Upper school students with their choreographic mentors and special guest kim brandstrup

Frederick Ashton Emerging Choreographer 2024

Our first Frederick Ashton Emerging Choreographer performances were held in the Upper School Linden Studio Theatre last week on Tuesday 30 April and Wednesday 1 May.

Previously known as the Ursula Moreton Emerging Choreographer Performances, the School’s choreographic programme was changed in 2023 to continue to honour the legacy of our Founder, Dame Ninette de Valois, while also recognising the profound significance to the School of Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, Frederick Ashton.

Centring choreography in our training, the Ninette de Valois Choreographic Programme is an integral component of our student’s academic and artistic education. The programme provides a platform for our emerging artists to create and explore, allowing them to develop their expressive instincts alongside their technical training.

Nurturing the creative impulse

Each year, 2nd Year students participate in the Frederick Ashton Emerging Choreographer, where they receive guidance on developing a choreographic piece. 

Like professional choreographers, students are responsible for every aspect of the production, from research, casting and rehearsals to staging, props, lighting and costume design.

11 students presented a diverse array of creative works in front of family members, supporters and staff, each revealing their unique choreographic voices. From the Greek tale of Medusa to a Japanese pictorial maxim or the vibrant era of the 1960s, the works explored a vast array of themes, topics and ideas, mesmerising audiences with their originality, creativity and maturity.

Choreographic mentors

Alongside Choreographic Course Coordinator and Tutor Mikaela Polley, students were mentored by three renowned young choreographers, Miguel Altunaga, Stina Quagebeur and Valentino Zucchetti.

Our student choreographers worked with their mentors over the Spring term to workshop and discuss ideas. As they finetuned their works, students received further feedback and guidance from their mentors in the lead-up to the performance.

Following the performance, the mentors and special guest Kim Brandstrup provided invaluable feedback to students on their choreographic journeys.

Congratulations to all students involved in the performances, and thank you to the staff and mentors for providing these invaluable opportunities.