English National Ballet recently launched Dancing East, a programme of east London-based ballet classes for older people. Ballet-based exercise encourages increased mobility, improves spatial awareness, posture and balance to reduce the risk of fall, and the music and creativity involved promote a sense of wellbeing and enjoyment.
The weekly dance classes will be run with LinkAge Plus, a free service for anyone over the age of 50 living in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The service aims to help older people achieve a better quality of life and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Following a successful pilot project in the area, a series of classes will now take place across five community centres in east London.
Led by English National Ballet Associate Dance Artists and Musicians, the programme is based on the Company’s own performance repertoire. The first term’s classes are inspired by Lest We Forget, English National Ballet’s award-winning programme of poignant works that reflect on the First World War. Lest We Forget was performed at Sadler’s Wells this September to mark the centenary of the end of the war.
English National Ballet is preparing to move to its new purpose-built home at London City Island in Canning Town, east London, in early 2019. The new building will have dedicated engagement spaces to further the Company’s work with local communities and its wellbeing programmes.
English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950, it has played a major role in the growth and history of ballet in the UK. Today, English National Ballet is renowned for taking world-class ballet to the widest possible audience through its national and international tour programme, its distinguished orchestra English National Ballet Philharmonic, and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement, practice and delivery. Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has gained new acclaim as it introduces innovative new works to the Company’s repertoire while continuing to honour and reinvigorate traditional ballet.