Saturday, 21 March 2015

Danceworks Academy

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Danceworks is best known for its classes for adults. Particularly in ballet. It attracts outstanding teachers and performers from around the world to take its classes. One of them will be Michaela DePrince on 7 July 2014 (see Dance with DePrince 2 March 2015). I just wish I were young enough and good enough to benefit from that class. I urge all who are to do so while places are still available.

However, Danceworks latest initiative is an International Ballet Academy for younger dancers which will open on 14 Sept 2015. According to Danceworks's website, the "focus is to identify and develop young talent to work towards the highest level of classical ballet formation and to enable those who want to enter into a professional career in any of the various forms of dance or theatre arts." The academy is open to boys and girls aged 8 to 16. Classes will take place at Danceworks's premises at 16 Balderton Street just off Oxford Street near Bond Street tube.

The course Director will be Kim White of the  Vevey Youth Ballet School in Switzerland. White was the first American to compete in the Grand Prix of Lausanne and she studied under George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Alexandra Danilova, Melissa Hayden, Oleg and Mireille Briansky. The Artistic Director will be Antonia Franceschi who was one of the last dancers to be selected personally by George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet. Classes will also be given by Celisa Diuana who danced with the Royal Ballet until 2012.

An original syllabus for the course known as the International Ballet Curriculum has been prepared by White and Franceschi. It will also be used in Danceworks's first International Ballet Summer Intensive for students aged between 8 and 16 which will take place at 16 Balderton Street between the 20 and 31 July 2015.

Applications for both the Academy and the summer school can be made through Danceworks's website and further particulars including information about fees and scholarships can be obtained on request. It appears to be possible to take classes at the Academy on a drop in basis at the cost of £22 for an hour's class and £26 for 90 minutes.

I hope everybody who takes these courses learns a lot and has fun. I shall be very grateful for any feedback from students or parents and relations.

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