A group students performing remembrance by joshua junker at opera holland park.

Reflecting on our Summer Performances at Opera Holland Park

We have just wrapped up our annual Summer Performances at Opera Holland Park, performing a selection of new choreographies and classical works. These performances were a resounding success, marking the debuts of some and the final bows of others.

We had the pleasure of speaking with a few of our students to gain insight into their journey leading up to these performances and to hear about their experiences on stage.

What has your summer performance experience been like so far this year?

George (Year 7): It’s been amazing going on stage with everyone. I’m excited to perform in front of an audience because I’ve only been doing this for a few months. Doing classical ballet on stage is going to be amazing. Plus, the weather makes it even nicer.

Sasha (Year 11): This year has been incredible so far. Opera Holland Park is my favourite venue. I love performing, and the opportunities at places like the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House are a fun experience. Performing incredible works from great choreographers has been a privilege.

How does it feel to be performing in your first summer performance with The Royal Ballet School?

Alba (Year 7): Absolutely incredible; it’s a dream come true. I never thought I’d be here when I started baby ballet. It’s special being on stage after such a journey.

Matilda (Year 7): The year before last, my mum took me to see the Summer Performances at Opera Holland Park. I remember looking up at the students and thinking, ‘Oh, imagine if that was me one day.’ Now, it’s amazing to think that tomorrow, we’re about to go and perform. 

What’s your favourite part about being at Opera Holland Park?

Anna (Year 9): My favourite part is being on stage and performing lots of different pieces. It’s inspiring to see what the older years do and where we aim to get to. It’s a big inspiration.

Noah (2nd Year): At Upper School, we have many opportunities to work with different choreographers. The experience and process are fun. One piece we worked on involved creating our own movements and then merging them into a section with a choreographer. It was interesting to see the choreographic process unfold.

Ruben (Year 11): Opera Holland Park is special because it brings the whole Royal Ballet School together in a small space. Working closely with students from White Lodge and Upper School is exhilarating.

Do you have a favourite piece you’re performing in, and if you do, why is it your favourite?

Ryleigh (Year 7): We’re doing a new character piece this year, Royal Remix, which is exciting because it’s something new for the audience. It allows us to project our voices and really use the space in our character piece.

Emiliano (Year 11): My favourite piece is Fieldwork because it challenges us to do things we wouldn’t normally do in a ballet class. It lets us put our own personality into the dance while maintaining clarity of movement.

Sasha (Year 11): TooT by Didy Veldman is my favourite. Dancing a piece by such a renowned choreographer was an honour. It allowed us to explore our individuality within Ms Veldman’s vision. I feel this contemporary work is unique and something different from what you would typically expect from a Royal Ballet School performance.

What has it been like working in the studios with the choreographers/teachers on the pieces?

Cameron (Year 7): It’s inspiring to work with teachers who were ex-professionals with companies. Learning their techniques for learning repertoire or performance pieces is really motivating.

Chiara (Year 11): It was challenging because you have to be in the moment, finding your own style and way of performing a specific movement. It was interesting, and we really grew as dancers. It’s given us a lot of experience.

Do you have a favourite aspect of it? Whether it’s being in the studios preparing or being on stage?

Matilda (Year 7): Working with different people is exciting. It’s great to meet new choreographers and see their visions for pieces. Adapting to different choreographers helps with creating versatility.

Hudson (Year 7): It’s cool to see our training build up in layers. Seeing older students perform is inspiring—it shows us what we can achieve as we progress.

Cameron (Year 7): The excitement that you get in the build-up to the performance and the anticipation when you’re in the wings, it’s unreal and I’ve never felt anything like it.

Kinoshita Group are Centenary Corporate Partner of The Royal Ballet School. Find out more about Kinoshita Group.