Posted 20 March 2015
Central School of Ballet's renowned graduate performing company Ballet Central celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2015 and this year's nationwide tour opens at The E M Forster Theatre, Tonbridge on Saturday 21st March at 7:30 pm. This renowned performing dance company appears in 14 towns and cities nationwide across a five month period. Venues include the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House and The Lowry, Salford Quays. (Full tour schedule at the end)
The annual Ballet Central tour offers a chance to see some of the most highly skilled, new dance talent perform newly commissioned works and much-loved revivals by the dance industry’s top choreographers.
William Glassman, Artistic Director of Ballet Central, explains why the Ballet Central tour is so well received across the UK: “Each year we bring a programme featuring works by some of the UK’s most highly acclaimed established choreographers and talented young choreographers to local theatres. It’s a chance to see electrifying new works and time-honoured favourites performed regionally. The 2015 repertoire includes a dynamic range of new pieces; an energetic neoclassical work by Scottish Ballet's Artistic Director, Christopher Hampson entitled Four, to music from Flak by Graham Fitkin; a world premiere of Morning & Moonlight, a contemporary piece suggesting elements of a seascape by international choreographer Christopher Bruce CBE, performed to excerpts from Benjamin Britten's Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes; an enthralling narrative work by current MA Choreography student and Dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet Kit Holder entitled Hopper, inspired by the paintings of American artist Edward Hopper which features a new score by Ballet Central's Musical Director Philip Feeney. Classical ballet fans will relish the Blue Ball Pas de Deux from Cinderella, choreographed by the late Company Founder Christopher Gable CBE and staged by Carole Gable, as well as La Fille Mal Gardée Pas de Deux and Pas de Quatre staged by Central tutors Resmi Malko and Patricia Linton. This year's tour will also see revivals of Code by Phoenix Dance Theatre's Artistic Director and Central Artistic Advisor Sharon Watson, and Scenes from a Wedding by Christopher Marney, Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Company Principal Artist and Central MA Choreography graduate."
Audiences for the much-anticipated Ballet Central tour are increasing each year, attracting dance lovers and those new to live dance performance. The varied repertoire features a programme of ballet, contemporary and narrative dance suitable for families and all age groups. Tickets prices are deliberately low to make the tour widely accessible.
Ballet Central is the touring company of the leading centre for professional dance training and education, Central School of Ballet (Central) based in London. Students on the final year of their three year BA (Hons) degree course join Ballet Central to gain invaluable touring experience before graduation. Ballet Central’s dancers not only perform but also help with all aspects of staging, from technical lighting to wardrobe. Another highlight of Ballet Central is the music, much of which has been created by Central’s Composer-in-Residence Philip Feeney who also performs live on the tour.
Sara Matthews, Central’s Director, comments: “We are the only vocational ballet school to offer an Honours Degree in Professional Dance and Performance and pre-professional touring experience on such a scale. Ballet Central continues to be a springboard for hundreds of dancers into the top international dance companies. Dancers live to perform so touring is a much anticipated part of our three year curriculum. And we hope that the Ballet Central tour will provide inspiration to young dancers who may be thinking about professional dance as a career.”
Graduates from Central go on to join the world’s premier dance companies. Recent Central students are currently employed with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, National Ballet of Estonia, Ballet Black, Northern Ballet, K Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Slovakia Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Billy Elliott and many more.
“A graduate from Central School of Ballet is a valuable asset in any company for they have already experienced life as a professional dancer by touring with Ballet Central. I have had the pleasure of working with many highly talented graduates of Central School of Ballet, indeed, several have played demanding leading roles in my productions with great success.” says Matthew Bourne OBE, renowned Artistic Director and founder of Matthew Bourne's New Adventures company.
