Central School Of Ballet

Ballet Central announces a new online performance by dancers in lockdown to a specially created music composition

Tuesday 23rd June 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Ballet Central has created a unique performance by the company’s dancers who are back at home across the UK and in countries worldwide following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Centrally Connected Performs, a new choreographic project realised in a three minute film, is based on a specially created piece of music by composer-in-residence Philip Feeney. With contributions from 27 student dancers and their individual choreography, the resulting film is being released online on the Ballet Central website and on YouTube: Centrally Connected Performs on 23rd June.

Each dance student is in their final year at Central School of Ballet and was given the challenge of choreographing and performing a solo with consideration of the setting, costume and the dance genre, allowing each person to interpret the music based on the skills and artistry gained during their BA (Hons) Professional Dance & Performance degree programme.

Artistic Director Christopher Marney explains: “This year’s Ballet Central tour was unable to proceed due to the Covid-19 pandemic so we created Centrally Connected Performs instead to allow dance students to create their own choreography using ballet or contemporary dance genres to Philip’s innovative music. The result is a unique collaboration, a unifying experience despite not being on tour together or rehearsing as a company at our studios in London.”

Composer-in-residence Philip Feeney explains his inspiration for the unique music that has stimulated the dancers’ performances: “Corona (virus) has the first six letters of the word Coronation so I have co-opted the music from Mozart’s life-enhancing Coronation Mass K.317 (1779) to bring the piece to life. The music takes a journey, starting with the Mozart piece which soon suddenly becomes suspended. The idea is one of growth and discovery, and ultimately defiance, daring to be triumphant in these challenging times.”

The film Centrally Connected Performs is part of Central’s remote learning, teaching and training initiative established to ensure continuity for dance students participating in the school’s BA and MA programmes even though its studios in Herbal Hill in London are currently closed. Centrally Connected is an online programme supporting 117 students in 12 countries and also provides online training for Junior, Prep and Pre-Senior students.

Blackout Tuesday

Tuesday 2nd June 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Today on Blackout Tuesday people have spoken out in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and all those affected by current events in the United States and increasingly worldwide. At Central, we want to express our support, as well as check in with our students and staff who may be feeling the effects of what is happening. Central is looking at our own practises to make sure BAME staff and students are supported, and will continue the work to ensure that future students and staff experience Central as an organisation that listens, considers, cares and takes action where it can to eradicate racism.

Mark Osterfield, Executive Director

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