Summer Performances 2019
What are the Summer Performances?
Each year in June and July, The Royal Ballet School holds its annual Summer Performances, an invaluable opportunity for students to perform pieces of classical repertoire alongside new choreography. The end of year performances are a chance to witness the exceptional talent of our young dancers and are a must-see for all ballet fans.
In summary: our 2019 programme
At the 2019 Summer Performances, Upper School students had the privilege of performing a ballet by one of the founding fathers of the English Style, Frederick Ashton.
La Valse, set to Maurice Ravel’s score, is Ashton’s evocative 1958 interpretation of Serge Diaghilev’s ballet created for the Ballets Russes.
Our 3rd Year students danced Scottish Dances, one part of David Bintley’s two-part ballet Flowers of the Forest. This fleet-footed piece combined traditional Highland dancing with the English classical ballet style. It was danced in honour of David Bintley on his retirement as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Students from Years 8 and 9 at White Lodge and all three years of the Upper School recreated excerpts from Marius Petipa’s well-loved ballet Paquita, about a young Spanish gypsy girl. The ballet featured the joyous Mazurka, which was performed by the White Lodge students.
We also revived alumnus Alastair Marriott’s Simple Symphony, created on our students in 2012. Set to Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony op 4, this playful and colourful work showed off the energetic flair of our 2nd Year students.
Spanish-born choreographer Goyo Montero worked with 1st and 2nd Year students on rehearsing Pulse, a piece he created in 2018 as part of a collaborative project with students from partner schools at the Prix de Lausanne.
We also welcomed Ashley Page to the School, to create new work on our male students based on the 4th movement of Mendelssohn’s 4th Symphony. The structure within Mendelssohn’s score allowed him to craft a piece that showcases the cast divided into separate year groups.
3rd Year students performed a short extract from Mats Ek’s Swan Lake, a dramatic retelling of the classic ballet set to Pyotr Tchaicovsky’s orchestral score. Originally created for Cullberg Ballet, the work was rehearsed and staged by Pompea Santoro.
Former Royal Ballet dancer and Royal Ballet School teacher Petal Miller Ashmole created new work on our White Lodge students. Miller Ashmole was inspired by architect Renzo Piano in choreographing the piece, drawing on the parallels between the creative process in choreography and architecture. Renzo Piano spoke about his ‘bottega’ studio workshop, which he described as a place of collaboration, experimentation and mentorship. Miller Ashmole similarly wanted to work with students to create a space to explore her choreography together and tease out their creative potential.
We welcomed back choreographer Robert Binet for the 2019 Summer Performances, staging his 2013 ballet Earthborn, which was performed by White Lodge Year 11 students. The piece is set to Agu by Marc Mellits and was originally choreographed on students at Canada’s Assemblée Internationale festival. It was performed at the Royal Opera House Young Talent Festival and at Opera Holland Park.
Please see photos below of our 2019 Summer Performances: