The third and final opportunity for LBC members to watch a session of Dance Forward was held on Sunday Dec 3rd in one of the studios at the Royal Opera House. Dance Forward is the brainchild of ex Royal Ballet and Boston Ballet soloist Andrew Ward. Formed in 2005 it gives students of Advanced level the opportunity to experience a class under his direction and also under the tuition of former or current ballet stars. Using a pun on his name the classes encourage students to project themselves and dance forWard, developing artistry as well as technique helping a dancer to be, in Andrew’s words, ‘the best you can be’.
Andrew led the first class which included probably the longest adage section that the students will have been asked to dance! Accompanied by Olga Mazour on the piano with a mix of classical and seasonal pieces the students rose to the challenge. After a short break Bethany Kingsley-Garner, principal dancer from Scottish Ballet, took the pointe work class and finally Darcey Bussell taught the awestruck students the Sugar Plum Fairy solo. She explained how the technique they had been practising in class translates into the steps for performance. The Nutcracker is danced all over the world at this time of year, but Darcey was keen to demonstrate the Royal Ballet style developed by the founder choreographer Frederick Ashton with use of epaulement and movements from the waist. Students as well as the parents and LBC members watching will view that particular solo with fresh insight from now on!
This was a wonderful opportunity for the LBC and we shall look forward to further similar events next year.