“…I will keep on dancing Russian Ballet as one of my greatest passions… I will always remember my first performance dancing on the same stage as members of the Bolshoi Ballet… how fantastic it was!”
Ballet/Gymnastics lessons are provided by The School of Classical Russian Ballet in the curriculum of different Primary Schools. These are taught by Dr Christina Kostoula, Head of Outreach. The lessons fill a gap in what the schools are able to offer their students. They are also the basis for encouraging young children to take classes or rehearse for performances at The School of Classical Russian Ballet.
A difficulty The School of Classical Russian Ballet sometimes encounters in the Schools Project is getting children to the school for rehearsals. Gifted youngsters are to be found in schools in deprived areas where the consequent issues impact on the children to prevent their attendance. The School of Classical Russian Ballet is looking for help to overcome this to be able to inspire all youngsters equally with a love of ballet and theatre.
Young Lambeth Performers In Action
Young Lambeth Performers
The Young Lambeth Performers in Performance November 2018 – December 2019
From a standing start a group of young children from the Lambeth Schools Enterprise began rehearsing in order to perform on stage at Cadogan Hall in November 2018 taking part in Sleeping Beauty with principal artists of the Bolshoi Ballet in front of over 1000 people including 150 of their contemporaries from different schools in Lambeth. No one was sure then how successful this project would become but the young children responded to the discipline of training and were eager to perform. The School of Classical Russian Ballet aims to enrich young children’s lives and the Young Lambeth Performers is a way to do this, it was very surprising, for example, that most of the children had never heard of a Fairy Tale or Tchaikovsky and this project helps combat that sort of cultural disadvantage as well as increasing confidence and team work while also tackling the lack of demanding, structured after school activities in the community. Have a look at the photos below to see the brilliant participation of these young people in the performance of a classical ballet on stage with a very contemporary twist.
April 2019 Cadogan Hall
From La Bayadère meets La Fille Mal Gardée
Most of the original YLP returned to rehearse and perform a second time at Cadogan Hall in April 2019 alongside Principal Artists of the Bolshoi Ballet, Kristina Kretova and Igor Tsvirko and students of the School of Classcial Russian Ballet in a specially choreographed version of Children’s Dance from Fille Mal Gardee. The membership had grown to over 25 and two boys from the original group decided to join the pre-vocational classes training very seriously six days a week. Not only were these young children understanding the discipline required of themselves to perform but also they were enjoying the rewards that discipline brings.
July 2019 marked a very special premiere for the YLP, when they performed in front of over 500 children from the local community, including many of their school friends and teachers, at the Oval. Although nervous at the he thought of performing in front of their friends they repeated their own dance from April at Cadogan Hall with additional choreography. They more than inspired their contemporaries with their hard work and dedication. They also showed that ballet is universal, not just for a few but for everyone. They have become increasingly proud of their own performance work and the impact this is able to produce.
November 2019 Cadogan Hall
Ballets Russes and Beyond
The Young Lambeth Performers group had reached maximum attendance with 30 children in the group. The School of Classical Russian Ballet was enormously proud of the growth in numbers and that so many of the young children had returned and were becoming almost professional in their commitment and discipline in attending rehearsals and waiting back stage to come on. This performance was a challenge with a story set to a piece by Shostakovich whose music they all loved to dance to with its rich rhythms. The houses literally came down as so many children entered the stage with evident pleasure, respect for their craft and a determination to please. We realised that we could no longer expand the numbers of the YLP until we have more space to offer within the school premises.
“We had to pinch ourselves sitting in the audience at Cadogan Hall seeing them all on stage in such glittering company !”
The YLP were ready to perform in front of their peers and teachers. They all arrived rehearsing beside the stage waiting their turn in the dress rehearsal. Thirty children had learned to organise themselves and perform with pride as a team together. We were truly proud of them and the teachers watching were astonished at the bravura moment with 6 boys on stage performing acrobatic turns to the applause of the audience.
In total, the children of the YLP have danced at 5 major performances for over 4000 people. This included over 1000 children from the local area, and 450 of their school peers.
THE YLP WILL RETURN TO CADOGAN HALL ON 24 TH MARCH IN DON QUIXOTE DREAMS.
A GIFT TO HELP THE YLP WILL PROVIDE BALLET SHOES, COSTUMES, TRANSPORT AND FOOD AND PAY FOR MORE SPECIALISED TEACHERS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS TO WORK AND CREATE WITH THEM.
DONATE TO THE YLP AND CHANGE THE OUTLOOK OF A YOUNG PERSON AND ENRICH THEIR LIVES.
CONTACT ELLIE GRATTON OR KARINA TOPOROVA AT INFO@CLASSICALBALLET.ORG OR ON 0207 498 0498.
The Associate Programme
The Associate Programme brings young children from the Lambeth Schools Enterprise into the school to take ballet classes. Access is open at all levels which the children more or less self-select. Boys are encouraged to join the boy’s programme, which offers classes four times a week. There are now 8 boys taking classes in this way, and The School of Classical Russian Ballet aims to have 12 by 2020 taking four serious ballet lessons a week. This is a significant step and these young boys not only are rightly proud of their dedication and achievement, they are an inspiration to others.