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Jan McNulty

New Adventures and Central School of Ballet announce a new partnership

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Not good news for all the talented dancers in other schools who won't get this opportunity. Such a shame that someone like Matthew Bourne has identified a preferred school when he of all people has a reputation for taking a wider range of dancers. I really don't know what is to be gained from these types of collaborations other than to deny others opportunities. Companies should just take the best dancer for the job regardless of school attended.

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That's the cut throat world of dance for you. I am sure the company will continue to have open auditions for company places making those accesible to all.

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Not good news for all the talented dancers in other schools who won't get this opportunity. Such a shame that someone like Matthew Bourne has identified a preferred school when he of all people has a reputation for taking a wider range of dancers. I really don't know what is to be gained from these types of collaborations other than to deny others opportunities. Companies should just take the best dancer for the job regardless of school attended.

 

RBS have associations with Royal Ballet Company and Birmingham Royal Ballet, Elmhurst have associations with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Tring have students have opportunities with ENB, ENBS have associations with ENB, RCS have associations with Scottish Ballet. Rambert School students get opportunities with Rambert Company. How wonderful that Central now have an association for the grad year with Matthew Bourne. Any additional collaboration for our Upper Schools is positive. Mathew Bourne has regular open auditions for the Company and will take the best dancers for professional contracts irrespective of where they have trained. 

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Some of the other links are based on historical reasons e.g. schools set up specifically to support companies a long time ago and the nature of these relationships ebb and flow and are not very strong in some cases.

 

This is different as it is something brand new which has been deliberately created and seems to be more than a link as it talks about auditions for student associates specifically at Central and it seems unfair to limit this to one school, especially in this day and age where ballet is a global business and we are trying to widen participation and access and give equality of opportunity to all. I just think it is a step backwards and sends the wrong message.

 

It also tries to play on its long history of employing dancers from Central but in reality MB has employed dancers from all over and also has employed many dancers from contemporary and musical theatre schools as well in the past, so why favour one school in particular.

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The only historical link I can think of off-hand is RBS with RB and BRB. ENBS may have been set up by ENB but in recent years they do not seem to have been taking many of the students into the company (to the benefit of NB).

 

What other historical associations are you aware of tabitha?

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I can't imagine that this or any other company would employ only newly-graduated dancers, and recruit them from only one particular vocational school.

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Looking at the graduate placing from centrals own website, no students have gone straight from school to MB in the last couple of years (one girls this year from the press release above as no 2016 graduate info on website). And previous to that just the odd one here or there. There doesn't seem to be any particular trend that Central students have taken many places at all. This associate programme has come about due to the appointment of the new Artistic Director I imagine - good for him for being able to pull it off, his links with MB and his vision for the school are probably why he was placed in the role. Having watched the school closely over many years I feel a change in the leadership was well overdue. This new affiliation will surely raise the standards of the school and make it a far more attractive option for students wishing to train professionally.

 

The school does not seem to have delivered students recently like it used to, I don't know the reason for this, and I have seen many talented students enter the school. I know the job market has changed massively over the last 20 years, schools need to adapt rapidly. I feel pretty sure MB will only select dancers that fit his criteria, no matter where they are trained.

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The other historical association between school and company was of course between Central and Northern Ballet. This has tapered off in recent years but was definitely a strong link for many years. Doesn't mean Northern ONLY took Central graduates.

 

This link between school and company is not new, and has never meant that a company will *only* take from a certain school - link/feeder school or not. IIRC, despite the links with RCS, I'm pretty sure Central has sent graduates to Scottish Ballet, for example.

 

Perhaps the only exception is Kevin O'Hare whose graduates probably only come from RBS (plus Prix winners etc.) but RBS US is a special case in many ways, graduate employment rates included.

