The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation Medical Website

Rudolf Nureyev Foundation

The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation medical website has recently been launched, dedicated to dancers and the medical and health professionals who care for dancers. The website provides access to recent and archived articles from leading professionals in the field, in addition to listing up-to-date research and conference proceedings, resources and information and links to international specialist healthcare provision.

The website is currently administered through a partnership between Dance UK and the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, having been updated as a result of a dance survey conducted to assess the existing digital resources in dance medicine and science. As a result of a successful collaboration with leading dance organisations, as well as a Medical Advisory Board of leading senior health and science professionals dance practitioners, dancers everywhere will be able to benefit from the website’s service. Whether they wear leotards and tights or tutus and pointe shoes, dancers will have access to much information which will aid them throughout their dance studies and beyond.

The website will also be developing the International Dance Healthcare Directory to provide a listing of health professionals with experience in treating dancers, which can be searched by location, name, dance style and in which treatment they specialise. As a result, the website will provide links to existing national listings such as Dance UK’s Medical Practitioners Directory.

Nureyev established the Foundation in 1975 as ‘The Ballet Promotion Foundation’, aiming to invest and manage the Foundation’s endowment fund and to distribute grants to beneficiaries. The Foundation also served to promote ballet through the support of individual dancers, or companies, and performances. The Foundation received its current name in 1994 and remained keen to help young and talented dancers through their studies and in the development of dance as a whole. In addition to this, the Foundation was renowned for supporting medical, scientific and humanitarian projects.

The Royal Ballet School’s End Of Year Performance

The Royal Ballet SchoolThe Royal Ballet School’s end of year performance on 14 July 2013 at the Royal Opera House will see a world premiere performed. The one-act ballet entitled La Destinée has been commissioned especially to be performed alongside works by Maurice Béjart, Jiří Bubeníček and Valentino Zucchetti.

La Destinée will feature a new score by young British conductor and composer, Michael England, and has been choreographed by Mark Annear, The Royal Ballet School’s Head of Outreach and Teacher Training, with sets and costumes designed by former student Gary Harris for the students so used to the regulatory pink tights, ballet shoes and leotards. La Destinée will showcase the exceptional talent of students from all three years of The Royal Ballet Upper School. The piece is not essentially narrative, but will serve to demonstrate the versatility of the company of young dancers.

Excerpts from Maurice Béjart’s Seven Greek Dances will also appear. Having premiered in 1983, this version has been restaged especially for The Royal Ballet School by Jean Yves Esquerre who was a member of Béjart’s company. The young Czech choreographer Jiří Bubeníček will stage his Canon in D Major. The piece was originally part of a longer work entitled Le Souffle de l’Esprit, created in 1992 and inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of the human body. Currently a Principal Dancer at the Semperoper Ballet, Dresden Jiří Bubeníček’s choreography has been performed by New York City Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, The National Ballet of China, North Carolina Dance Theater as well as for his company in Germany. Former student of The Royal Ballet School, Valentino Zucchetti will stage his Sonata for Six. A Soloist with The Royal Ballet, Valentino Zucchetti first choreographed a piece for the Company’s Draft Works at the Linbury Studio Theatre in 2011: Sonata for Six is a development of the original creation.

The climax of the end-of-year show will be Grand Défilé, featuring all 225 students of the school in a fantastic display of virtuosity.

Scottish Ballet’s Highland Fling

Scottish Ballet Logo

Scottish Ballet is gearing up to present Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling from the end of April until the end of May 2013, a completely different realisation of the plot in comparison to the original classical Romantic ballet La Sylphide on which Highland Fling is based and was inspired by. Directed and choreographed by Bourne and performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, the northern parts of the UK will be awash with a very different type of theatre and emotion that is usually associated with classical ballet, tutus, tights and pointe shoes.

