London Children’s Ballet’s Snow White gives talented young dancers an opportunity to shine and provides enchanting entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.
What better way to round off the Easter holidays than to join a 50-strong cast of girls and boys (aged 9 to 16) at London’s Peacock Theatre for a fresh interpretation of a much-loved fairy tale? Performers and audience members alike are delighting in this treat of a production, which incorporates joyous dancing, original music played live by an orchestra, stunning sets and colourful costumes.
Yes, the show is performed by children, with families in mind. But it really is a West End worthy offering. These dancers are sweetly professional to the core. Furthermore, some of the most accomplished and ambitious creatives in the land have teamed up to showcase the youngsters’ skills and enthuse the next generation of dance lovers.
Ballet superstars light up the stage in Nureyev Legend and Legacy, a tribute gala being performed at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London this month.
Soviet-born dancer, choreographer and director Rudolf Nureyev is one of the most recognisable names in ballet. His life story is well known and he has inspired countless male dancers.
He trained at the Vaganova Choreographic Institute in Leningrad before joining the Kirov (now Mariinsky) Ballet in 1958. His career highlights included a long stint as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet from 1962 until the mid-1970s, as well as famed performances with renowned ballerinas, such as Margot Fonteyn. His televised appearances introduced ballet to millions of people and he established a foundation that still supports promising young dancers today. He also set a new standard as artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet, where he nurtured the likes of Sylvie Guillem and commissioned innovative works by visionary choreographers, including William Forsythe.
Nureyev danced with infectious joy and wild abandon, showcasing rapid turns and an explosive jump. He radiated personality and spontaneity, which made him a celebrity beyond dance. He is a legend who left behind a legacy and this gala, which is not associated with any particular anniversary, passionately expresses that dance fans do not need an excuse to celebrate him. We simply must.
A dazzling array of ballet stars will celebrate one of the most influential dancers of all time in Nureyev Legend and Legacy, a glittering gala at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, this month.
Rudolf Nureyev was the virtuoso Soviet-born dancer and choreographer who rebelled against an oppressive regime and fundamentally changed public perception of both ballet and the male ballet dancer. Here in the UK he was best known for his partnership with The Royal Ballet’s Margot Fonteyn. He made his UK debut when she invited him to dance at the 1961 Royal Academy of Dance fundraising gala, which was also held at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
An international cast of 22 world-class dancers will pay homage to Nureyev with five special performances, spread over the 5, 6 and 12 September. The gala programme features nine classical ballet excerpts that represent highlights from his career, all accompanied by live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
Essentially, audiences are being given the chance to experience the magic and mastery of Nureyev through a new generation of spectacular dancers. It promises to be an unmissable treat for ballet fans.
On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 is a celebratory exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum that explores the history of the academy, which is synonymous with that of British ballet. With syllabus resources, pointe shoes, costumes, choreography and more on display, there is something for everyone to connect with and be inspired by.
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is a world leader in dance education and training. Established in 1920 to raise the standard of dance teaching in the UK and reinvigorate ballet training, it has now been teaching the world to dance for more than 100 years. The organisation supports and unites a global community of around 400,000 dancers of all ages and abilities, in more than 80 countries, through an international network of dance teachers.
The RAD has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.
My childhood ballet teacher, Kathleen Woollard (1929–2020), was an esteemed RAD registered teacher who was awarded life membership. She was a recipient of the prestigious President’s Award, which recognises an individual who has, over many years, dedicated themselves above and beyond the call of duty to the RAD in particular and to the art of dance in general. She gave me the name ‘Georgie’ (‘Miss Georgie’ to junior dance students). She taught me the essentials of technique, tenacity and virtuosity. And she earnestly supported my endeavours – in the studio, on the stage and beyond.
As a young dancer, I excelled in RAD ballet examinations and was selected to assist trainee teachers and demonstrate for prospective examiners. Now, as a qualified ballet teacher myself, I am proud to be a first class honours graduate and registered teacher of the RAD.
“This display is a celebration of everybody involved in 100 years of the Royal Academy of Dance.”
Dame Darcey Bussell DBE,
President of the Royal Academy of Dance
London Children’s Ballet is on a mission to inspire the pursuit of excellence and change lives through dance. As both a performance company and a registered charity, it produces and stages a new ballet in London’s West End each year and runs outreach work in primary schools and the wider community. Essentially, London Children’s Ballet (LCB) encourages everyone – participants, creatives and audience members – to be their best selves by enabling them to experience the life-enhancing benefits of dance.
When I was invited to watch LCB’s 2022 ballet, Anne of Green Gables, I was keen not only because it was a wonderful opportunity to support gifted children who love to dance, but also because it was a new reason to visit the Peacock Theatre. Sadler’s Wells’ West End home is a 1,000-seat theatre that is part of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) campus. So, as well as presenting must-see shows and dance performances, it hosts lectures, conferences and ceremonies for the university.
Gliding across that stage during my graduation from LSE was about celebrating what had been achieved and what was still to come. As a child, I was happiest reading, writing and dancing. As an adult, I am fortunate to spend my professional life reading, writing and dancing. Having graduated from LSE and the Royal Academy of Dance, and qualified as a journalist, editor and ballet teacher, I know a thing or two about striving to fulfil your potential and follow your passions! How uplifting to return to this venue to be entertained by the LCB company – motivated children who are exploring their talent, dancing around their school commitments and learning the reward of persistence and hard work.
“Oh it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be an end to them – that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”
Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery