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Outreach Work (Peter Brinson)


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I am interested to know, especially having read in the forum 'Doing Dance' about the lack of knowledge on 'normal' schools part regarding dance and dancing students how the outreach programmes in the UK work. Do the companies get in contact with and visit the schools, or vice versa ? I remember in the late '70's or early '80's members of either the RB or London Festival Ballet  (sorry can't remember which one) visited our local town hall performed a couple of excerpts of Coppelia and Fille and gave a Q&A session. It was open (and free) to all, many local schools attended and it gave a valuable glimpse (especially to the young boys !) into the rigors and skill involved in ballet. Does this sort of event still happen ? Although it was before my time I know that Peter Brinson did tremendous work with 'Ballet for All' in the '60's and early '70's and, as an aside, if anyone is aware if his written articles are available as a volume I'd be very keen to find out. x

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I know that both NB and BRB have had strong outreach programmes for many years but I suppose it depends on whether the schools want to be involved.

 

Here is NB's page

 

Here is BRB's page

 

I am sure other companies have similar programmes too.

 

I have attended midweek matinees where I have been made aware that some of the schools in attendance have been part of an outreach programme.  I suppose the trouble is that people may still not realise the amount of dedication and physical activity that is required of a dancer.

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Many thanks Janet,

 

I feel that outreach is so important and I'm sure if financial resources were not an issue many dancers and companies would be very willing to visit schools and show children and staff 'up close and personally' (so to speak) what the art form entails....Maybe one day :)

 

“The arts open your heart and mind to possibilities that are limitless. They are pathways that touch upon our brains and emotions and bring sustenance to imagination. Human beings’ greatest form of communication, they walk in tandem with science and play, and best describe what it is to be human.”
-Jacques d’Amboise

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Scottish Ballet has always done a lot of outreach work and this is the portal to their education site

 

http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/education/introduction.html

 

They held essay competitions for adults as well as children and other projects when developing Hanset and Gretel.

 

They are also active in the Get Scotland Dancing project which includes a free dance class

 

http://www.getscotlanddancing.org/

 

PS I remember  "Ballet for All" very well, It performed in village halls and school theatres all round the country in the 1970s. We tried to get them to St Andrews for our first arts festival in February 1971 but we got Scottish Theatre Ballet instead who were more than acceptable. I remember they danced the day we changed over to decimal currency,

 

PPS

 

I suppose productions like "My First Ballet: Coppelia" and Three Little Pigs" which are intended for very small kids from age 3 and upwards carry on Ballet for All's mission.

Edited by terpsichore
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 I'm sure if financial resources were not an issue many dancers and companies would be very willing to visit schools and show children and staff 'up close and personally' (so to speak) what the art form entails....Maybe one day :)

 

I attended a breakfast meeting at Quarry Hill for Leeds professionals and businessmen in September where Mr Skipper (the CEO of Northern Ballet) said that the company had actually made money from "The Ugly Duckling". in fact he quoted the return on investment which was impressive. These activities and other innovative ways of raising money such as Bounden an app which the Dutch company The Games Oven is developing with the Dutch National Ballet can be good business.

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Jane S, thank you and yes I'm familiar with the book as well as some articles written for Dancing Times. I really enjoy his writing and have done a bit of searching and found a journal called Dance Research online, which I believe he also contributed to. Now it's just a matter of trying to get hold of it.....!x

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I can only comment on the royal ballet programme as I don't know anything about the others outreach programmes. Personally I think it is a little disappointing, The 'chance for dance' programme is amazing for the 30 schools involved but I would rather 300 schools got one session each which could very well be enough to inspire children to try ballet. Again, the 'family Sunday' event was good but not well advertised (I receive flyers for practically every production but still nothing for family sundays). How would people know about it without checking the website and if they are doing that then surely it's not the demographic that is trying to be reached! Events like that really do need to be taken out of London too, the ticket price may have been very reasonable but journey time and cost for those not living nearby would be enough to put off anyone with a casual interest.

Northern ballet did a fabulous job with the ugly duckling because it was on a popular kids tv programme a lot of kids saw it who would never have normally watched ballet. They toured to lots of provincial theatres and tickets were very cheap.

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Thanks Moomin, that's the sort of thing I was also interested in...How many schools in the 'provinces' get the chance to see ballet ? Even if it's a pas de deux and a couple of solos in the local hall...I think it would make an impression.

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