After two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students of The Royal Ballet School in London are once again preparing to take part in the much-anticipated Summer Performances. These performances celebrate the hard work and talent of the School’s young dancers and showcase the skills of all year groups across different stages of development. The 2022 programme promises audiences an exciting mix of classical and contemporary works from ballets like Swan Lake and brand-new pieces created especially for the occasion.
Setting the Stage for Future Ballet Stars
The Summer Performances have been an important tradition for The Royal Ballet School since the inaugural summer event took place in 1959. Several well-known performers have participated over the decades. Now, the School hosts Summer Performances every June and July at the culmination of the academic year. The performances are a great opportunity for the public to see the ballet stars of the future honing their skills and growing in confidence.
This year, the Summer Performances return, with performances running from 6-9 July at Opera Holland Park, an open-air auditorium surrounded by formal gardens and woodland in the centre of Holland Park, West London. After a hiatus of 15 years, the School returned to this striking outdoor venue in 2016.
A final matinée performance will take place on the main stage of the Royal Opera House on Saturday, July 16.
Experience Performing Live
The School provides various opportunities throughout the year for students to perform both inside and outside of the School in front of a live audience of their peers, parents, supporters, and the general public. Live performance is an integral part of the students’ training in establishing a sound foundation in classical ballet technique. Performance experiences help students develop their artistry and expression and learn how to communicate emotion and narrative through dance.
Performance opportunities also allow students to transfer the elements of their ballet curriculum that they have learnt in the studio to the stage, bring these to life, and create an exhilarating experience for the audience. Furthermore, students gain valuable insights into the physical and mental preparation involved in readying themselves for a performance and get essential practice in managing performance anxiety and nerves.
2022 Summer Repertoire
Each year, The Royal Ballet School’s Artistic Director Christopher Powney curates the summer repertoire from a range of sources. Summer Performances exhibit diversity in the ballet art form, with classical and modern eras represented by a selection of heritage ballets and more contemporary works. As well as looking to the impressive repertoire of existing works for inspiration, the School encourages and commissions original pieces from established and emerging choreographers to create a compelling, varied programme.
This year, audiences can expect performances from some of the great classical ballets, including Raymonda by Marius Petipa and Swan Lake by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, which features Tchaikovsky’s iconic score and additional choreography by Frederick Ashton.
More recent pieces featured include PreSENTIENT by Wayne McGregor and Yondering by John Neumeier. PreSENTIENT[ was first performed in 2002 as a commission for the Rambert contemporary dance company in London and features graphic, unsettling choreography, for which McGregor won a Time Out Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2003. Neumeier, former director of the Hamburg Ballet, created Yondering in 1996 for the students of the National Ballet School in Canada. Yondering is the ideal vehicle to showcase the talent of young dancers, exploring the themes of youthful innocence and a sense of adventure.
The programme also features new works by Joseph Toonga, Jason Mabana, and Mikaela Polley, created especially for Royal Ballet School students to perform at this year’s Summer Performances.
Sponsored by Imagination
Imagination, The Royal Ballet School’s corporate partner, is sponsoring the 2022 Summer Performances. The London-based experience design company boasts an impressive list of clients, including Harrods, HSBC, Rolls-Royce, and Turkish Airlines, and has supported the School for over a decade. In 2016, Imagination created a new visual identity to reflect the School’s unique history and its forward-facing outlook.
The Royal Ballet School relies on the generosity of individuals, trusts, and businesses to provide world-class ballet training for a wide range of young people, no matter their background or financial means.
Tickets for the Summer Performances Now Available
Tickets for Opera Holland Park and the Royal Opera House performances are now available. The evening performances at Opera Holland Park on Wednesday 6 July, Thursday 7 July, and Saturday 9 July will predominantly feature Upper School students. The Friday 8 July and the Saturday 9 July matinées will mainly star the younger White Lodge pupils.
About The Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the world’s leading ballet institutions and prides itself on providing an outstanding academic and dance education for its students. All applicants to its full-time, eight-year course take part in the School’s UK and international audition process. Successful admittance takes into account a young dancer’s talent and potential, regardless of their personal circumstances or academic ability. 84% of the School’s current pupils receive financial support to attend. Many students go on to pursue careers in The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and other top UK and international dance companies.