The results of a unique collaboration between The Royal Ballet School and the National Gallery
will receive a premier performance at The Royal Ballet School’s Margot Fonteyn Theatre, at the recently redeveloped Lower School, White Lodge at Richmond Park on May 8 and May 9.
Last December, 66 students from The Royal Ballet School, Forest Hill School and Sydenham Girls’ School met for the first time to begin producing their own creative responses to the theme of ‘the moving body’ as depicted in the National Gallery’s collection. They took part in discussion and drawing sessions at the National Gallery, followed by a creative movement workshop at The Royal Ballet Upper School in Covent Garden.
Since then the students, who are all aged 13-15, have been working with The Royal Ballet School’s Dance Partnership and Access Programme and one of the National Gallery’s freelance artists to create original dance and sculpture.
The dance and art projects focused on two paintings by Michelangelo: 'The Manchester Madonna' and 'The Entombment', as well as Titian’s 'Bacchus and Ariadne' and Giordano’s 'Perseus turning Phineas and his Followers to Stone'.
Photographs of the sculptures and a film about the project will be on display in the National Gallery in autumn 2009.
Since its founding in 2004, The Royal Ballet School’s Dance Partnership and Access Programme has worked extensively with London Secondary Schools. The project was also part of the National Gallery’s Line of Vision outreach programme which aims to ensure inclusion for young people. This project represents an exciting opportunity for both these flagship national Arts organisations to extend the scope of their education programmes.
Colin Wiggins, National Gallery Head of Education, said: “When the Gallery was founded in 1824, one of its stated aims was to provide a resource for the inspiration of young artists. Never did anyone say that this should be limited to visual artists and it is always exciting to break down barriers between different artistic disciplines. This collaboration offers a valuable opportunity for young people to experience the paintings first-hand, discuss their responses and engage creatively with the National Gallery’s collection by using it as an inspiration for their own work.”