Ballet Central 2015: Tour Dates
Saturday 21 March, 7.30pm - Tonbridge - E M Forster Theatre
Friday 10 April, 7.45pm & Saturday 11 April, 2.30pm - Cambridge - ADC Theatre
Wednesday 15 April, 7.45pm - Chelmsford - Civic Theatre
Saturday 24 April, 7.30pm - Bridport - Bridport Arts Centre
Saturday 2 May, 7.30pm - Leeds - Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre
Friday 8 May, 7.30 pm - Margate - Theatre Royal
Thursday 14 May, 7.30pm - Newbury - The Corn Exchange
Saturday 23 May, 7.30pm - Frome - Merlin Theatre
Monday 1 June, 7.45pm - London - Linbury Studio Theatre
Saturday 13 June, 7pm - Chipping Norton - The Theatre
Monday 15 June, 7.30pm - Crawley - The Hawth Theatre
Thursday 25 June, 7.30pm - Grantham - Guildhall Arts Centre
Monday 29 June, 7pm - Salford Quays - The Lowry
Friday 17 July, 1.30pm (Schools performance) & Saturday 18 July, 7.30pm - London - St. James Theatre
Posted 30 January 2015
Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Black and Robert Mackintosh, Co Founder of The Entertainment & Media Group and Creative Director of The St James Theatre have been announced as new patrons of Central School of Ballet, which this year celebrates the 30th anniversary of their renowned student touring company, Ballet Central.
"I am delighted to announce Central School of Ballet's two new patrons; both Cassa and Robert share a passion for dance and performance art and their support and expertise will be invaluable to the school and our students" said Sara Matthews, Director of Central School of Ballet.
"I have always been an admirer of Central School of Ballet and the talent that the school produces," says Cassa Pancho MBE, "Growing up, a trip to see Ballet Central on tour was always the highlight of my year, and was also the first time I ever saw black dancers performing on stage. Since founding Ballet Black, I have had the wonderful privilege of working with many brilliant graduates from Central and I am thrilled to be able to give something back to the school as one of their new Patrons".
Robert Mackintosh comments "The first time I encountered Central's students when they performed in Ballet Central at The St James Theatre, I was struck by their enthusiasm and sheer talent. I was also struck by the dedication of those around them - teachers and Board directors alike, whose obvious sole motives were to bring out the talent that lay beneath each pupil. There is no greater challenge and satisfaction in finding young talent and giving them the encouragement and support to shine and, in this case, be the future ambassadors of the legacy of their founder, Christopher Gable. I am looking forward to encouraging others to support the work of Central and their student touring company Ballet Central. Its passion is obvious and cannot fail to bring a smile, or tear, to the most ardent entrepreneur. It will be an honour to serve as a Patron".
Posted 11 July 2014
We are pleased to announce that Central School of Ballet is taking part in an event bringing together the country’s leading dance schools in a collaboration at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre in March 2015, hosted by The Royal Ballet School.
Spring Celebration: A showcase of British dance training, will be a special evening celebrating the very best of British ballet training. It will feature students of The Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet School, Central School of Ballet and Elmhurst School for Dance and is generously sponsored by Ricki Gail Conway.
The audience will get a unique insight into world-class ballet training with Patrick Armand leading students in a ballet masterclass on stage. Patrick is Associate Director of San Francisco Ballet School and ex-Principal dancer at English National Ballet and Boston Ballet.
Students from each of the schools will then perform a range of contemporary and classical works that will showcase the full range of their abilities.
For The Royal Ballet School this event marks the end of 15 years’ hosting the Young British Dancer of the Year Award (YBDY) in the Linbury Studio Theatre. At each of the YBDY events, the four schools have typically staged interlude performances of work that characterises their own distinctive profile and heritage, a tradition that will be upheld at this unique event.
Christopher Powney, Artistic Director Designate, The Royal Ballet School, said:
‘All four schools have a shared goal in helping talented young dancers reach their full potential. It’s truly fantastic to be able to offer these students a very special performance opportunity and at the same time championing British dance training.’
Sara Matthews, Director, Central School of Ballet, said:
'We are delighted that our students will have the opportunity to take part in this shared celebration of world-class training, and that all four schools will be collaborating on this showcase.’
The event will take place on Saturday 7 March 2015
Posted 20 June 2014
Pupils from the Junior School and Prep and Pre-Senior programme jumped at the chance to take part in the first Centralise Weekend which took place at Central School of Ballet in April. This was a unique opportunity for 75 pupils aged 6-16yrs to explore new dance styles, collaborate with internationally renowned choreographers and ignite their own creativity. Ballet Central dancers assisted sessions throughout the weekend gladly sharing their knowledge and experience with the participants.
Pupils worked with choreographer Christopher Marney on his 2014 Ballet Central piece Carousel Dances and also took part in a master class with Richard Marcel, who has guest choreographed for Strictly Come Dancing and Billy Elliot. Co-Artistic Directors of Chantry Dance Company, Paul Chantry and Rae Piper lead a series of neo-classical ballet workshops exploring how classical movement can be used to interpret a simple theme or narrative. Younger level pupils worked with Head of Junior School Training, Ellen Jakubiel, to develop their ballet technique, musicality and creativity by focusing on Ballet Central repertoire.
