Xander Parish

Mariinsky LogoXander Parish is the first and only British ballet dancer to have joined the Mariinsky Ballet: he was scouted and consequently taken to Russia in 2009 by Artistic Director Yuri Fateyev, due to his desire to work hard and push beyond his limits. As a former Royal Ballet dancer Xander has now had the opportunity to dance principal roles as a soloist, recently making his principal debut in Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake in London recently in the company’s tour to the UK.

As a British dancer, Xander trained at the Royal Ballet School and then joined the Royal Ballet. After five years he was invited to join the Mariinsky, with Fateyev impressed by his artistic potential. At the Mariinsky Xander now has more chance to perform as a soloist, as Russian ballet rank determines the number of shows danced. His work ethic also places him in good stead, as with many other dancers at the Mariinksy, welcoming invites to learn principal roles to expand their talent and learn new things about performing.

Being part of the Mariinsky Ballet means Xander has lots of opportunities to tour and also perform as a guest with other ballet companies. The level of opportunity at the company in Russia appears fantastic for any young dancer: in 2012, for example, Xander danced 11 principal, 35 soloist and 21 corps de ballet performances which included 9 debuts. Parish has since toured to Germany, the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Italy and the United Arab Emirates with the Mariinsky Ballet, and Fateyev has given Xander many more exciting opportunities as a result of his desire to work hard and achieve.

New Movement Collective

New Movement CollectiveNew Movement Collective, an associate company of Rambert (Britain’s oldest dance company), has recently announced this year’s performances of its 2012 debut work Casting Traces. The company will be joined by a new team of talented performers including Niku Chaudhari (of the Sidi-Larbi Cherkaoui company Eastman), Hannah Kidd (Richard Alston Dance Company) and Eryck Brahmania (Rambert).

Dance, architecture, film and specially commissioned music will meet to create a world of illusion, mystery and shadow play, where nothing is what it seems, with remaining dates in Brighton and Winchester.

Founded in 2009, New Movement Collective is a new generation of choreographers with a long collaborative history. Working as acclaimed dancers and dance-makers, NMC members have a shared history through many of Europe’s leading ballet and contemporary companies including Rambert, Gothenburg Ballet, English National Ballet, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, New Adventures, Scottish Dance Theatre and Company Chameleon.

Creating a nourishing and supportive environment for artistic growth, the collective aims to create refreshing and innovative work of the highest standard. The company aims to develop work that is directly presented in response to different and unusual theatrical settings. As a result, NMC has a strong commitment to collaborative working methods. Blurring the boundaries between dance, architecture, film and music NMC aspires to change and evolve the landscape of contemporary theatre, unlocking performance potential from the hidden parts of cities.

In 2013 the New Movement Collective was nominated for ‘Best Independent Company’ in the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. It’s association with Rambert sets its in good stead for success considering its support and collection of talented performance artists from across the field of dance.

Bolshoi Ballet On Stage And Screen

Bolshoi Theatre at NightThe Bolshoi Ballet have plans for both stage and screen during their 2014-15 season, with its stage plans including a new ballet based on the Shakespearean story of Hamlet, Yuri Possokhov’s new Hero of Our Time, and a major revival of Yuri Grigorovich’s The Legend of Love. For the screen, Grigorovich will also dominate the company’s cinema season with two ballets and several productions also included in the programme.

The production of Hamlet will be staged by choreographer Radu Poklitaru and director Declan Donnellan, the team which was behind the Bolshoi’s controversial production of Romeo and Juliet. Hamlet will have its premiere on 11 March 2015, with audiences eager to discover the new production. Negotiations are currently underway as to the use of two Shostakovich symphonies to be used as the production’s music.

Possokhov’s new ballet will also be made for the Bolshoi’s new stage – in addition to Hamlet – and will premiere on 13 June 2015. It is based on Mikhail Lermontov’s novel which is set within the Caucasus mountains and features a Byronic hero. The Legend of Love, which will return to the stage on 23 October of this year, will also be the first broadcast in this season’s cinema programme. Many of the productions will be related live from the Moscow theatre to Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas on Sundays.

The Legend of Love will be followed by Pierre Lacotte’s staging of the production Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Grigorovich’s stagings of La Bayadère, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and Ivan the Terrible.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Les Ballets C de la B

Les Ballets C de la BFounded for a dare in 1984, les ballets C de la B is mix of surrealism, slapstick and semiotics within the sphere of dance. It’s ethos has consequently made it one of the world’s most influential dance theatre companies. Since then it has become a company that enjoys great success at home (Belgium) and abroad. Over the years it has developed into an artistic platform for a variety of choreographers and the company still keeps to its principle of enabling artists from various disciplines and backgrounds to take part in this dynamic creative process.

Les ballets C de la B is not easy to classify however it is possible to pin-point a house style (popular, anarchic, eclectic, committed), and its motto is ‘this dance is for the world and the world is for everyone’. As a result, Danceworks in London is presenting a 2-day workshop with the company in September, a great opportunity for aspiring dancers.

