Elaine Underwood was born in Northampton, Great Britain, and started her professional dance education in Newcastle-u-Lyme. She then joined the Royal Ballet School in London for two years where she received her diploma. A two-year engagement in Graz followed, first as a member of the Corps de ballet, then as soloist, before she was engaged at the Bavarian Opera Ballet by John Cranko in 1969. Here she danced for 15 years, 12 years as a Soloist, and during that time participated in all ballet premieres in various roles. Her repertoire included parts in all the works of Balanchine and Cranko that were performed by the Bayerisches Staatsballett; she performed the Myrtha in Giselle as well as Tatjana in Onegin. In 1984 Elaine Underwood finished her active career as a dancer, she started a retraining in office management and received a German language diploma. Since 1996 she has helped the students at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung and from 2001 to 2018 she was engaged at the Bayerisches Staatsballett to supervise the department of ballet shoes.
In autumn 2012 she returned on stage and played the part of Aiya (Gamzatti's servant) in La Bayadère (M. Petipa/P. Bart).
(Status: November 2020)
Debuts with the Bayerisches Staatsballett
Aiya in La Bayadère (M. Petipa/P. Bart)
Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (J. Cranko)
Nanina in The Lady of the Camellias (J. Neumeier)
Countess d'Hervilly in Paquita (M. Petipa/A. Ratmansky)
Countess Vronskaya in Anna Karenina (C. Spuck)
Marie in Raymonda (R. Barra, M. Petipa)