Three days before King Charles’ coronation ceremony, and despite road closures for coronation rehearsals, members of The London Ballet Circle and the Ballet Association arrived with excited anticipation at The Royal Ballet Upper School for our annual joint visit.
Jessica Clarke, Artistic Manager of the Upper School Programmes and former Birmingham Royal Ballet soloist, welcomed and introduced us to the day and then taught the first session, Classical Ballet Class for the pre-professional ladies. Jessica informed us that most of the year group would cross over the Bridge of Aspirations to The Royal Ballet company after the class, to participate in rehearsals and performances of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
After a short break, the second session was Classical Ballet Class for the second year ladies led by Ricardo Cervera, former first soloist of The Royal Ballet. We were able to appreciate Ricardo’s explanations of the detail of technique and the unique way to use muscles for each movement.
Lunch followed and then the final intriguing session not seen on prior visits, the ‘Technical Rehearsal of the Ursula Moreton Emerging Choreographer programme’. This session began with second year students in costume standing in different formations on the stage whilst the technical team and the second year student choreographer trialled lighting ideas. The piece was then performed in full with the costumes and lighting, followed by the young choreographer giving notes and re-running short sections. The process was repeated for two pieces, both choreographed by female students for a mixed group of fellow second year students, and we learnt other pieces had been rehearsed elsewhere. It was fascinating to view the process, and witness the mutual respect of the students for each other, whether choreographer or dancer. We wish them all much success as their career in dance progresses.
All in all it was an impressive day which we are grateful to have in our events visit programme. Many thanks to all that participated in the day, including the audience for their appreciative attendance. Special thanks also to the many school staff who helped on the day, making it run smoothly and in a super friendly manner.