Central School Of Ballet

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

Applications for MA Choreography degree open

Tuesday 30th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Applications are now open for January 2020 entry onto Central's MA Choreography degree programme accredited by University of Kent.

The course is for professional and emerging choreographers, with the focus on making new work and developing skills in critical reflection and research.

Click here for further information and to apply.

Pictured is a performance image of Hidden choreographed by Central MA Choreography Sandrine Monin, and performed at Central's annual Summer Performance at the Bloomsbury Theatre earlier this month.

Photo by Patrick Baldwin

Central alumni perform in Scottish Ballet's 'The Crucible'

Tuesday 30th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This August Central alumni who are dancers with Scottish Ballet will appear in the company’s new production of The Crucible at the Edinburgh International Festival, before touring across Scotland later in the year and America in 2020.

Central’s alumni who will be performing in the work are Soloists Aisling Brangan, Thomas Edwards and Jamiel Laurence, alongside Artists Rishan Benjamin and Amy McEntee.

Based on Arthur Miller’s play of the same name, this ballet choreographed by Helen Pickett captures the emotional force of the dramatic story which will be accompanied by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, performing Peter Salem’s new score. Learn more about the production and book tickets here.

Central and the University of Exeter have joined forces to assess bone density and risk of fracture in young athletes

Wednesday 24th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

There is increasing interest in assessing bone density, the risk of stress fracture and related injury in athlete populations. Anna Brodrick, Central’s Head of Medical Services, joined forces with the University of Exeter on a research project comparing footballers with ballet dancers. Both athlete populations experience increased bone mass in heel bones as a result of their exercise training regimes. 15 male amateur academy, 25 male professional academy football players and 19 dancers form Central were assessed in the research.

The results showed that ballet dancers experienced fewer signs of increased bone density in their heel bones compared with amateur and professional footballers. The professional footballers showed the most effects of their high impact training regimes, followed by the amateur players (who were also younger) and then the dancers. It was noted that while dancers showed least impact on heel bone density their results are higher than the average population. The study concluded that further research is needed to assess bone vulnerabilities and the risk of injury to young athletes.

Participant organisations:

University of Exeter, Central School of Ballet, Southampton Football Club, South Dartmoor Community College Academy

Central students celebrate graduation

Friday 19th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Saturday 20 July, students on the BA hons degree programme in Professional Dance and Performance will perform their graduation solos. This is the culmination of their final year of training at Central, and an opportunity for them to showcase their individual talent, technique and artistry.

The performances will be followed by a graduation ceremony where they will be presented with their congratulatory certificates by guest speaker Jasmin Vardimon, Director of the Jasmin Vardimon Company. In the evening the students will perform the final UK date of the Ballet Central 2019 tour, also closing Central' Summer Performance week.

The graduation solos form part of the Dissertation Module of the BA degree. Having researched the work and written a dissertation, the performance is the final piece of assessed work the students complete at Central.

The students have been researching and rehearsing their graduation solos for the past year. We spoke to two students about their experiences:

Student Thomas Varney chose to research and perform the Franz Variation from Coppélia, choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon. Thomas says “The solo is the first time that the audience meet the character Franz. It is a grand entrance, including a lot of presentation with the aim to win over the audience. Learning the steps was quite a quick process, but it has been really important for me to perfect every single movement, ensuring that it is ingrained in my muscle memory. Working with different internal and external mentors was really helpful as they all focused on different aspects of my performance. Ashley Shaw focused on characterisation of the role and how I could bring artistry to it, whilst Central tutors Elia and Chris were focused on my technique and musicality. I am excited to work with the lighting designers and to stage and perform it in the Bloomsbury in front of my friends and family.”

Student Molly Shaw-Downie chose to research and perform a solo from Act 3 of Cinderella choreographed by Matthew Bourne. Bourne’s version is set during the Blitz and Molly’s solo takes place just after a horrific war scene. Molly says “I chose to perform this solo because I love how innovative Matthew Bourne’s choreography is, and it is a role I aspire to perform in the future. It is a solo that challenges me because the character is frantic, but it is important that my movements are clear and defined. It also allows me to demonstrate my strengths in portraying a character with emotion and theatricality. I was mentored by Ashley Shaw and Kate Lyons who have both performed the role. It was fantastic to work with them on characterisation and interpreting the intent behind each movement and its' significance. I am really excited to perform it at the Bloomsbury with the addition of lights and music, when I can fully immerse myself in the role.”

