Central School Of Ballet

Centrally Connected - teaching and learning in response to COVID-19

Wednesday 1st April 2020 Anita Hamilton writes:

Central closed its studios in Herbal Hill in Clerkenwell two weeks ago on 17th March. Quite apart from the UK Government directive our aim was then, and continues to be now, concern for the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and guests as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In just two weeks we have developed a new online programme called Centrally Connected which offers through remote learning a range of practical support, academic teaching sessions and tutorials including: live exercise and movement sessions, one-to-one physiotherapy advice, supported contextual studies, and study skill sessions, complemented by a series of master classes and special events connecting the students with the School, each other, and the wider dance world. This new programme will build in the summer term extending the activity and number of sessions. The aim is to support the students’ on-going studies and practical work towards meeting the learning outcomes of our degree programmes.

Our current plan is to run the Centrally Connected online programme over the summer term whilst being ready to Herbal Hill if and when circumstances permit. The early dates for the Ballet Central 2020 Tour have now been cancelled but we will, however, look for opportunities to perform later dates or dates rescheduled after the current restrictions have been lifted.

Our goal of moving to our new premises The Countess of Wessex Studios in the London Borough of Southwark in the autumn term 2020 continues.

We are liaising closely with the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama and the University of Kent, as well as following the advice of the Office for Students, Public Health England and related UK Government guidance.

I am grateful to everyone at Central and the support and understanding of the wider dance community during this difficult time.

Mark Osterfield,

Executive Director

Design for Dance collaboration with Central Saint Martins

Monday 24th February 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

This term, second-year students at Central have been collaborating with students at Central Saint Martins on the annual Design for Dance project.

All second-year students are required to create a piece of choreography for the choreography module on the BA programme. Five of these students have been paired with second-year students at Central Saint Martins to collaborate on the design for their pieces, including costumes and lighting. This year, the students taking part are Alessia Bartoletti, Lucy Gerrard, Olivia Johnstone, Sam Banks and Jake Tang.

Students from Rambert School and London Studio Centre have also taken part in the project.

The project concludes with a series of performances at The Platform Theatre 26-29 February.

Email platformboxoffice@arts.ac.uk to book tickets.

Central students performing with English National Ballet principal Alina Cococjaru

Friday 21st February 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Jake Milston, Brandon Bache, Joe Watson, Ryu Maeda, Alfie McPherson and Eri Zyla will perform in Frederick Ashton’s iconic Marguerite and Armand beside the world-renowned ballerina in her self-titled show at Sadler’s Wells this week.

The programme also includes a variety of other classical pieces and contemporary works by Tim Rushton, Juliano Nunes and Johan Kobborg. The performances will be interspersed by short films about Cojocaru’s life and career.

“This is a wonderful learning opportunity for some of our second and third year boys. Particularly as the third years prepare for the Ballet Central tour, the chance to perform beside Alina Cocojaru on a professional stage and rehearse in a professional environment is invaluable. The BA degree programme at Central is designed to prepare students for future employment and our students take part in many events and performances such as this throughout their degree. Thank you again to Alina Cocojaru and Sadler’s Wells for inviting our students to perform.” Christopher Marney, Artistic Director

Book tickets to see the show here.

For more details about Central’s BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance, please see here.

Central to hold auditions in Tokyo, Japan

Friday 17th January 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Central will once again travel to Tokyo, Japan to hold auditions for the three-year degree programme.

Artistic Director Christopher Marney and 1st Year Boys Tutor Christopher Hinton-Lewis will audition the hopeful dancers on February 8th and 9th.

Central has a long history of recruiting excellent students from Japan and have welcomed many Japanese dancers through its doors over the years.

Any dancers selected will join us for the academic year 2020/21 to study for a two-year Foundation Degree in Professional Dance and Performance, followed by a further year of training to complete a BA (Hons) Degree, both validated by the University of Kent.

“Japanese student dancers show enormous commitment to training, work hard and are focused on achievement. These are qualities, along with the required talent, that are the pre-requisites for a career as a professional dancer. Central has been recruiting directly from Japan for nearly 30 years and interest continues to grow. We visit Japan every year and run master classes in ballet and contemporary dance with local dance schools in Japan so that potential students can learn about what we have to offer at Central and where our training may lead for future employment.” Christopher Marney, Artistic Director.

For further details (in Japanese), see the event page for the auditions here.

For any inquiries about the Japan auditions, please use the following contact form https://thewells.co.jp/contact

For details of our UK auditions, please see here.

Central School of Ballet students set to dazzle in English National Ballet’s Nutcracker this Christmas

Wednesday 11th December 2019 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Two Central School of Ballet students will appear in the English National Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker at the London Coliseum this Christmas.

Third year students Karya Duru and Emily Pohl will dance in iconic scenes such as the Russian dance and the Waltz of the Snowflakes in this classic Christmas ballet.

Karya and Emily are currently in the third year of their BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance. As part of their degree, third year students form a touring company, Ballet Central, and often take on other professional commitments. This helps to prepare them for future employment in the dance industry.

Book tickets to see English National Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker at the London Coliseum from 11 December to 5 January here. For more details about our accredited degree programme, please see here.

Central Dancers Perform in Film ‘KES Reimagined’

Thursday 7th November 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

In August three Central graduates and students were invited to perform in Jonathan Watkins’ film KES: Reimagined. 2019 graduates, Jonathan Layton and David Stirrup and current student Brandon Brereton worked on the film over a four week period during the summer, performing in the Youth Ensemble.

Based on Barry Hines’ novel A Kestrel for a Knave the story tells of a disaffected youngster Billy Casper, who discovers a purpose in life when he finds a young kestrel which he trains. It was first adapted for the screen in 1969 by Ken Loach for the film Kes.

In 2014 Jonathan Watkins premiered his dance adaptation of the story at The Crucible in Sheffield and has gone onto create the film version KES: Reimagined, which will premiere on Thursday 7 November at Leeds International Film Festival.

Speaking of the experience, student Brandon Brereton says “The best part of the project was getting to work with and learn from a variety of people in different creative fields. I really learned the importance of versatility - It was amazing to see people I thought of only as dancers act and people who I had only seen act explore movement. Working in a professional environment has made me approach my daily classes from a different perspective, as I now better understand how what I am learning now will inform my performances with Ballet Central and as a professional dancer in the future.”

The film will be screened on 19th November at 22:00 on BBC Four.

Watch the official trailer here

Read Jonathan Watkins’ interview about the film with DanceTabs here.

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.

Credits:

Production and direction: Not Flat 3

Choreography: Leanne King

Photo credits: Calum Barlow

Live brief: Central Saint Martins

For: Bulgari

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.

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