Ballet Central announces a new online performance by dancers in lockdown to a specially created music composition

24 Jun 2020

Image: Zak Lynn, final year student at Central

Ballet Central, the renowned graduate performing company, has created a unique performance by the company’s dancers who are back at home across the UK and in countries worldwide following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.  Centrally Connected Performs, a new choreographic project realised in a three minute film, is based on a specially created piece of music by composer-in-residence Philip Feeney.  With contributions from 27 student dancers and their individual choreography, the resulting film will be released online on the Ballet Central website and on YouTube: Centrally Connected Performs  on 23rd June at 9am.

Each dance student is in their final year at Central School of Ballet and was given the challenge of choreographing and performing a solo with consideration of the setting, costume and the dance genre, allowing each person to interpret the music based on the skills and artistry gained during their BA (Hons) Professional Dance & Performance degree programme.

Artistic Director Christopher Marney explains: “This year’s Ballet Central tour was unable to proceed due to the Covid-19 pandemic so we created Centrally Connected Performs instead to allow dance students to create their own choreography using ballet or contemporary dance genres to Philip’s innovative music. The result is a unique collaboration, a unifying experience despite not being on tour together or rehearsing as a company at our studios in London.”

Composer-in-residence Philip Feeney explains his inspiration for the unique music that has stimulated the dancers’ performances: “Corona (virus) has the first six letters of the word Coronation so I have co-opted the music from Mozart’s life-enhancing Coronation Mass K.317 (1779) to bring the piece to life. The music takes a journey, starting with the Mozart piece which soon suddenly becomes suspended.  The idea is one of growth and discovery, and ultimately defiance, daring to be triumphant in these challenging times.”

The film Centrally Connected Performs  is part of Central’s remote learning, teaching and training initiative established to ensure continuity for dance students participating in the school’s BA and MA programmes even though its studios in Herbal Hill in London are currently closed.  Centrally Connected is an online programme supporting 117 students in 12 countries and also provides online training for Junior, Prep and Pre-Senior students.

The Ballet Central 2020 tour was just two weeks away from its opening night in London when the UK Government directive to stay at home came into force.  The five month annual tour was scheduled to perform in 13 venues across England featuring an audience-pleasing repertoire featuring technical excellence, theatricality and drama choreographed by international dance industry influencers.  The tour is the flagship training and performance element of Central’s undergraduate degree programme.  The opportunity to join Ballet Central and train with industry leading choreographers and perform a diverse repertoire to ticket-buying audiences is the pinnacle of the student experience.  It’s the reason Central has such a high level of graduate employment.

Ballet Central performed eight sell-out shows of The Nutcracker at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge in December 2019, the third year that the company’s version of the Christmas classic brought joy to regional audiences.