Scottish Ballet will present the work of five-time Olivier Award-winning choreographer Bourne and also gain an exclusive license to the work, which is a fantastic and imaginative reworking of the piece, translating it into a contemporary Scotch twist. First premiered in 1994, and re-choreographed and designed in 2005, Bourne’s Highland Fling has a unique twist to it. Bourne is renowned for presenting work in this way, not dissimilar to that of Scottish Ballet. The company is the first to be given an exclusive license from Bourne to present his work and it will be the first time Scottish Ballet dancers have worked with the choreographer. Bourne’s approach and technique are eagerly anticipated by the company.

Highland Fling transforms La Sylphide into a story of rock and roll, and love, the addiction of James, gothic fairies, with twists and turns along the way. As James’ love for a strange and beautiful sylph becomes an obsession, he embarks on a fateful journey that takes him from the mean streets and nightclubs of Glasgow into a magical world beyond reality and reason.

Scottish Ballet will be touring to Theatre Royal Glasgow 27 April-4 May, Eden Court Theatre Inverness 9-11 May, His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen 16-18 May and Festival Theatre Edinburgh 22-25 May.

Compass Commissions: Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership

Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership

The Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership is looking for UK based dance artists and companies to create three new pieces of work for presentation at both Greenwich Dance and the Laban Theatre during July 2013-April 2014, falling under the umbrella “Compass Commissions” for newly conceived work.

The trio of commissions offered are listed as the following:

  • One outdoor/site-sensitive work

A work conceived to be performed at a specific site or (preferably) be adaptable to perform in any number of non-traditional performance spaces.

  • One theatre-based work

A work conceived for performance in a conventional theatre setting which will stand alone as a full performance event, with potential to tour to a range of dance/performance venues, nationally and internationally.

  • One work for a family audience

A work which will stand alone as a full performance event, with potential to tour to a range of dance/performance venues, both nationally and internationally. The work may be conceived for performance in conventional theatre venues but other modes of presentation will be considered.

Each commission will receive support in the form of a minimum of one performance opportunity, rehearsal facilities for maximum of six weeks, production time, technical support, sharing opportunities mid-process and admin support or desk space if required. Artists may or may not have a previous relationship with either organisation involved

This dynamic partnership has been created by Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban to provide ground-breaking dance performance, bespoke support for dance artists and an all-embracing programme of community and education work across South East London. As a result, new choreographic and creative work may have the chance to be conceived.

Rambert Dance Company’s Summer Schools

Rambert Dance Company Logo

The time of year has come again when young dancers everywhere are scouting out summer schools to take them through to the holidays, filled with ballet shoes, tap shoes, jazz shoes, and lots of leotards!

Summer schools are a fantastic way to experience a new style of dancing, or a new organisation or vocational college, and are also useful to decide which institutions dancers might like to apply and audition for when the time comes. For younger dancers they can experience a few days or a week or more of full-time dancing, possible singing and acting, lots of new friends and whole host of different classes to take part in.

The prestigious Rambert Dance Company also runs summer schools, giving dancers the chance to find out a little more about the company and what life is like as a company dancer. For Rambert, the dancers help throughout, be the programme for adults, youths or even “young movers”. For 2013 Rambert Dance Company will be running the following:

  • Adult summer programme on 25 and 26 July: these two special days of classes of general level hold a wonderful opportunity to work with dancers and teachers associated with Britain’s leading contemporary dance company. The programme includes contemporary technique classes, body conditioning classes (yoga or pilates) and repertoire workshops which focus on one current and one historic piece of Rambert repertoire: Sounddance by Merce Cunningham and Swansong by Christopher Bruce. Participants will learn movement phrases and look at creative tasks focused around them.
  • Adult summer school between 5 and 9 August: a unique opportunity to work closely with some of the most exciting dancers and emerging choreographers in dance today, geared towards dancers of an intermediate or advanced level.
  • Youth Summer school for Young Movers between 29 July and 2 August: this exciting week of classes and choreography is led by Rambert’s animateurs (professional dancers and teachers). Drawing on recent Rambert repertoire there will be daily contemporary classes and workshops for a great opportunity to dance, create perform and be inspired!

