Ballet Central brings new show to Hornchurch and Chelmsford

The renowned young dance company Ballet Central makes a welcome return to touring this summer with a tour across England, arriving at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, for a preview performance on June 17 and the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford on June 24.

Under the artistic direction of Christopher Marney, the company of young graduate dancers will be performing a crowd-pleasing mix of dance pieces by leading choreographers to showcase the dancers’ considerable technique and skills as they embark on their professional careers.

For the return to touring following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Ballet Central repertoire delivers an exciting show of theatricality, technical excellence and drama choreographed by international dance industry influencers, enhanced by stunning costumes and powerful music.

Act 1 from Le Corsaire, a thrilling classical ballet with romance and daring, dashing pirates, and a magical pas de deux set against a backdrop of the high seas will open the show.

We join the commanding pirate Conrad who summons a vision of Medora, the heroine of the ballet, pursuing her in a magical pas de deux in the midst of a shipwreck.

A new piece, jigsaw, by upcoming choreographer Charlotte Edmonds (MA Choreography student at Central), is being created to a commissioned score by Ballet Central Resident Composer Philip Feeney, especially for the tour.

To conclude the performance, audiences will be treated to Act 2 of Matthew Bourne’s Highland Fling, a gothic fable of winged fairies, romanticism and kilts, filled with wit, magic and wicked humour.

After a year when students had to perform at home during lockdown, the new cohort of 37 dancers in this year’s Ballet Central company will be split into two casts under the COVID-19 protocols advised by the UK Government’s elite training guidelines.

Having two casts allows Christopher Marney, Artistic Director, to alternate performances by venue as the tour progresses. This will protect the dancers alongside regular testing and rehearsing in bubbles over the coming months.

Christopher said: “We are thrilled to be returning to so many venues where audiences have welcomed the skill and technique of our young performers.  The tour is a unique opportunity to bring the works of world-class choreographers to audiences outside of London.”

Ballet Central is the touring company of Central School of Ballet in London, the world-leading centre for professional dance training and education.  Students in the final year of their three-year BA (Hons) degree course in Professional Dance and Performance join Ballet Central to gain invaluable touring experience before graduation.

Ballet Central’s dancers not only perform but also help with technical aspects including lighting, sound, staging and wardrobe.

Central’s graduates go on to join the world’s premier dance companies.


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]