“I loved working with the dancers from Ballet Central because they were so kind and helpful. I learnt a lot from them.” - Participant
Centralise culminated with a fantastic sharing of the work that had been created over the weekend by all the participants for friends and family with a captivating performance from Ballet Central who presented excerpts from the 2014 tour.
Learning and Participation Manager Debra Cougill oversaw the project and said “Centralise demonstrated the positive value of our third year students sharing their experience and passion for dance with our younger pupils. The Ballet Central students are incredibly inspirational role models and the experience of assisting in delivering workshops with leading choreographers has been hugely beneficial in further developing the teaching and communication skills and will no doubt enhance their employability post-graduation.”
To see some photos from the weekend please please click here to visit our Facebook album.
Central School of Ballet celebrate Dane Hurst's graduation with Distinction of their MA Choreography Programme
Posted 13 June 2014
Following the validation of their Masters Degree in Choreography by the University of Kent, Central School of Ballet were delighted to celebrate the completion of the course by their first choreographer, Dane Hurst, who graduates with a Distinction this summer. Central's MA is the only choreography postgraduate programme in the UK with a specialisation in ballet and through this course Central is proud to be playing a significant role in helping to shape the future of the artform.
Dane is currently dancing with Rambert, as well as forging a choreographic career. Central School of Ballet have three other choreographers undertaking the MA this year, Christopher Marney and Andrew McNicol (both of whom are alumni of Central) and Kit Holder. Christopher is Rehearsal Director with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. Andrew is concentrating on his various choreography projects, whilst Kit is a dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Central Director Sara Matthews comments "I am thrilled that Dane will be graduating from our MA Choreography with Distinction and shall look forward to enjoying his future works as choreographer in addition to his already distinguished dancing achievements"
"Completing the MA in Choreography at Central School of Ballet has been a challenging but richly awarding experience" says Dane, "It gave me the focus, freedom and flexibility to explore my choreographic ambitions and to solidify my creative intentions whilst being a full-time professional dancer, something that I don't think is possible to do anywhere else at present."
The MA Choreography has been generously funded by The Leverhulme Trust and Central School of Ballet hosted a celebratory reception for Dane, with a chance to meet the choreographers currently on the course on Monday 9th June at The Hospital Club, Covent Garden.
Posted 6 December 2013
Central School of Ballet is delighted to announce that Lady Ricketts has become a Patron.
Lady Ricketts said "Our first introduction to the School was through David Gray, one of the Governors, who invited us to a performance at St James's Palace, in the presence of HRH The Countess of Wessex. There and then we signed up The Countess - who is a passionate Royal Patron for the School - to come and pay a visit to the British Embassy in Paris and to bring some dancers with her!
In May 2013, this became a reality, after much detailed planning and thanks to generous sponsorship from HSBC. For the first time ever (we think!) there was ballet performance in our magnificent ballroom. The students gave us a incredibly special evening to remember. We still talk about it..."
Central School of Ballet is honoured to have Lady Ricketts as a Patron.
Posted 30 July 2013
In the week of the Central School of Ballet’s (CSB) final year graduation and the concluding dates of Ballet Central’s annual nationwide tour, the school announces encouraging levels of early graduate employment. 14 of the final year students have already confirmed contracts and permanent employment with the world’s leading dance companies and major theatrical productions.
Thomas Edwards aged 19 from Worcester has been recruited by Scottish Ballet on a permanent contract. He joins a host of other CSB graduates in recent years to join the prestigious dance company based in Glasgow. Following three years of training at CSB, one of Europe’s leading centres for dance training, Tom and his fellow final year students will graduate this month with a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance (validated by the University of Kent).
Alice Laidler aged 19 from Bury St Edmunds and Bookee Suksathaporn aged 21 from Thailand are both embarking on an apprenticeship with Phoenix Dance Theatre. Carys Applebee from Chichester who is 19 has an apprenticeship with the Springs Dance Company; the London based contemporary dance company. Tom Broderick aged 19 from Leigh–On-Sea and Reece Causton aged 21 from King’s Lynn will both be working with Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Company to perform in their production of Swan Lake.
