The Creative Artist Programme

The Royal Ballet School has launched an exclusive programme of creative lectures and workshops, with a roster of internationally renowned creative, cultural and commercial figures.

The new programme called The Creative Artist, is aimed at providing additional influences that will support a more rounded education for students, so the School can continue to produce not only dancers of the highest technical capability, but also ones who are versatile, creative and have the ability to portray emotion, drama and feeling on stage.

The School has already welcomed Olympic gold medalist sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie; renowned British sculptor, Sir Antony Gormley OBE; actor, Sir Derek Jacobi CBE and theatre and film director, Stephen Daldry CBE.

Director of both the film and stage productions of Billy Elliot, Daldry explained the influence that ballet has had on his own creative thinking;

‘What I think is really amazing about ballet is that, whatever an audience’s background is, wherever they come from or whether they have any education about ballet, audiences understand grace. There is something so unbelievably universal about the connection with dance, that it is not an art form that needs cultural knowledge, because the audience intuitively understands that something extraordinary is happening.’

He talked about dance’s universality and the importance of it as an art form:

‘I’m sort obsessed with the idea of ballet now, that you can take it into any community, into any context, and people will emotionally and imaginatively respond to it.’

Sir Derek Jacobi spoke about his early years of pursuing an acting career and the essential elements that have contributed to his success.

He opened;

‘I have to preface everything I’m saying today that you are listening to the luckiest actor you will ever meet.

‘In the business, talent is of total importance. You also need good health and stamina but on top of all that you need luck, in the sense of the opportunity to strut your stuff. In that sense, I’ve been incredibly lucky, right from the start of my professional career.’

After the first of the talks, 3rd Year student, Grace Paulley said it was interesting to enter the wider creative world;

‘It’s going to broaden our horizons, give us an insight into other areas of the artistic world and help us to develop as artists ourselves’

1st Year student, Emily Umbrazunas said the talks were useful, in that;

‘It gives you inspiration to continue with what we’re working so hard to do.’

He continued:

‘It’s an honour for me to be here with you at the very beginning of your lives as active, intelligent, thinking and feeling bodies and minds.’

The School continues to invite professionals from diverse creative industries into the School to work with the students, share their creative journeys to attaining excellence in their field and encourage dialogue between them.

Confirmed guests coming up include choreographer Matthew Bourne, author Michael Morpurgo, and composer Philip Spratley.

Sir Derek Jacobi concluded his talk, appealing to the students’ desire to dance:

‘If you want to be a dancer: don’t. But if need to be a dancer, then do. I think the fire in the belly is all. If you ask yourself, ‘could I live without dance?’ and the answer is ‘perhaps,’ then beware. If the answer is ‘no’, then go for it.’

Extracts and interviews from the events in the programme will be made available on our website.