Central School Of Ballet

The importance of Improvisation in dance training

Friday 18th October 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

As the first half-term of the 2019/20 academic year draws to a close we are reflecting on the inspirational Improvisation classes that guest tutor Laura Lorenzi led in the September warm-up week.

See below a Q&A with Laura who tells us more about the classes and the importance of this discipline in training to be a professional dancer.

How did you structure your classes?

"I began the classes by guiding the whole group through imagery and physical instruction, encouraging them to keep their attention and focus as they explored possibilities of movement. I then set them shorter tasks in smaller groups of twos, threes and fours. I promoted reflection and verbal exchange between them after each task was proposed."

What did the students respond particularly well to?

"The students clearly enjoyed working with the music and moving to different layers of the soundscape, approaching each with different qualities. Many also responded very well to improvising with their eyes closes, because they censored less what they were doing, feeling free of judgement. The students' technical training was very apparent from the way that they moved and many demonstrated a great versatility."

How does improvisation inform the students' classical and contemporary dance training at Central?

"Improvisation is a discipline that helps the students to connect to themselves and their personal way of moving in a way that complements their other technical training. It pushes the students to face fears and self consciousness, allowing them to feel comfortable taking risks while moving. Improvisation tasks also promote a different kind of attention and thought process. Cultivating the personality and uniqueness of these young dancers is essential to their success in the industry, both as performers and choreographers. Improvisation is one of the tools to start the process of self enquiry."

Laura trained at London Contemporary Dance School, and following graduation in 2015 has performed in works by Anders Duckworth, Quang Kien Van and many more. Laura is also one of the founding members of The Sparse Collective, a group of international dance artists who specialise in Improvisation into Performance; with whom she has performed internationally.

Find out more about Laura here

Applications for Foundation and BA degree programmes open

Friday 18th October 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Applications are now open for 2020 entry onto Central's Foundation and BA Degree programmes in Professional Dance and Performance, accredited by University of Kent.

Preliminary auditions will be held as follows:

Sunday 17 November 2019: Glasgow - The Dance School of Scotland

Sunday 8 December 2019: London – Central School of Ballet

Sunday 9 February 2020: London - Central School of Ballet

Sunday 16 February 2020: Leeds – Northern Ballet

Final auditions will take place on Sunday 22 March at Central School of Ballet in London.

Apply for the degree programmes here.

In Leeds, Glasgow and in London there will be Dance Days held the day prior to the audition for students age 12-16 years. This an excellent opportunity to experience Central's vocational training with classes including classical ballet and contemporary dance.

Apply for a Dance Day here.

Central students perform in Bulgari film

Thursday 17th October 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Six Central students star in Bulgari film ‘Serpenti’ celebrating the Bvlgari Heritage collection.

The film which premiered this summer in Rome at the “Bulgari – The Story, The Dream” exhibition was directed and produced by Not Flat 3 and choreographed by Central’s Creative Projects Manager Leanne King.

Nada Debaumont from Not Flat 3 says “In celebration of the Bulgari Heritage Collection the film focuses on how dance, the body, light and jewellery intertwine to create compelling, enchanting and fleeting visual moments. The mystic serpenti motif celebrates the brands iconic Roman heritage and is an entrancing symbol used to weave through Bulgari’s history.”

The film in which Central students (Erin King, Emily Pohl Keiko Tsuchiya, Ella Slingsby, Annabee Fleming and Runa Oka) perform movement and dance was recorded in March 2018 at Central Saint Martins.

Speaking about the choreography Leanne King says “I created short sections of movement so that they could be adjusted and changed to show off the jewellery to its best.”

Leanne continues “The project was an opportunity for the students to work and perform in an environment hugely different to what they are used to. They were required to perform the choreography multiple times for different takes, enabling them to experience a non-linear way of working. They were required to adapt quickly to new ideas and were encouraged to think for themselves.”

Central is committed to working collaboratively with external organisations and companies to give our students professional performance experience during their training.

Watch the film here.


Production and direction: Not Flat 3

Choreography: Leanne King

Photo credits: Calum Barlow

Live brief: Central Saint Martins

For: Bulgari

Central 2019 graduate joins Ballet Black

Thursday 10th October 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This week, 2019 Central graduate Alexander Fadayiro joined Ballet Black as an Apprentice Artist.

Alexander is just the eighth dancer to join the company, founded and directed by Central Patron Cassa Pancho.

During his final year training at Central, Alex. was a member of Central's touring company Ballet Central, and also a Student Associate with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, with whom he continued to perform with until this Autumn in productions including Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet.

Central wishes Alexander many congratulations and every success in this next stage of his professional performance career.

Ballet Central return to Cambridge for Nutcracker shows

Wednesday 2nd October 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This December Ballet Central will return to the ADC Theatre in Cambridge for a limited run of eight performances of the festive favourite ‘The Nutcracker’.

Directed by Artistic Director Christopher Marney, Ballet Central will present their enchanting 45-minute version of the classic Christmas ballet. This is a show designed for families, introducing children of all ages to a new version of the dance favourite performed to the iconic Tchaikovsky score.

Early booking is recommended for these unique performances. Designed to make the show accessible to all, tickets are priced at just £10 and available at www.adctheatre.com or the ADC Theatre Box Office on 01223 300085.

