Last week students performed in Advancing Creativity, a double bill that showcased the creative work of the School through two of our key projects: the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition and aDvANCE. These innovative projects provide opportunities for our Covent Garden-based students to explore their creativity and develop choreographic skills through original work.
Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition
The event opened with the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition, which has played an important role in encouraging the development of young choreographers since its inception nearly half a century ago. It has provided a launch pad for many influential figures including David Bintley, Christopher Wheeldon and Cathy Marston.
1st prize went jointly to Lukas Bjorneboe Braendsrod and Kenji Wilkie. Lukas’ piece Django’s Waltz was inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt and his band Hot Club de France. Kenji’s composition, Ataraxia was named after the Greek word describing a state of tranquillity or imperturbability and freedom from anxiety.
In second place was Maya Negishi for her piece Emergent. She said: ‘I took inspiration from the way a snake sheds its skin, emerging into a new being.’
Laurine Muccioli was Highly Commended for her composition Trio Sans Issue, a story of three people trapped by their feelings of an impossible love.
The event was generously sponsored by Peter Wilson, and judged by Alex Whitley (School alumnus and choreographer), Michael England (composer and conductor) and Ria Peri (former Royal Ballet dancer and patron of the New English Ballet Theatre).
The second half of the evening formed part of our Dance Partnership & Access Programme, which provides broader access to ballet and the work of the School through an extensive range of primary and secondary school projects.
aDvANCE offers a unique opportunity for creative and cultural exchange between vocational ballet students and young people learning dance in different contexts. This year 1st Year students collaborated with students from the BRIT school for Performing Arts.
Over the past five months the young dancers have extended their knowledge of ballet and choreography, through a series of creative and choreographic tasks, and also had opportunities for social exchange when they visited each other’s schools.
We are proud to be the only vocational school to provide such collaborative opportunities, which make a unique contribution to our students’ development as creative dancers.
We are indebted to the Department for Education and the Lloyd Webber Foundation for their generous support of this programme.