Victoria Paine aged 19 from Cleethorpes and Michaela Guibarra aged 20 from Whitney in Oxfordshire have already been engaged on the Worldwide Tour of Phantom of the Opera. Lee Hoy aged 22 from Blackheath in London is already working as understudy to the lead in Billy Elliott in London.
Oliver Jones aged 20 from Marlesford in Suffolk will join the Grand Ballet of Poznan in Poland as a Demi Soloist starting in September. Jack Cussans aged 20 from Huntingdon in Yorkshire joins the New English Ballet Theatre and Joshua Earl aged 20 from Epping in Essex has been awarded a contract with National Ballet of Portugal.
Haruka So aged 18 returns to her native Japan to work with the Nippon Ballet Academy and finally Christopher Furlong has a contract with the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts based at the Badische Staats-theatre in Germany.
Sara Matthews, Director of CSB comments: “I am proud that our graduating students have been able to achieve such fantastic contracts despite the challenging economic climate. Our students consistently find good jobs soon after graduation, bucking the trend of fluctuating graduate employment figures.”
CSB achieves an average of 90% employment within 12 months of graduation. This success is supported by the experience gained by joining CSB’s touring company Ballet Central in the final year of the three year course. This annual tour that visits towns and cities across Great Britain includes venues such the Lowry in Salford Quays and the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House. The varied and highly skilled repertoire that the company offers, embracing Classical and Neo-Classical Ballet, dynamic Contemporary Dance, Jazz works and narrative pieces is very popular, offering audiences a chance to see tomorrow’s dance professionals.
Posted 18 April 2013
Central School of Ballet (CSB), one of Europe’s leading centres for dance training and education is celebrating 30 years since the school first offered professional dance training to students from the UK and around the world.
Founded by Ann Stannard and the late Christopher Gable CBE, CSB is now an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama and is based at studios in London’s Clerkenwell. The core of the curriculum is a three year degree course, a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance (validated by the University of Kent). CSB is the only dance school in the UK to offer this unique qualification.
CSB is further distinguished by its touring company Ballet Central which was formed in 1984 to provide final year students first-hand experience of professional dance. Touring the UK, visiting regional theatres and performing a wide repertoire provide additional training for CSB students who are recognised in their subsequent careers for their maturity and professionalism.
The founders of CSB aimed to create a school that valued the artistic expression in dance as well as the importance of technique. Christopher also wanted less emphasis on an exact physical body shape and more on nurturing talent and a hard-working attitude.
Carole Gable, Christopher’s dance partner in the Royal Ballet and wife was a founder member of CSB is still actively involved today, as a board member but also contributing to the Ballet Central tour each year as Third Year Ballet Tutor and Ballet Central Rehearsal Coach.
Christopher\'s aims, 30 years on, are evident from the successful recruitment of CSB graduates into the top dance and ballet companies worldwide. And equally evident in the feedback from key directors and choreographers who say that Ballet Central dancers are adaptable, focused, mature and highly-trained
One of the best examples of the school’s success is the invitation received by CSB’s Director Sara Matthews (an accomplished choreographer as well as former professional dancer with the Rambert Dance Company) was approached by the Olympic Creative Team last summer. Following the school’s performance of a new ballet based on the themes of the Olympics at the Linbury Studio theatre at the Royal Opera House called Circle of 5, details of the school\'s participation at the London Games were confirmed. CSB dancers performed specific pieces for various venues, part of the entertainment before, during and after events planned by the London Games to keep audiences engaged.
Performances were well received at all the venues including the Olympic Park, the Fencing Competition staged at ExCel and Rhythmic Gymnastics at Wembley Arena. There was such enthusiasm that the International Gymnastic Federation asked for one of the pieces to be performed again, this time at the North Greenwich Arena for the opening of the Trampolining, staged on the run up to the vault apparatus. All pieces were beautifully costumed by the LOCOG creative team with references to British fashion and culture from the past 50 years.
Ballet Central is currently touring Britain visiting 16 towns and cities featuring 21 performances across a four month period. Venues include the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House and the Lowry in Salford Quays. Touring with this unique student ballet company offers a professional performance experience that is not available through any other dance school on such a scale.
Graduates from CSB go on to join the world’s premier dance companies. Recent CSB students are currently employed The Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, National Ballet of Estonia, Ballet Black, Northern Ballet, Birmingham Ballet, K Ballet, Rambert, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Slovakia Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and many more.