This workshop will be taught by dancer Bérengère Bodin who was born in 1980 in Fonteenay-le-comte, France. She studied at the CNDC in Anglers and then joined leading performance companies such as Raimund Hoghe, Joëlle Bouvier, Carolyn Carlson and Euan Burnet Smith, Kubilai Khan Investigation, JoJi Inc Cy, Isabella Soupart and Robyn Orlin, before joining les ballets C de la B.

Bérengère will encourage the dancers participating to feel and even redefine the emotions of life. This will be an opportunity to enter a world of not-knowing and she will work with individuals to examine their meaning and relationship to emotion, and this will be developed throughout the workshop. There will be opportunities to improvise, share and perform and the workshop is for those who wish to move to another deeper level in their dance and emotional expression

Participants must be 18 years of age or over.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Ballet Bartkowski Is Launched

Ballet BartkowskiBallet Bartkowski is a new professional company for ballet students working at a high level of classical dance, aged 18 to 23. Based in Croix, near Lille in France, Ballet Bartkowski was founded by Heidi and Waldemar Bartkowski with the aim to open the company in September of this year.

The new company will train talented and committed students who aspire to a professional dance career. Along with the usual daily classes in classical technique, the new students will follow a variety of workshop programmes in order to learn and develop different styles of classical ballet. The founders, Heidi and Waldemar, feel this is crucial in helping the young students to respond to the varying demands of choreographers, company directors and the industry itself.

Building up the students’ versatility is a sure fire way to make them employable and likeable as professional dancers who are able to apply themselves. The dancers will also have the chance to perform original works, including performances in both France and further afield. The combination of daily classical classes, workshops and performance opportunities looks set to develop students who are both prepared for professional careers and eager for them too.

Both Heidi and Waldemar Bartkowski had international dance careers before they began their own dance school in 2007. The reasoning behind their founding of the company is simple: the founders wanted to develop each of their students’ technical artistic talents in order for them to reach their full potential. Young dancers attending other vocational training institutions have a tough challenge on their hands in having to mature quickly enough in order to make it successfully onto the professional performing scene. The founders feel the stage experience provided by Ballet Bartkowski is essential for the students to secure their first professional engagement.

NYT Perform at Commonwealth Games

Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014At the recent opening of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, young performers from the National Youth Theatre appeared as part of the ceremonies to welcome the countries’ teams. The cast of 60 NYT members were involved in the Village Ceremonies, which included the opening of the athletes’ village, the team welcome celebrations and the imminent farewell ceremony, meaning the performers will have much exposure throughout the Games and will be present during many parts of the ceremonies.

The outdoor performances are created entirely by the NYT, holding much prestige throughout the Games in the demonstration of the group’s creative and artistic talents. Performers aged 15 to 25 were selected from NYT’s social inclusion programme in Glasgow and other areas of the UK it works in, creating links to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games geographically, artistically and culturally.

In 2012, the NYT performed as part of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games welcome ceremonies, so the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has added to their growing experience of performing at large-scale cultural events. For the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games NYT has staged youthful and inventive ceremonies full of spectacle and style that capture the spirit of Glasgow.

The opening ceremony of the athletes’ village is one of the first experiences for the competitors when they arrive in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games, so it is a fantastic experience for NYT to be involved in such a primary and important event for the competitors, some being welcomed to Glasgow for the first time by NYT and the other performers. The ceremonies will not only represent the spirit of Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games but will be an unforgettable experience for all those who take part.

Frantic Assembly to offer MA

Frantic AssemblyPhysical theatre company Frantic Assembly is set to partner with Coventry University in order to deliver a postgraduate qualification in theatre-making, much to the delight of many of its fans and followers. The two organisations have claimed this marks the first time a professional theatre company has been involved in the creation of a master’s degree programme in the UK, and is thought to offer participants an enriched and all-round fulfilling education.

The one-year course, named Collaborative Theatre Making MA, will see Frantic Assembly lead intensive, practical performance projects, which will feature alongside supporting seminars, research events and master classes run by the university in a balance between the academic and the practical. The theatre company will lead modules on devising work and engaging with young people and communities, and will also work with students to create a public performance as part of the course.

The course will begin in January 2015 and will offer professional level training for 26 full-time students from all disciplines, including actors, directors, writers, dancers, choreographers, composers and musicians and will be taught in both London and Coventry. Coventry University will run a taster workshop on the new MA course in London in mid July in order to give potential students the opportunity to work with Frantic Assembly and to find out more about the course.

The new MA course will produce a creative environment where emerging artists are encouraged to think beyond their background genre and their own areas of expertise in their theatre-making. It will provide exciting opportunities for the participants to develop their practice and understanding of the theatre industry and it will mean they can develop a ‘total theatre’ approach to open up the potential of devising theatre with highly skilled and exciting collaborators.

