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News: Birmingham Royal Ballet and Royal Academy of Dance announce new partnership

Jan McNulty

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And the press release:


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Caroline Miller, Birmingham Royal Ballet CEO, RAD President Dame Darcey Bussell, RAD Artistic Director Gerard Charles. Photo by Tricia Yourkevich


Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) are delighted to announce a new partnership which will create stronger links to the professional world of ballet for RAD teachers and their students through an exciting programme of events and exclusive experiences. 


The programme which will launch in February 2022, following consultation with RAD teachers, will include a series of pre-show talks as part of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote UK tour throughout February and March, as well as practical workshops with dancers and staff, offering insights into various aspects of Company life, both on and off-stage. 


The programme begins with a focus in the UK but both Birmingham Royal Ballet and RAD are keen to harness digital technology, to reach RAD teachers and students around the world. Birmingham Royal Ballet and RAD have worked together to create a unique programme of opportunities for dance teachers and students, including pre-show talks, insights into the Company’s technical departments and choreography and music workshops.


RAD’S Artistic Director Gerard Charles says: ‘The RAD is committed to providing our teachers and students with enriching and high quality experiences. There is so much more to studying ballet than simply learning the steps, and so we are delighted that Birmingham Royal Ballet will be lifting the curtain on company life and the artistry and creativity that makes it a leading dance company. We are all part of a large dance community that includes beginners, experienced dancers and teachers, and we learn from each other.  I cannot wait to see how our dancers and teachers benefit from this amazing opportunity.’


Pearl Chesterman, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director of Learning, Engagement, Access & Participation said: ‘The ambition is not only to inspire more young dancers through RAD teachers and their dance schools but also to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the art form.  As a Company we see a real opportunity to develop the audiences of the future.’


RAD and Birmingham Royal Ballet both passionately believe that ballet can be enjoyed by everyone, so to mark the beginning of the partnership, RAD and Birmingham Royal Ballet have today launched an Instagram Reels and TikTok dance challenge inspired by festive favourite The Nutcracker. The challenge is extended to dancers everywhere, to show us their best moves to a specially composed piece of Cuban inspired Nutcracker music. Dancers can take inspiration from Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers Hannah Martin, who won a bronze medal in The Fonteyn 2021, RAD’s flagship international ballet competition, as well as Javier Rojas, Eilis Small and Emma Price, throughout December.  Simply head to Instagram to join in the fun and don’t forget to share your take on this Christmas classic by tagging both organisations and using #SugarCube. RAD and BRB will be sharing their favourite entries on their social media channels throughout December. You can also head to the RAD’s recently launched TikTok channel to join the fun.











Birmingham Royal Ballet


Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s leading touring ballet company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as groundbreaking new works with the aim of encouraging choreographers of the future. The Company’s Director since January 2020 is the internationally renowned Carlos Acosta. Birmingham Royal Ballet performs at Birmingham Hippodrome for approximately ten weeks of the year and the remainder of the year tours throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. On average, the Company performs 175 shows a year nationally and internationally. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra; it is also Britain's busiest ballet orchestra. The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and other leading ballet companies, including performances with:  The Royal Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Kirov, Norwegian Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and La Scala Ballet.


About the Royal Academy of Dance

Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the most influential dance education and training organisations in the world with a strong global membership in 85 countries. Established in 1920 to improve standards and re-invigorate dance training, the Academy helps and encourages its teachers to perfect their teaching skills and pass on this knowledge to their students. There are currently over 1,000 students in full-time or part-time teacher training programmes with the Academy and each year the examination syllabus is taught to thousands of young people worldwide, with around a quarter of a million pupils per year going on to take RAD exams.  In Spring 2022 the RAD moves to its new global headquarters, a £20million project that provides state of the art facilities, including a new 193-seat theatre for teachers and students and the chance to deepen community engagement initiatives in Wandsworth and across London.

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