Central School Of Ballet

Central alumnus and Artistic Advisor win at 2020 Olivier Awards

Friday 30th October 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Central is pleased to share that alumnus Mthuthuzeli November and Artistic Advisor Sir Matthew Bourne were both presented with Olivier Awards during the awards broadcast on Sunday 25 October.

Mthuthuzeli November won Best New Dance Production for his production of Ingoma for Ballet Black at the Barbican Theatre and Royal Opera House – Lindbury Theatre.

Mthuthuzeli November joined Central in 2015 from the Cape Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) to perform with our touring company Ballet Central. Upon leaving Central, he joined Ballet Black as an Apprentice Artist from September 2015 where he has continued to grow and thrive as an artist and choreographer.

Sir Matthew Bourne won Best Theatre Choreographer for Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre, an award he shares with Co-Choreographer Stephen Mear. Following this win, he becomes the individual with the most Oliviers in the history of the awards.

Sir Matthew Bourne has been an Artistic Advisor at Central for several years and many graduates have gone on to successful careers at Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company.

The Olivier Awards are run by Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and are the most prestigious theatre awards in the UK. The winners are decided by a group of distinguished industry professionals, theatre luminaries and members of the public specifically chosen for their passion for London theatre.

Congratulations to the rest of the winners and all those who were nominated at this year’s Olivier Awards.

Ballet Central to launch a new original film of the classic Christmas ballet Nutcracker told through the 12 Days of Christmas

Tuesday 20th October 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

This Christmas, Ballet Central will present a new 30 minute film based on the classic Nutcracker tale at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge.

Directed by Artistic Director Christopher Marney, the film joins Clara as she journeys through the magical Kingdom of Sweets, meeting the famous colourful characters from the iconic Nutcracker tale, from the bickering mice to the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The new film is a chance for audiences to get all the Christmas magic that is synonymous with Nutcracker performed to the iconic Tchaikovsky score. The film has been created to allow for the restrictions and social distancing measures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which prevent live performances of dance where artists are typically in close contact.

Christopher Marney explains: “Following the success of the Centrally Connected digital programme that enabled Central’s dance students worldwide to continue their dance training while our studios in London were closed, we have created a special original Nutcracker performance in film for Christmas this year. This allows audiences to see the artistry, skill, drama and colour of the timeless Nutcracker in secure surroundings and ensures our dancers continue to perform.”

“Dancers live to perform,” continues Christopher, “so while we won’t experience the thrill of a live audience in Cambridge, we know that the story of Nutcracker will be seen while keeping both audiences and dancers safe.”

Mark Osterfield, Executive Director, comments: “In these challenging times, it is heartening to know that Christopher Marney and Ballet Central will be sharing some exciting dance and Christmas cheer with our audiences, maintaining traditions with typical innovation and verve!”

Early booking is recommended for these unique film screenings. Tickets are priced at just £7 and are available at www.adctheatre.com or the ADC Theatre Box Office on 01223 300085.

The nine film screenings will take place over three days:

Thursday 17th December 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm

Friday 18th December 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm

Saturday 19th December 2.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm

Central announces online half-term courses for young people

Tuesday 13th October 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

After the success of the Central’s first online Summer School, applications are now open for online courses during the half-term holidays including:

  • One Day Ballet Intensive, 14-16 years (Tuesday 27 October)
  • One Day Ballet Intensive, 14-16 years (Wednesday 28 October)
  • Create Your Own Dance Course, 8-13 years (Wednesday 28 October)
  • Teddy Bear's Picnic Ballet Course, 4-7 years (Monday 26 October)

Central's half-term courses are an opportunity for participants age 4-16 years to experience a range of dance styles at varying levels.

The One Day Ballet Intensives will be taught by Central’s degree programme teaching faculty and will include classes in Ballet, Pointe, Allegro and Pilates as well as a discussion regarding Central’s Foundation Degree and BA in Professional Dance and Performance.

For the first time, Central will also offer a Create Your Own Dance Course for girls and boys where participants will be able to choose which classes on the timetable they would like to attend. Subject to the participants’ age and ability, classes will include Ballet, Pilates, Jazz, Contemporary and Creative Choreography as well as girls only classes in Preparation for Pointe and Repertoire.

Central is also pleased to offer an online Teddy Bear’s Picnic themed Ballet class for 4-7 year old boys and girls. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a fun, interactive Ballet class, alongside their favourite toy, that will unleash their creativity and spark their imagination.

Further details: https://bit.ly/3jVjZxr

How to apply: https://bit.ly/2SN6vrU

Director of Higher Education Job Vacancy

Tuesday 6th October 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Central is looking to recruit an experienced Director of Higher Education to lead at an Executive level on the planning, delivery, and evaluation of its three Higher Education programmes (Foundation and BA in Professional Dance and Performance, and MA in Choreography), all validated by the University of Kent.

For further information and an application form, please visit the recruitment page on our website.

Application closing date: Sunday 25 October

Interviews: Week commencing Monday 2 November

Course Lead MA Choreography Job Vacancy

Tuesday 6th October 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Central is looking to recruit a part-time member of staff to lead and manage the MA Choreography programme, validated by the University of Kent.

Responsibilities include the co-ordination of the MA Choreography curriculum, mentoring choreographers on the completion of module work and overseeing the marking of assessments.

For further information and an application form, please visit the recruitment page on our website.

Application closing date: Sunday 25 October

Interviews: Week commencing Monday 2 November

Sunday adult classes to recommence on 11th October

Monday 5th October 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Sunday adult classes will recommence on 11th October at our studios at Herbal Hill. This as a first step towards a full programme of adult classes to include evenings, to be advised at a later date.

