Since 2011 The Sarasota Ballet has been invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and Ballet Across America III, at Fall for Dance 2014 at the Joyce Theater in New York City and at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2015.
Mr. Webb has developed a stronger financial foundation for the Company, was selected to serve on the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Panel, and in January 2014 signed a contract extending his tenure 10 more years with The Sarasota Ballet.