Classical Ballet Professional Option
Course Consultants: Leanne Benjamin, Adam Cooper
Head of Department & Artistic Director, Images Ballet Company: Jennifer Jackson
This year provides the intensive training and performance experience that is required by advanced classical ballet students who wish to pursue a professional career. The current programme builds on the original course which was developed by Margaret Barbieri in consultation with Dame Alicia Markova. It aims to prepare students to meet the demands of performing in a range of work on the ballet stage today, fostering a critical awareness of the choreographic movements in classical ballet, deep understanding of the form and nurturing each dancer in their unique gifts/talents as an artist.
The work in this company emerges from current approaches to classical ballet, while valuing its heritage. In addition to daily ballet classes, specialist courses in repertoire, virtuosity, pas de deux and pointe work are included in the curriculum. These are complemented by other disciplines considered essential for a career as a professional ballet dancer, including contemporary dance and a programme of Individual Physical Development sessions which provide students with physical grounding in strength and conditioning in support of growing their individual artistic practice. Master classes and weekly workshops with leading figures in dance are organized to enable further creative exploration, artistic development and professional networking. Career management and audition techniques are also studied during this final year of training, ensuring that the students receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for professional career.
"A unique combination of the most respected teachers in the field of classical ballet"
IMAGES BALLET COMPANY
Images Ballet Company (formerly Images of Dance), the first of London Studio Centre’s performing companies, was formed in 1991 in order to provide classical ballet students with invaluable performing experience and to bring different aspects of classical ballet to new audiences. The repertoire focuses on expanding the individual student’s artistry and versatility and features newly commissioned work by British choreographers, as well as re-creations of classical and heritage ballets. From the twentieth century repertoire, the company has danced work by Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Ninette de Valois and Sir Kenneth MacMillan. The company has also performed excerpts from La Vivandière, La Bayadère, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake, Paquita and Laurencia. Liz Aggiss, Mark Baldwin, Matthew Bourne, Jack Carter, Geoffrey Cauley, Laurent Cavanna, Adam Cooper, Michael Corder, David Fielding, Christopher Hampson, Matthew Hart, Oliver Hindle, Michael Ho, Jennifer Jackson, Darius James, Harold King, Isira Makuloluwe, Christopher Marney, Sally Marie, Cathy Marston, Ashley Page, Renato Paroni, Morgann Runacre-Temple, Viacheslav Samodurov, Stephen Sheriff, Wayne Sleep, William Tuckett, Dominic Walsh and Christopher Wheeldon have all created new works for the company.
Principal dancers from major companies, such as The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company rehearse the company and coach individual students. This enables them to study particular roles intensively, acquiring the performance skills that are essential to the professional dancer. Students collaborate with major choreographers in workshops and on the creation of new ballets. This provides them with the ideal opportunity for understanding the development of a professional production on to the stage and for honing the creative and collaborative skills that underpin a successful career today.
The tour completes the students’ education as professional dancers Images Ballet Company is the smallest of London Studio Centre’s companies and the context of creating and performing classic and bespoke choreography in a variety of venues makes for rich individual learning and development. The tour culminates in a final London performance, which acts as a showcase attended by artistic directors, choreographers and other potential employers and collaborative artists.
The course is a rich opportunity for the ballet dancer to forge their identity as an artist, develop entrepreneurial and creative thinking and the ability to apply knowledge in different settings. While some graduates join ballet companies, others use the professional development skills they learn at London Studio Centre to develop their own portfolio careers. Many have worked on dance and modelling projects for high-profile companies such as Jaguar, Lexus, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, H&M and Bloch as well as music acts including Take That, Ed Sheeran and Rudimental. Graduates have also launched new initiatives in the industry including dance and fitness projects such Ballet You, which offers ballet workshops and ballet-inspired workouts. Some explore ballet within the context of other art forms including dance films and performances within art galleries whilst many decide to pass on the knowledge and training they received at London Studio Centre by going in to teaching dance or setting up their own dance schools.
Companies that graduates have joined include The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, New Adventures, Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballet Ireland, LeipzigerBallett, Ballett am Rhein, Mainz Ballet, K-Ballet Company (Japan), Norwegian National Ballet, Australian Ballet, New National Theatre Ballet (Tokyo), Sarasota Ballet, Cape Town City Ballet, Vienna Festival Ballet, Ballett der Staatsoper (Dresden), Ballett der Buhnen der Landeshaupstadt, Kiel, The Israel Ballet, Malmo Baletten, Orlando Ballet and Ballet San Jose (Cleveland).