Central School of Ballet announces key appointments to artistic team

Central School of Ballet, one the world’s leading professional dance training organisations, has announced the appointment of two senior artistic leaders, a new Artistic Director and a new role for the organisation, an Artist-in-Residence, both based at Central’s new premises in London’s Southwark, part of the South Bank arts community.

Kate Coyne has been appointed to the role of Artistic Director, joining the Executive Team at Central and becoming the professional training lead at the school.  Kate joins Central in October from Michael Clark Company where she has been Associate Director.  In her new role Kate will be responsible for the artistic leadership required to maintain Central’s reputation for the delivery of world-class dance education and training, alongside graduate dance employment, supporting an increasingly diverse and innovative, internationally recognised culture of dance in the UK.  The role includes support for the Artist-in-Residence in the facilitation of the annual Ballet Central tour and other performance opportunities.

Kate Coyne said: “I have long been an admirer of the thoughtful, mature and well-trained students that graduate from Central School of Ballet. Drawing on my love of classical technique, I look forward to shaping future training with the artistic team ensuring its relevance to the choreographic demands of today with its modern ideals of equality and diversity, whilst remaining faithful to ballet history that has informed the repertoire of companies around the world.”

She continued: “Central School of Ballet has a unique opportunity in its new premises to provide an offer to students that addresses the continual evolution of ballet, whilst inviting young students of the future to see that ballet and dance is for all.”

Mikaela Polley has been appointed as Central’s first Artist-in-Residence, responsible for the Ballet Central Tour 2022. The Ballet Central Tour is a distinctive part of the undergraduate offer at Central.  Students on the three year degree BA (Hons) in Professional Dance & Performance join the Ballet Central company in their final year to gain invaluable professional touring experience in a wide range of theatres to ticket-buying audiences, making them particularly employable following graduation.  Mikaela’s role will include the creation of a varied repertoire for the tour that not only reflects the dynamic choreography of the dance industry but also provides the opportunity for students to develop core skills and progress as creative artists ready for employment and further training.

Mikaela Polley said: “Building on Ballet Central’s rich history of developing young dancers that are creative and distinctive, I aim to provide an invaluable experience for Central’s final year students that draws on my years as a dancer, rehearsal director, teacher and choreographer.” 

She continued: “I’m looking forward to introducing a diverse range of repertoire and creative exploration to inspire students and build an environment where they feel empowered to grow and learn both as individuals and artists.”

Mark Osterfield, Central’s Executive Director, commented: “Kate’s classical training and direct experience of performance and dance sector leadership has given her a unique perspective on the questions, challenges, and opportunities facing the dance world today. As Artistic Director at Central, she will be able to continue to develop Central’s role as a leader in dance training, echoing the innovative spirit of Christopher Gable. And our next generation of Central dancers will be fully prepared to support the dance industry to further develop and flourish.”

Mark continued: “Mikaela’s creativity and professional experience, alongside her teaching and rehearsal skills, promise to deliver an exciting Ballet Central programme for 2022.”