The new timetable for Sunday classes will be as follows:

11:30-13:00 - Intermediate/Advanced Ballet with Dmitri Gruzdev

12:30-14:00 - Intermediate Ballet with Hubert Essakow

12:45-14:15 - Complete Beginners Ballet with Hannah Frost

13:30-15:00 - Intermediate/Advanced Ballet with Denzil Bailey

14:30-16:00 - Contemporary African with Francis Angol

14:45-16:15 - Improver Ballet with Hannah Frost

All adult class bookings will now be made online through Gymcatch. Participants will need to either download the Gymcatch mobile app from the App Store or the Play Store or use the web app at app.gymcatch.com and register for an account. Once an account has been created, participants can book classes through the Central School of Ballet page on Gymcatch here.

See here for further details, including how to book and attend classes.

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Click here and like Central Nights on Facebook to get all the latest news and timetable changes.

If you have any further questions, please contact centralnights@csbschool.co.uk

Central dancers featured in The Times newspaper

Friday 25th September 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Final year students completing the BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance were featured in The Times newspaper on 25th September.

Undergraduate and postgraduates students returned to Central’s studios in Herbal Hill on 14th September to resume their training having had to dance and train back at home during lockdown. The students are training and studying through a combined process of practical classes at the studios and through remote teaching and learning using the Centrally Connected Programme that was established last term, complying with Central's Covid Secure Plan and associated risk assessments, including such measures as social distancing, the wearing of masks, and increased hygiene protocols.

To find out more about the Foundation & BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance, see here.

Central’s new academic year to start next week

Monday 7th September 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Central School of Ballet will commence the new academic year on 14th September 2020. The students following the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes will be training and studying through a combined process of practical classes at the studios in Herbal Hill and through remote teaching and learning using the Centrally Connected Programme that was established last term. All activity will comply with Central's Covid Secure Plan and associated risk assessments, including such measures as social distancing, the wearing of masks, and increased hygiene protocols.

The Junior School, Associate School and all courses and classes for children and young people will continue to run online through Centrally Connected for the duration of the autumn term.

Central Nights will continue through the individual classes run by tutors themselves online, find out more here. We are currently reviewing the possibility of re-introducing Central Sundays classes for adults and will provide more information in due course.

It is anticipated that Central’s much-anticipated move to new premises, the Countess of Wessex Studios in London’s Southwark, will take place later in the autumn, with the School fully operating from Paris Gardens in January 2021. More updates will be posted online and in social media.

Central’s first online summer school met with praise

Monday 17th August 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

From 27 July to 7 August we welcomed students taking part in Central’s first virtual summer school following a successful term of online teaching and training.

The five and ten day courses were designed specifically to provide an insight into classical ballet training. Participants took part in three to four classes each day including a 75 minute mixed ballet class, pointe classes for girls (dependent on age) and coaching for boys. Students on the ten day course also had the chance to take part in two small group coaching sessions, a Q+A session with tutors who train our Foundation and BA undergraduate students and a ballet masterclass with Artistic Director, Christopher Marney.

Feedback from students and parents has been very positive:

"My child really enjoyed the summer school and we were all so impressed with how the week was put together digitally. It is the closest they have had to a studio experience in months. Thank you so much to all involved.”

“The teachers were so organised and nurturing. They were very responsive and care about each child and their welfare whilst dancing from home.”

“It is an amazing opportunity to be taught by the degree programme tutors in small, focused classes.”

Debra Cougill, Central’s Head of Widening Participation and Access said: “Following the success of the Centrally Connected online classes for our Junior School and Associates, we made the decision to move our annual International Summer School online as well. Students from across Europe and as far afield as Japan took part, all taught by tutors from degree programmes and guest teachers. We have been delighted with the commitment and focus of those who took part and the progress they have made."

If you are interested in further classes to prepare for a future performing career, please see here for more details about our Associate School.

Final Year students in the news featuring online choreographic project

Tuesday 21st July 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Many of Central’s final year undergraduate students have been featured in local and regional media across the UK highlighting their participation in the online choreographic project created to showcase student talent and skills in lieu of the cancelled Ballet Central tour.

Central’s entire student cohort returned home following the closure of Central’s studios in London due to the global coronavirus pandemic. This new choreographic project was created to allow students to think about performing in a new location in consideration of space, dance skills and even costume. Each student was given the challenge of choreographing and performing a solo to a specially created and coronavirus-inspired piece of music by Central’s composer-in-residence Philip Feeney. The final film features all 27 students and excerpts from their dance pieces. A special 3.30 edit was released on Ballet Central’s YouTube channel Centrally Connected Performs to critical acclaim.

“Terrific film.” Emma Kaldhur, Dance Europe.

Artistic Director Christopher Marney, who led the project, explains: “The choreographic project is a unique collaboration and showcase of leading dance talent. Students have interpreted the music through classical ballet, contemporary dance and other dance genres that they learn in their training. Many of them have had the opportunity to speak about their experiences to the media in their home towns and cities – a great experience for future careers in professional dance.”

Media coverage to date includes:

Sophie Pulford online in Hull is This (with the film):


And by BBC Radio Humberside on the Breakfast Show on 23rd June

Listen at 1.26min: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08gk2r0

Jake Milston was featured online in the Royal Borough Observer (with the film):


Joe Watson was interviewed on the Breakfast Show on 30th June by BBC Radio Sussex

Listen at 1:54min: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08h600p

Erin King was featured in the Woking News & Mail on 6th July:


Ella Slingsby was interviewed on 1st July by BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Listen at 1.37min: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08h35xg

Zak Lynn was featured in the Irvine Times on 28th June:


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