Support the stage
As a centre of excellence for classical ballet training, we invest in the best opportunities for students to reach their full potential. This means staging performances, commissioning new choreography, employing guest teachers, directors and répétiteurs, and nurturing our students’ creative impulses with our Choreographic Programme.
These essential ingredients are pivotal to our students’ development and vital to maintain the School’s international renown and attract the most exceptional dancers to our training programmes.
Gaining regular performance experience is as integral to our students’ training as establishing sound ballet technique. Through performing, students understand how to transform ballet vocabulary into a magical, exhilarating experience for an audience, and practice preparing, physically and mentally, for the stage.
At the end of the academic year, a season of performances takes place comprising five performances at Opera Holland Park and concluding with a matinée performance on the main stage of the Royal Opera House, accompanied by a full orchestra.
For these performances, the Artistic Director sources classical and contemporary repertoire to showcase the skills of the students at the various stages of their development, ranging from heritage ballet to more recently created works. The School also commissions new choreographic works from established and emerging choreographers who work collaboratively with the students, creating their work in the School’s studios.
Creative Artist Programme
The School is committed to nurturing the whole student, not just the dancer. Our Creative Artist Programme broadens our students’ horizons, generates new ideas and encourages creative risk-taking.
By providing a broad cultural education, we help our students to become versatile, creative artists, able to express themselves on stage while giving them the tools to develop their careers and open up opportunities both within and beyond ballet.
The programme comprises:
- Stagecraft lessons/workshops: teaching the students how to develop a role and express themselves clearly on stage
- Guest teachers: students benefit immeasurably from being exposed to different teaching and performance styles. We work with some of the finest teachers and coaches in the world, all eager to share their expertise with our students
- Guest speakers: a series of talks/workshops by inspirational speakers from a range of creative industries who have achieved excellence within their field
- Alumni: speaking about their careers, sharing the highs and lows of a dancer’s life or how they transitioned to an alternative path outside the dance world.
Our Founder, Dame Ninette de Valois, was a noted choreographer and understood the importance of nurturing the creative impulse in emerging young artists at The Royal Ballet School. Through our Choreographic Programme, students are supported in creative expression and experimentation, working with mentors to find their choreographic voices.
Over a period of weeks, they are offered guidance on developing a choreographic piece, including studio research and improvisation. They experience working as a professional choreographer would, considering and inputting into all the elements that make a production successful, including staging, props, lighting and costume design. They then have opportunities to perform their finished pieces in front of an audience.
How to support
Each year, the School must raise funds for:
- Staging works including costumes, sets and performance/music rights
- Travel, accommodation and fees for guest choreographers or répétiteurs
- Travel, accommodation and fees for guest teachers, mentors and speakers
- The development and staging of students’ choreographic works.
The generous individuals who help us bring our work to life on stage receive thanks including recognition in our printed performance programmes, invitations to the School to watch choreographers creating on students and performance rehearsals, the opportunity to watch ballet class with guest teachers, complimentary tickets to performances and invitations to receptions with other valued supporters.