Talent Throughout The Birthday Honours

Queen Elizabeth IIThe Queen’s birthday honours recently recognised a multitude of talent in the awardees: actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Maggie Smith were recognised in the honours list, which also sees Young Vic artistic director David Lan and English National Opera’s John Berry honoured. The arts faired well as Day-Lewis was made a knight, and Smith was made a Companion of Honour.

Among those awarded CBEs were the Young Vic’s Lan and Berry, artistic director of the ENO. Choreographer Michael Clark, soprano Susan Bullock and Pauline Tambling, joint chief executive of training body Creative and Cultural Skills, also received a CBE.

Others receiving recognition for their services to the arts include pianist Andras Schiff, who was made a knight, and Angelina Jolie, who was awarded an honorary damehood. Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the stage versions of which have just extended their run in the Aldwych Theatre, was made a dame.

OBEs were presented to actors Damian Lewis and Phyllida Law, lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe and composer Talvin Singh. Other recipients included Mark Featherstone-Witty, the founding principal and chief executive of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, ex-director of the UK Foundation for Dance, Namron Yarrum, talent agent Jonathan Shalit, and Nisha Tandon, executive director of Northern Ireland’s only full-time ethnic arts and culture company.

Theatre figures recognised with MBEs included John Barrowman for services to light entertainment and charity, choreographer Rosemary Butcher, playwright and founder of the Identity Theatre School Femi Oguns, producer Judith Dimant for her work with Complicite, and theatrical wig designer Angela Cobbin.

Also receiving MBEs were the former joint chief executives of the Askonas Holt agency, Martin Campbell-White and Robert Rattray, conductor and artistic director of the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, Martin Binks, and Maria Friend, director of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire’s junior department.

BalletBoyz To Be Part Of Roundhouse Summer Sessions

BalletBoyzReturning to the venue that hosted their first public performance – as George Piper Dances in 2001 – the award-winning BalletBoyz® will perform at Roundhouse Summer Sessions on 31 July and 1 August 2014. This will mark the final UK performances of Russell Maliphant’s piece Fallen and Liam Scarlett’s Serpent. The sessions will also offer an exclusive first look at new work Young Men.

Following three successful nationwide UK tours and sell-out performances in Australia and Europe, BalletBoyz the Talent will celebrate their success of the above critically acclaimed and popular double bill by having the BBC Concert Orchestra join the cast of dancers to perform the scores.

The Roundhouse Summer Sessions audiences will also see an exclusive excerpt of BalletBoyz’ highly anticipated new show, Young Men, that has been in development for the past year. The piece explores the theme of war and the bond that forms between the men who train and fight together and is part of 14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions drawing inspiration from images of war through the ages, in particular the First World War. The full work will be premiered in January 2015 at Sadler’s Wells.

Choreographed by NDT dancer/choreographer, Iván Pérez, Young Men features an original score by British singer songwriter Keaton Henson who will perform an extract of it at the Roundhouse. A gifted composer and illustrator, Keaton has released two critically acclaimed albums, ‘Dear’ and ‘Birthdays’ and won the Best Music Video Award (Rushes Soho Shorts 2012) for the video of the single ‘Small Hands’.

Last year BalletBoyz won the 2013 National Dance Award for Best Independent Company, having revolutionised dance presentation formats and are at the forefront of digital dance creation. Choreographer Russell Maliphant won the 2013 National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography for Fallen.

Dancers’ Career Development & The Royal Ballet School

Dancers’ Career Development (DCD) LogoDancers’ Career Development and The Royal Ballet School are set to work in partnership to embed a culture of Continuing Professional Development within the curriculum at the school in a partnership which is the first of its kind in the UK. It demonstrates The Royal Ballet School’s practical approach to safeguarding its students’ welfare beyond their time at the school, educating students about dancer transitions through the leadership of Dancers’ Career Development.

The partnership will support dance students at a key time in their personal development: they will be encouraged to consider a wider view of the world around them and to build upon transferable skills developed through study. Dancers’ Career Development will engage with students in all three years of study at The Royal Ballet Upper School.

Adopting a practical approach to learning, the programme will include an Introduction to Transition in Year One. In Year Two, students will participate in visits to Dancers’ Career Development beneficiaries working in multiple, diverse careers and will have the opportunity to meet and network with current and former professional dancers. In the Graduate Year, students will take a detailed look at the practicalities of transition and the Transition Support Services provided by Dancers’ Career Development.

The partnership is set to be particularly valuable in giving students a chance to think more broadly about a future beyond dance; Dancers’ Career Development will give them the support they need to understand how the life skills they learn during their training will one day serve them in other disciplines. As a world leader in dance transition, Dancers’ Career Development welcomes the opportunity to engage with and support the dancers of the future to be fully prepared for their performance careers and beyond, recognising their unique talents, skills and abilities.