Central School Of Ballet

Central hosts annual Choreography Platform

Tuesday 21st May 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Friday, Central held our annual Choreography Platform. The event is an opportunity for students studying on the degree programme to present choreographic ideas and work within a safe and informal setting. Now in its eighth year, it continues to showcase the creative skills of the students.

The works presented can be finished, rehearsed and ready for performance, but can equally be snap-shots of ideas that students want to trial before leading onto more accomplished pieces.

Leanne King, Central’s Creative Projects Manager who runs the event said “This year the standard of work produced was at its highest yet. The confidence shown by our students in playing with ideas has increased considerably. They were all able to talk openly about their ideas and present these personal works with confidence.”

Choreography is a core part of the training Central offers with students participating in weekly classes. Exploring the choreographic process enables students to develop another creative voice, allowing them to experiment with ideas of their own and others. The Choreography Platform is one of several creative projects Leanne King leads which serve as forums for Central students to collaborate with each other and artists from other disciplines, enabling them to develop skills in collaboration, project management and leadership. Other projects include Design for Dance (an annual collaboration with Central Saint Martins students) and the Virtual Conservatoire.

Pictured is Leanne King leading a Contemporary class.

Central supports Mental Health Awareness Week

Monday 13th May 2019 Anita Hamilton writes:

Central is pleased to be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.

The theme this year is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies. Central is encouraging our dance students to be more aware of this important issue. There are a range of activities taking place in school including mindfulness sessions after each ballet class and encouraging students to note their awareness of their own bodies each day focusing on sleep/fatigue/general muscle soreness and mood.

Anna Brodrick, Central's Head of Medical is also leading tutorials this week focusing on sleeping, eating and training well to underpin the mental health focus, alongside sharing lunches for students.

Central students co-produce and perform in a unique contemporary work

Thursday 2nd May 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Friday 26 April, all first year Central students performed in 'non-place', a unique collaboration with students from the Royal College of Music (RCM) and Imperial College London, at the Britten Theatre.

The work was initiated by MA composers from RCM, who worked with a student from Imperial College to create the digital projection and Central students and tutors to choreograph and perform the movement.

The title of the work was inspired by 'Non-Place' a neologism coined by French anthropologist Marc Auge describing spaces of transience and was the starting point for the composers to explore human relationships to familiar spaces, identity and anonymity in modern society.

The work combined electro-acoustic sound, performed by a live ensemble, Cat’s Cradle Collective chamber Orchestra, mixed with a pre-recorded electronic score.

The presentation included video mapping and projection and contemporary dance performed by Central's first year students, choreographed by themselves and Central tutors Leanne King and Bim Malcomson.

The performance was part of the Great Exhibitionists series held at RCM annually.

Leanne King, Central's Creative Projects Manager said "This collaboration was a fantastic opportunity for the students to be fully involved in an experimental creative process, resulting in a fully co-produced work. The final piece combined a variety of disciplines which Central trains our students in; including Contemporary Dance, Choreography and Improvisation.The students were highly focused and motivated throughout the creative process, with their final performance demonstrating a high level of maturity and artistry."

Central students to perform in new collaboration with Royal College of Music

Thursday 25th April 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Friday 26 April, all first year Central students will perform in a new collaborative work with students from the Royal College of Music (RCM) at the Britten Theatre.

The performance entitled Non-Place is part of a series called the Great Exhibitionists, which is a forum for RCM students to showcase new and innovative ideas.

RCM students Connor De Netto and Matthew Lomax, both studying towards an MA degree in Composition chose to collaborate on Non-Place and work with staff and students from Central to realise the final performance.

With the music composed by Connor and Matthew and choreography by Leanne King, Bim Malcomson and the students themselves, Non-Place is “an immersive night of contemporary dance fusing music, movement, visuals and technology, examining our relationships to familiar spaces, identity and anonymity in modern society.”

The performance will take place on Friday 26 April at 7.00pm at the Britten Theatre, RCM.

You can book tickets to the performance here.

For a taste of what to expect from the performance watch the following video here.

View the Facebook event here.

Virtual Conservatoire performances of 'Otis and Eunice' hailed as a great success

Thursday 4th April 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Friday 29 and Saturday 30 March Central students performed in 'Otis and Eunice', the culmination of the four year Virtual Conservatoire project.

The ambitious project to incorporate the use of digital technologies into live performance has been a collaboration between Central and five other schools; Royal College of Music, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art), RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and Royal Academy of Music.

Following the performances, Virtual Conservatoire project lead for Central, Leanne King said: “The students have acquired new skills from being part of the Virtual Conservatoire project. Dancers don’t usually get the chance to participate in immersive theatre working alongside actors and musicians. They have grown in confidence and have developed a greater understanding of artistic partnerships. For me personally it was an enriching experience that provided a wider perspective of performance and theatre.”