Posted 15 August 2012
Central School of Ballet dancers have received outstanding reviews for their breathtaking performances at the Olympics. Audiences were enthralled by the 16 new graduates and one second year student from London’s Central School of Ballet (CSB), one of Europe’s premier schools for dance training and education, who performed in front of tens of thousands of people at various venues during the two weeks of Olympic events in London.
The dancers, 7 boys and 10 girls all aged between 18 and 20 years, performed new pieces created especially for the Olympics alongside selected items of the repertoire from the recent nationwide Ballet Central tour.
CSB were approached by the Olympic Creative Team earlier this year and, following their performance of a new ballet at the Linbury Studio theatre at the Royal Opera House called Circle of 5, details of the school\'s participation at the London Games were confirmed. Circle of 5 is a fusion of classical ballet and contemporary dance that echoes the ideals and themes of the Olympics and expertly demonstrates the pure physicality of dancers at this level. The ballet was created for Ballet Central by Mikaela Polley (Rehearsal Director for the Rambert Dance Company) and was granted the Inspire Mark by the London 2012 Inspire Programme. The London 2012 Inspire Programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
CSB dancers performed specific pieces for various venues, part of the entertainment before, during and after events planned by the London Games to keep audiences engaged. The Coldplay track Clocks was the basis of a piece choreographed by CSB’s Sara Matthews and Leanne King for the Fencing Competition staged at ExCel. Another site specific dance used the Pulp’s Common People as its soundtrack and was choreographed for CSB dancers by Andrew McNicol. The dancers moved dynamically between the fencing pistes encouraging audiences at ExCel to focus around the arena. All pieces were beautifully costumed by the LOCOG creative team with references to British fashion and culture from the past 50 years.
For the Rhythmic Gymnastics (which is a combination of gymnastics and dance) at Wembley Arena CSB created a solo piece to the Bowie track Boys Keep Dancing. Performed by 2nd year student Thomas Edwards, and recent graduate Jacob Wye the balletic and athletic style of the dance was created as a counterpoint to the group and female emphasis of the Rhythmic Gymnastics.
CSB’s performances were received with such enthusiasm that the International Gymnastic Federation asked for the \'Clocks\' piece to be performed again, this time at the North Greenwich Arena for the opening of the Trampolining, staged on the run up to the vault apparatus.
Two contemporary dances were also performed; a new piece called Code created by Sharon Watson also for Ballet Central (Sharon is Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre) and finally a piece called And then their hopes soared… created by CSB’s Director Sara Matthews. Both were staged, along with Circle of 5, in front of an enthusiastic audience in the Olympic Park during the Games.
Sara Matthews, Director of CSB and leading choreographer said: “We were delighted to be invited by LOCOG to be part of the London Games. It has been a truly unique opportunity for our new graduates to perform at the Olympics with such enthusiastic worldwide audiences. And a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the sheer hard work and athleticism that unites dance at this level with the world’s leading sportsmen and women.”
Posted 15 March 2012
Following three years of training at Central, Max will graduate this summer with a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance. Now aged 18, Max gained his early enthusiasm for dance by attending the Nydza School of Dance & Performing Arts in Bradford.
Max is currently on a nationwide tour with Ballet Central, the third year touring company of CSB,which offers an unrivalled opportunity to see new works by renowned choreographers as well as much-loved dance pieces performed live in local theatres.
The one year contract with Birmingham Royal Ballet will commence at the end of March. Max will also be appearing with Ballet Central at a number of venues on their national tour including in his home county of Leeds at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre on Saturday 28th April and The Lowry, Salford Quays on 25th April.
Max said: “I am thrilled to be selected by such a prestigious ballet company as BRB. Professional dance training at the top level as offered by CSB is tough, very competitive and hugely demanding physically, but wonderful too. CSB have been enormously supportive and have worked so hard to help me achieve first professional contract. I can’t wait to start at BRB but I am also excited about performing in Yorkshire and at other locations with Ballet Central before I graduate in July.”
Sought-after contracts in top ballet companies are the goal of every student dancer but they are not easily achieved. Sara Matthews, Director of CSB explains: “Joining a company of such international renown is a wonderful opportunity for Max. To have reached a professional standard before the completion of his course is a huge achievement. In joining Birmingham Royal Ballet Max continues a long history of CSB graduates that have gained jobs with top national and international ballet companies, reflecting the excellence of the teaching faculty here at CSB. We wish him many congratulations.”