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's Boys Move 2019 met with high praise

Friday 3rd May 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Sunday 28 April, Central held its annual Boys Move day. Established in 2016, this year Central welcomed 40 boys age 8-18 years to take part in the day dedicated to inspiring boys to get into dance, led by all-male tutors and accompanied by all male musicians.

Highlights of the day include a contact workshop for the older boys led by Edd Arnold and Will Thompson from Russell Maliphant Comapny; a circus skills workshop led by National Centre for Circus Arts; a stage combat workshop for the 8-10 years and a ballet class taught by male senior school artistic staff.

Debra Cougill, Central’s Head of Widening Participation and Access said “The annual Boys Move day is always a highlight in our widening participation calendar. The day which is led by all-male tutors and musicians leads to an exhilarating and rewarding day for everybody involved. The involvement of Central’s senior school male students who assist and also perform solos at the end of the day is truly inspirational. Boys Move continues to inspire a new generation of boys into dance each year and demonstrates the value and need for such programmes.”

One participant said: “The highlight of today was to discover and know that if you use your imagination and put your mind to it, you can make a pretty good show.”

Parent’s feedback included:

“[My son] has spoken of nothing else, he can’t wait to come back!!!... he fully intends on taking part in any future workshops! The talk at the end was fantastic and of course great to see the talents soloists!”

“I cannot put into words how much [my son] enjoyed the day and how inspirational he found it. He has been the only boy in his dance classes for years and finds it very lonely…He has come back incredibly confident and very inspired. “

[My son] had never been to a dance class before so this was all very new to him. He had a great day and didn’t feel worried that he was less experienced than the others. He absolutely loved the creative dance class and we both enjoyed the opportunity to watch and hear from the older boys.”

For those who wish to pursue ballet further, Central runs ‘boys only’ ballet classes in addition to Central's regular ballet classes for all students. The Boys Ballet classes are for boys age 8-16 years and run on Friday evening and are led by tutor, Philip Page.

For young dancers who are more advanced in ballet, Central's annual auditions for the Associate programme take place on Saturday 1st June 2019. The Associate Programme runs on Saturdays throughout the year and is for young people in schools years 7-11 who wish to pursue ballet more seriously and receive additional training to complement their weekly ballet classes that they undertake elsewhere.

For further details about the Boys Ballet classes and the Associate Auditions please see Central's website or contact Jo Hurst, Associate School Manager at jo.hurst@csbschool.co.uk

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."

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