The eight performances take place over three days:

Tuesday 17th December 4.30pm, 6.30pm

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

Thursday 19th December 2.30pm, 4.30pm

Comments from last year’s performance in Cambridge:

Members of the audience, 2018

A bite-sized, magical & touching Nutcracker for everyone to fall in love with."

"Outstanding performance! What a lovely fantasy world!".

"[I was] charmed by the abridged Nutcracker production by Ballet Central. My 5 year old son loved it and I thought it was superb! Thanks for a delightful evening out."

Dance Europe, 2018

"The young audience were thrilled."

MA Choreographer Anjali Mehra leads workshops with Ballet Central

Friday 20th September 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Central MA Choreographer Anjali Mehra has for the past two weeks been working in the studio with the third years students (Ballet Central dancers). Anjali has had five two-hour sessions to workshop new choreography in collaboration with the students. This work forms part of Module 2 of the MA Choreography degree programme which focuses on exploring the process of creating choreography.

Anjali says “Initially we worked on the dancers’ spatial awareness and sense of unity as I wanted all the dancers to be dancing together. We then focused on tasks where the students were involved in creating their own movements. Bringing these elements together we will also focus on partner work, performance and intention.”

“The greatest inspiration for this work has been having such a large group of hard-working versatile dancers. As an alumnus of Central myself, it has been wonderful to return as a choreographer because I understand the ethos of the school and the focus of the students’ training and movement. They have demonstrated focus, openness and imagination throughout the sessions which has really supported the creative process.”

Opportunities to work with professional choreographers such as Anjali offer Central’s students a taste of the creative professional environment they will be working in after graduation.

Learn more about Central’s MA Choreography programme here.

Central’s 2019/20 academic year commences

Tuesday 10th September 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Monday 9 September the first term of the 2019/20 academic year commenced. Central is pleased to have welcomed new and returning students who will be training on the Foundation and BA degree programmes in Professional Dance and Performance, accredited by the University of Kent.

Over the next two weeks all students will be participating in a unique warm-up timetable, designed to prepare them for the intense term of training, rehearsals and performances ahead. Classes the students will be taking over the next fortnight include: ballet, choreography, drama, yoga, Pilates, fitness and anatomy.

Pictured are the 2019/20 cohort of First Year students with ballet tutors Christopher Hinton-Lewis and Julia Ellis.

Central alumni perform on BBC One’s ‘Peaky Blinders’

Monday 9th September 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Sunday evening, two Central alumni appeared in the new episode of Peaky Blinders on BBC One.

2008 graduate Brenda Lee Grech and 2012 graduate Jacob Wye, both now company members at Rambert performed Swan Lake choreographed by Rambert artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer.

"An independent dance company, dedicated to bringing ballet to the people." - Thomas Shelby on Rambert

You can watch the episode now on BBC iPlayer here.

Central's Summer Courses continue to inspire future generations

Tuesday 6th August 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This week Central’s two-week Summer Course continues.

The young dancers. age 11-16 years are experiencing a taste of full-time vocational training, taking a range of classes in: ballet, contemporary, creative choreography, dalcroze, jazz, pas de deux, pointe and pilates.

Teachers leading the classes include professional dancers, such as Cira Robinson who is currently a Senior Artist with Ballet Black, tutors from Central’s degree programme such as Emily Powell who is leading contemporary classes and professional choreographers such as Jo Meredith who is leading creative choreography sessions.

Students from Central’s Foundation degree programme are also coming in to share their experiences of the audition process and their training at Central so far.

Learn more about Central's courses here.

Central’s one and two week Summer Courses commence

Wednesday 31st July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Monday Central’s one and two week Summer Courses commenced. Over the next fortnight 120 young dancers age 11-16 years from countries including New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Israel, China, Kenya, Singapore, Spain, UAE, Malta, USA and the UK will experience a taste of full-time vocational training.

Classes on the schedule include ballet, jazz, contemporary, repertoire and pilates. The classes are being led by a range of teachers including Central alumni and tutors from the Foundation and BA degree programmes. Central alumnus Joseph Poulton who has performed in productions including Cats and Lion King is leading Jazz classes and Sarah Kundi also a Central alumnus who is currently a Soloist with English National Ballet is leading ballet classes. Other professional dancers in renowned companies are leading classes including Sayaka Ichikawa who is currently a Senior Artist with Ballet Black.

We hope that the young dancers taking part have a fantastic and inspiring time training at Central.

For further information about Central's courses click here.

Photo by ASH Photography

We use cookies to help make our website better.

At the moment, your preferences prevent us from using cookies. OK otherwise Find out more.

How we use cookies

Google Analytics is a marketing tool that allows us to see how our site is used, for example how many visitors we get and which pages are viewed most. This information is anonymous but requires cookies to track your actions on our website.

ShareThis is included in our blog pages to provide links to social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, and enable you to bookmark or recommend our pages. This code includes cookies so that ShareThis can track how people use its service.

Our website includes a shopping basket that uses a cookie to remember what you have added to the basket.

You can find out more about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies

If you'd prefer us not to use cookies, please click here, or if you don't mind us using cookies please click here.