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I find your comment very insulting Harwel regarding Central not delivering students as well as they used to. I know of lots of students who have managed to secure contracts, some in their first year of graduating and others in their second year after graduation. The training is and always was of a high standard with excellent teachers. As you say the job market has become more tough, more companies want dancers with experience post graduation. My daughter graduated from Central last year, she secured a place with Norther graduate programme and has now got a job, most of her friends this year have also secured contracts.

Well done to Central, ( good old British training )for making links with NA, it is a cut throat world out there.

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Some of the other links are based on historical reasons e.g. schools set up specifically to support companies a long time ago and the nature of these relationships ebb and flow and are not very strong in some cases.

 

This is different as it is something brand new which has been deliberately created and seems to be more than a link as it talks about auditions for student associates specifically at Central and it seems unfair to limit this to one school, especially in this day and age where ballet is a global business and we are trying to widen participation and access and give equality of opportunity to all. I just think it is a step backwards and sends the wrong message.

 

It also tries to play on its long history of employing dancers from Central but in reality MB has employed dancers from all over and also has employed many dancers from contemporary and musical theatre schools as well in the past, so why favour one school in particular.

Nobody seems to mind that the Aud Jebsen young dancers programme at the Royal Ballet appears to particularly favour RBS students.

 

When it comes to widening participation and access, and giving opportunities to young people, take a look at Re-Bourne...

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I think that this arrangement evens things up somewhat. Central does not have an associated company and its historical association with NB seems to have weakened in recent years. Students at the RBS, Elmhurst and ENBS all have opportunities to dance with their associated companies in their last year or two of upper school. Tring also provides students for certain ENB productions but that is only the younger students. And New Adventures is only taking two Central graduates a year, isn't it? Central is hardly scooping up all the contracts through this partnership.

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How lovely that New Adventures has given these two talented students a wonderful opportunity to be apprentices and experience working with the company - I am so pleased for them. Other schools are able to give their students the experience of dancing with their related company in small roles (RB, BRB, ENB, Rambert and BTUK), as has already been mentioned. 

There was a huge open company audition for The Red Shoes ( I believe well over a thousand applied ), so huge congratulations to the successful applicants - Seren, the Central graduate, one of the successful ones, is a beautiful, expressive performer, which is a huge tribute to her and the school where she trained.

Bring on more success for our lovely, british trained dancers  :)

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I'm sorry you find my comments insulting Tulip. I have stated something I have felt about Central which is a personal opinion. I have watched the school for 30 years and I have always believed it to be an excellent school - I am not attacking the students but I think this new appointment will be very beneficial to the school and make them better dancers.

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Sorry Jazzpaws I don't understand your post as the Central students on this apprentice scheme are Brittanie Dillon and Stephen murray so not sure who you are referring to with Seren?

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Hang on do you mean another Central student has a definite role in The Red Shoes.....which I must book soon!!

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Hang on do you mean another Central student has a definite role in The Red Shoes.....which I must book soon!!

Didn'tmean to be misleading - i was referring to the company audition held back in April - huge response, just shows how tough it is x

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Sorry Jazzpaws I don't understand your post as the Central students on this apprentice scheme are Brittanie Dillon and Stephen murray so not sure who you are referring to with Seren?

Seren Williams graduated from Central in the summer and has been given a contract with New Adventures company.

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Sorry senior moment.

It doesn't surprise me though..... there seem to be a lot of lovely dancers getting into Central

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Seren also performed with Dane Hurst's company at Dulwich Picture Gallery last week. It was a series of performances inspired by Winifred Knight's painting The Deluge which was one of the pictures displayed as part of an exhibition devoted to her work this summer.

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Northern Ballet School provide some students to perform with ENB Company during the winter months when ENB perform in Manchester each year. ENB Company also use the school for their morning ballet classes during this time. Only 100 students in school ( just over 30 in each year) so it's lovely when ENB Company are in. My DD loved it last year. A small group of students including DD were asked to come to a ballet class watched by the principles of the company! DD loved it as they spoke to her afterwards too.x

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