Learn more about the project and the final performance with photos and videos here.

Virtual Conservatoire Project culminates with 6 live performances

Friday 29th March 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This weekend, the four year Virtual Conservatoire project culminates in six performances of Otis and Eunice at the Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music and Bristol Old Vic.

Book tickets here.

The ambitious project to incorporate the use of digital technologies into live performance has been a collaboration between Central and five other schools; Royal College of Music, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art), RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and Royal Academy of Music.

The creative collaboration has allowed the consortium’s students and partners to learn, train and perform across multiple locations in real time.

In a world-first, the production will see two interconnected shows performed simultaneously to two audiences, in two venues, from two different cities, giving audiences a dual perspective on the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice.

The show, which will be performed in Bristol and London on 29th and 30th March, demonstrates the potential of the Virtual Conservatoire to bring together the best creative talent, marry multiple disciplines, including dance, music and drama, and push the boundaries of the development, performance and audience’s experience of art. Six of Central’s dancers will take part in the performance, all from the second year of the three year degree course in Professional Dance & Performance.

Leanne King, Virtual Conservatoire project lead for Central said: “The Virtual Conservatoire has provided Central’s students with the opportunity to gain a valuable range of skills. The mix of disciplines and chance to work with others in leading organisations has been particularly stimulating for all of us involved. This is a pioneering project that will inform our students’ development as professionals in the future.”

Heidi Hall, Director of Central commented: “We look forward to incorporating the new technology and innovative practices into our undergraduate and postgraduate courses when we move into our new premises in London’s South Bank in Southwark.”

Central student shortlisted as a Finalist in the BBC Young Dancer Ballet Category

Friday 22nd March 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Central is pleased to announce that second year student Keiko Tsuchiya has been shortlisted as a Finalist in the Ballet Category in the BBC Young Dancer competition.

There are four categories in total; Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian and Street Dance, with five finalists in each category.

All Category Finalists will be mentored by leading dance professionals in preparation for the BBC Young Dancer 2019 Finals.

The Category Finals will be broadcast on BBC Four from 19 April with the Grand Final being broadcast live on BBC Two on 18 May from Birmingham Hippodrome.

English National Ballet dancer and alumnus of Central returns to lead workshops

Friday 1st March 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Sarah Kundi, an alumnus of Central, and dancer with English National Ballet has been leading workshops with students on the Foundation degree programme at Central this term.

Sarah has been sharing her experience of working as a professional dancer with world-renowned choreographers through teaching the students excerpts of predominantly contemporary repertoire.

Sarah says “I try to focus on the different styles and techniques of the pieces, whilst allowing the students the opportunity to grasp and really explore the range of movement and detail required within them.”

Iryna Pyzniuk, Head of Studies at Central says “Working with visiting dancers and choreographers is part of the Contextual Studies programme, a core module on Central’s Foundation Degree in Professional Dance and Performance. The students have enjoyed the challenge of learning complex repertoire, exploring different stylistic features, working with precision and focus. These experiences serve as excellent preparation for Ballet Central in the third year.”

Sarah goes onto say "For me, going back to teach at Central School of Ballet is like going home. It holds a very special place in my heart, as it's where my journey started. It's always an honour to go back and share all that I have learned during my career to the younger generation. These experiences will most definitely help the students become more versatile, knowledgeable and well-rounded dancers, which inevitably will hopefully prepare them for their future careers."

Central collaborates with Central Saint Martins

Monday 18th February 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

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

Five students at Central have choreographed five pieces which all second year students will perform in. Each choreographer has been paired up with a second year student at Central Saint Martins to collaborate on the overall design of the finished piece, including costumes and lighting.

Workshops and rehearsals have been taking place throughout the term, and Central Saint Martins students have also been collaborating in a similar way with dance students at Rambert School.

The project will culminate with four performances at The Platform Theatre on Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th February and Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd March.

Book tickets for the performances here.

Central collaborates with University of Exeter on research project in bone density

Wednesday 6th February 2019 Anita Hamilton writes:

Central’s students took part in a research project last year in collaboration with the University of Exeter. The in-house lead was Anna Brodrick, Central’s Head of Medical and Wellbeing Department. The research looked at bone density and Vitamin D levels in 50 male and female dancers over a period of four months.

Anna explains: “The research is interesting because dancers, unlike many other types of athletes, train mostly indoors and so don’t get the benefit of Vitamin D from sunlight. We found that bone density within the heel bone in female dancers is higher than a non-exercising population of young people of similar age, but that this not the case in males”.

Anna has been working closely with Dr Jon Rees, Consultant in Rheumatology, Sport and Exercise Medicine, and as a result they are implementing a vitamin D strategy over the winter months to combat injuries related to deficiencies. Anna continues: “More research is needed within the dance population but the results are exciting and will help initiate strategies for preventing injuries”

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