Central's Summer Performance premieres in London tonight

Wednesday 17th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This evening, Thursday 18 July, Central’s annual Summer Performance premieres at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

The performances taking place this evening (7.30pm) and tomorrow (3.00pm and 7.30pm) are a celebration of dance achievement at the end of the academic year. Over 100 dancers from Central’s undergraduate degree programmes will perform a range of classical and contemporary repertoire. The show will feature new original works, redeveloped and expanded pieces, alongside selected repertoire from the Ballet Central tour.

The students and staff have been preparing for the performances at the theatre since Monday of this week. They have been doing class on stage, technical run-throughs alongside full dress-rehearsals.

Following the three Summer Performances, Central’s final year students will perform their graduation solos and finally their closing Ballet Central performance.

Book tickets for the Summer Performances here.

Book tickets for the final Ballet Central performance here.

Central students perform graduation solos

Friday 12th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This afternoon Central's third year students performed their graduation solos in front of first and second year students and all staff.

This assessment forms part of the BA degree programme's Dissertation Module. For this they must research, develop and perform a solo from an existing ballet or contemporary repertoire. Following the selection of a solo the student undertakes extensive research to support the public performance of the solo to a high standard, including historical and cultural context costuming and rehearsal processes.

Students perform their solo twice; firstly at Central and secondly at the end of the annual Summer Performance week, before their final Graduation Ceremony and Tea, on Saturday 20 July at Bloomsbury Theatre.

Stay tuned, as next week we share some of the students' graduation solo stories!

Central launches graduate survey

Friday 12th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama is conducting a comprehensive survey into the outcomes of courses and vocational training delivered by the schools and organisations in the group. As a member school Central is calling on all our alumni to take part and share the survey as widely as possibly.

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama are interested to know how our graduates' training has benefited their career direction they have chosen. Central would be very grateful for all alumni to participate in this important research that helps to give a comprehensive overview of the value of vocational training and will help to plan for the future. The information is anonymous.

Complete the survey on Survey Monkey..

Central encourages graduates to keep in touch with Central ahead of our impending to move to brand new premises in the South Bank area of London. If you are a Central alumnus and have not received an email from us, contact centralalumni@csbschool.co.uk to make sure you're on Central's database.

Countdown to Central's annual Summer Performance

Friday 12th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

The countdown to Central’s annual Summer Performances at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London has begun. In just under one week’s time, on 18 and 19 July, students from across all three-year groups of Central’s Foundation and BA degree programmes will take to the stage in celebration of their achievements this academic year.

The students will perform a range of classical and contemporary repertoire showcasing their talent, technique and artistry, including the premiere of a new neo-classical work ‘Vossa Sinfonia’ by Royal Ballet Guest Principal Artist Thiago Soares.

The repertoire will also include works by MA Choreography students; Hidden, a contemporary work created by Sandrine Monin and a 1950’s inspired ballet Rock ‘n’ Rollcreated by Jenna Lee.

The students will perform a new creation entitled All in Four by Central Contemporary Tutor Leanne King, featuring a new musical composition by Central’s Musical Director Philip Feeney.

Louise Bennett has re-developed and expanded her neo-classical work, Twin Figures which she originally created for Ballet Central in 2009.

Finally, two pieces from the Ballet Central 2019 tour will feature in the Summer Performances – Calvin Richardson’s Dying Swanand Christopher Marney’s Carousel.

Stay tuned to Central's social media as we introduce the choreographers and share more about their performance and choreographic experience.

Tickets are still available for all shows and can be booked on the Bloomsbury Theatre website.

Central's first year student success celebrated in the media

Tuesday 9th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This month, Central is celebrating the success of our students who have completed their first year of training on the Foundation Degree programme in Professional Dance and Performance. This is in advance of the Summer Performances at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London taking place on 18 and 19 July, where all three year groups will perform a selection of contemporary and classical repertoire.

Many of the students are being featured in their local newspapers and local radio stations – last week Owen Horsford spoke on BBC Radio Kent and Matteo Zecca spoke on BBC Three Counties Radio.

Working with the media at this stage of their careers enables Central students to gain experience and develop skills in public speaking. Representing themselves and the organisation, this skill is something that will be expected of them throughout their professional performance careers.

Speaking about the experience of appearing on his local radio station, Owen said “It was really exciting to go along to the BBC studios in London and do the radio interview remotely. The presenter was very enthusiastic and interested to hear about my development as a dancer which put me at ease and made it a really enjoyable experience. The media training I received beforehand was really useful and ensured that I was well prepared and confident on the day. The main skill I have gained from this is a better understanding of how to communicate effectively in a professional setting, and how enjoyable this can be.”

You can listen back to Owen’s interview here(2 hours in).

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