West Side Story Returns!

West Side Story

Regarded as perhaps one of the world’s favourite musicals, West Side Story is set to hit our stages again in a big way, after many years of film versions and amateur productions never quite capturing the magic that seems to surround the original version.

Originally directed and choreographed by the iconic Jerome Robbins, this particular staging of West Side Story for 2013 has been produced by BB Promotion in collaboration with Sundance Productions Inc., NY and Howard Panter for the Ambassador Theatre Group. West Side Story was last seen in the UK in 2008/09: 2013 will see the hit musical will begin its tour at the Liverpool Empire on September 24, before moving to venues including the Sunderland Empire, the New Wimbledon Theatre and the Milton Keynes Theatre. West Side Story is currently set to tour until June 2014, giving many audiences the chance to experience the fantastic musical, a modern day Romeo and Juliet. The show, directed and choreographed by Joey McKneely, will tour following its run at Sadler’s Wells, where it plays from August 7 until September 22.

Including songs such as Tonight, I Feel Pretty and I Like to be in America, West Side Story is thought to become as big a success as it always was, full of Spanish charm, American cool, and lots of character shoes and big dresses in between. Leonard Bernstein wrote the music for the show, which is accompanied by lyrics written by the legendary Stephen Sondheim. With a book by Arthur Laurents, West Side Story is sure to wow audiences time and time again through its tragic tale, beginning at Sadler’s Wells as the largest dance house in the UK, renowned for being dedicated to international dance and presenting a hugely varied programme to its audiences.

Project Y – Scottish Youth Dance’s Initiative

YDanceScottish Youth Dance created Project Y in 2006 in order to give talented young leotard-clad dancers the opportunity to develop their dance skills and experience what it is like to be a professional dancer. Over the past 7 years the programme has been hugely developed, and there are now two different ways for young dancers to get involved: the Performance course and a number of Foundation courses, open to any dancer who wants a taste of their possible future.

The Performance course is a four week programme designed for aspiring young dancers aged 16 to 21 who want an exclusive taste of what it is like to be part of a professional dance company. Dancers are able to work with some of the top choreographers from both the UK and abroad and as a result create a new programme of dance pieces. As a company in its own right, Project Y will then tour, performing at a number of venues, such as The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow), the Lemon Tree (Aberdeen), Eden Court (Inverness) and Carnegie Hall (Dunfermline), having  also appeared in the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay! The course takes place during the summer holidays, usually at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

The Foundation courses are weeklong programmes for a younger spectrum of dancers, aged 12 to 18. These courses for aspiring hopefuls are a beneficial way of improving dance technique and getting a taste of the Performance course above. The courses include a daily contemporary class – leggings galore – and choreography workshops led by members of the YDance team for Scottish Youth Dance. The participants on the courses will also have the chance to be involved in creating an inspiring new dance work and get the chance to perform it too! The Foundation courses also take place during the summer holidays.

The Winners Of The What’s On Stage Awards 2013

What's On Stage Awards 2013

The winners of the What’s On Stage Awards were revealed on Sunday 17 February, the only major prize-giving for theatre voted for purely by audiences. Over 60,000 people took part in the voting for the 2013 Awards, which recognised the stage achievements of some of the biggest names in the worlds of theatre, film and music.

The Awards were announced at a star-studded concert ceremony at the West End’s historic Palace Theatre. Some of the award winners performed alongside other nominees and ‘stars of shows’, including The Bodyguard, Top Hat, Wicked, Spamalot and Soho Cinders.

