The Royal Ballet School has a long tradition of encouraging choreographic work with students of all ages.
Our Founder, Dame Ninette de Valois originally called the School, The Academy of Choreographic Art. As both a choreographer and as Artistic Director of the emerging Royal Ballet Company, she understood the need to develop and nurture creative talent.
She invited choreographer Leonide Massine to teach dance composition from 1968-71, and then encouraged a further initiative using aspects of Massine’s work from 1975-81 which was led by Richard Glasstone with Kate Flatt.
From 1990-99 Norman Morrice and David Drew were responsible for guiding interested and talented students and together they nurtured choreographic talent at the School.
Our choreographic training
Our current Choreographic Programme at Covent Garden was instigated by Gailene Stock in 1999 and is co-ordinated and taught by Kate Flatt.
The course offers a range of projects especially designed to encourage creativity, choice and discernment amongst the students. Choreography also forms part of the students’ academic education as dance studies with a focus on developing choreographic craft.
The course includes external visits to performances and galleries, music education guest workshops. The course runs across the first two years of training and every student is encouraged to choreograph and be part of the creative process.A further aim is to deepen understanding of the ballet tradition and an understanding of new choreographic approaches in current repertoire. The course aims to respect the heritage of the Royal Ballet and what it offers, towards discovering new and imaginative development of ideas and material.
1st Year students cover a series of introductory composition sessions involving understanding of time and space, improvisation, gesture, using music and developing new ideas from ballet principles.
In 2nd Year there is group work, choreographic craft development, music education, wider vocabulary development and longer projects involving collaboration on a given theme which culminate in the Ursula Moreton Emerging Choreographer performance.
At White Lodge there is the Ninette De Valois Emerging Choreographer performance for Years 7, 8 and 9 the Kenneth Macmillan Emerging Choreographer performance for Years 10 and 11. Choreographic work at White Lodge is overseen by Dr Susie Cooper and ballet staff.
Ninette de Valois Emerging Choreographer
Kenneth MacMillan Emerging Choreographer
The Ursula Moreton Emerging Choreographer performance at Covent Garden was created in 1973 to encourage choreographic talent. Winners have included Adam Cooper, Matthew Hart, Michael Clark, Jonathan Burrows, William Tuckett, Christopher Hampson, Christopher Wheeldon, Cathy Marston, Xander Parish and Liam Scarlett, all of whom have gone on to make careers as choreographers.
Graduate choreographers of the School include: