Our students work on stagecraft with Stephen Wicks
We’re lucky to have some wonderful guest répétiteurs helping to prepare our students for the stage. Last week, 1st Year students were thrilled to work on stagecraft with beloved alumnus and Sadler’s Wells and The Royal Ballet dancer of 18 years, Stephen Wicks. Stephen helped the students to merge ballet with acting and to work together seamlessly on and off stage; significant skills that they will carry with them throughout their careers.
A natural at character work, Stephen danced with the then Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, directed by Sir Peter Wright, from 1974 until 1990 performing roles like Dr Coppelius in Coppélia. He then joined The Royal Ballet until retiring from performing at 35. Ready to start a new career and alongside another alumnus and friend, Mark Welford, he opened the Covent Garden flower shop, Bloomsbury Flowers. The flower shop has close ties with the Royal Opera House — watch this video from the Guardian of Stephen and Mark merging their two careers by preparing the flowers that get thrown on stage. Ever the skilled performers, the duo also performed in a stage show where they talked about their careers and did live flower arrangement to the music of the Rose Adagio.
Imagine that the printers have broken and there are no programmes. No one can read what it’s about. How are you going to tell the story?
In the open rehearsal, Stephen encouraged the students to foster their imagination and to place themselves in the settings of Giselle and Swan Lake as they performed the repertoire. The students were diligent in taking on his advice to react to their partners as they would as actors, and to remember that even the smallest movements will be seen.
Don’t put the character on top of the pieces that you want to dance, become the character as soon as you step into the workshop.
Even in rehearsal, it was clear that Stephen’s advice was transformative to their work.
Our performances this July at beautiful Opera Holland Park and on the iconic main stage at the Royal Opera House represent the culmination of the School year and a joyful celebration of the extraordinary prowess and achievements of all of our young students.
Keep an eye on the website and our social media for more details of the repertoire and the all-important ticket dates, coming very soon.