In case you missed the results, here’s a quick recap of some of the winners:

The DIGITAL THEATRE Best Actress in a Play
Sheridan Smith – Hedda Gabler

The DIGITAL THEATRE Best Actor in a Play
Rupert Everett – The Judas Kiss

Best Supporting Actress in a Play
Natalie Casey – Abigail’s Party

Best Supporting Actor in a Play
Stephen Fry – Twelfth Night

The STAR Best Actress in a Musical
Imelda Staunton – Sweeney Todd

The THEATRE TOKENS Best Actor in a Musical
Michael Ball – Sweeney Todd

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Melanie C – Jesus Christ Superstar

The W&P LONGREACH Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Tim Minchin – Jesus Christ Superstar

Idina Menzel – Idina Menzel

Best Takeover in a Role
Ramin Karimloo – Les Misérables

Best New Play
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Simon Stephens

Best New Musical
The Bodyguard by Alex Dinelaris

Best Play Revival
Abigail’s Party

Sweeney Todd

Jonathan Kent – Sweeney Todd

The FEAST Best Set Designer
Tom Scutt – The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe at Kensington Gardens & Constellations

The MADE Best Choreographer
Andrew Wright – Singin’ in the Rain

The DEWYNTERS London Newcomer of the Year
Will Young (actor) – Cabaret

The EQUITY Best West End Show
Les Misérables

The AKA Theatre Event of the Year
Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony

Life at Vocational Dance Colleges

Vocational Dance Colleges

For many dancers over the age of 16, the New Year spells auditions for vocational colleges. Many students who prefer to get their applications in early may have already heard from a college about whether they will have to pack up their tap shoes, ballet tights and jazz pants because they have or have not been awarded a place.

Some colleges have a specific uniform they prefer their students to wear both in and outside college during weekdays. Many sell tracksuits and other mandatory items, whereas most prefer a style of leotard, practice shoe, clothing colour, or all three! It is essential that as an emerging young dancer you are able to display a certain level of versatility, which also extends to your ‘look’ and style. Regardless of how you move or how high you can kick your leg, some choreographers prefer to focus on looks and clothing style before anything else in a class or audition. If you look the part then your performance will be much more convincing.

It is also important to look after your health whilst at a vocational college. For many students this is their first time away from their homes, and remembering to eat well and maintain your health can often get lost amongst other, additional parts of life. Your body will also change in terms of shape, strength and form, so looking after your body correctly is vital. Colleges which offer many dance disciplines and subjects can be extremely demanding: on top of remembering dance phrases, etiquette and class routines you must also remember to fuel yourself.

Whilst it is important to throw yourself into the course and enjoy every moment of vocational college life, it is also important to remain grounded and reasoned. The time will fly past – good luck!

Singin’ In The Rain Set To Tour

Singing In The Rain

If you are busy this spring planning your summer theatre outings to London’s West End then make Singin’ in the Rain one show near the top of your list.

It has been announced that the West End show, on par with its 1952 MGM version of the musical, is set to close in August 2013. This will be ahead of a national tour of an all-singing, all-dancing troupe – complete with umbrellas – around the country in 2014, closing with a run in Chichester where the show originally played in July 2011. The UK-wide tour is understood to start in November 2013, with a proposed opening in Manchester after spending just eighteen months at the Palace Theatre in London.

2012/13 has already seen many productions join and leave the West End in quick succession, making theatre turnarounds very quick, with only just enough time to settle the tan tights and tap shoes before having to move on again. However, touring productions give theatre fanatics in other parts of the country, without the chance to journey to London to see huge shows such as Singin’ in the Rain, the opportunity to feast their eyes on an array of talent. Touring companies also provide many performing jobs for those who may struggle to secure roles in London, but who have no trouble taking to the road, performing whilst travelling.

The musical is directed by Jonathan Church, artistic director at Chichester Festival Theatre, and has choreography by Andrew Wright, who recently ‘Best Choreographer’ at the Whatsonstage Awards. Adam Cooper is currently playing Don Lockwood in the show, a role he has played since the production opened in Chichester, with Jennifer Ellison recently joining the cast as Lina Lamont.