One of the unique opportunities of studying at The School of Ballet Theatre UK is working with the professional dancers of the Ballet Theatre UK Company, as part of the BA (hons) Ballet Performance degree programme. This close working relationship provides invaluable experiences where our graduate students can begin their transition from student to professional in preparation for their first job post-graduation.
Historically our graduate year students have completed this by joining the company for a production. The students work with the professional dancers and creative staff from rehearsals to stage. They then go on to perform in a national tour to venues throughout the UK. Students in the past have performed in titles such as The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swan Lake, The Snow Queen and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
However, this year due to the pandemic Ballet Theatre UK are currently unable to tour due to the theatre closures and lockdown restrictions. Although this traditional form of relationship is now not possible, it will not stop the vital collaborative work between the School and Company. Instead, we have launched a new entity, BTUK 2.
BTUK 2 is the Junior Ballet Company of Ballet Theatre UK. The aim of BTUK 2 is to create new and innovative work, providing performance opportunities to outstanding dancers at the start of their classical careers. Featuring new adaptations of classical repertoire as well as new choreography in ballet, neoclassical and contemporary dance genres, BTUK 2 will showcase the exceptional talents of our both our graduate students and professional dancers of Ballet Theatre UK.
We spoke with two of the dancers from BTUK 2 about this new project. Olivia Wright said
“ Being a graduate student in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions has been challenging and demanding. BTUK have managed this situation extremely well. The introduction of BTUK2 has allowed the opportunity of online performance, repertoire training and collaborative projects. I am delighted that this experience has arisen and am excited and committed to represent The School of Ballet Theatre UK via this online platform."
When looking ahead to the event Olivia added,
"I very much look forward to the streaming of this project and encourage those who follow the works of BTUK to support this fully. I am confident that this will be an excellent experience for all involved."
Our first event will be a digital streaming of a new programme titled ‘EMANATE’. This digital programme will feature six pieces of dance, all created during the lockdown. The final pieces will be edited together to create new and imaginative pieces of digital art. The programme will feature new work by Artistic Director, Christopher Moore, as well as pieces created by dancers of the Ballet Theatre UK company and the school faculty.
Dancer Melissa Riggs added
“I am beyond excited for our year to be the first cohort of BTUK2. After the time spent apart this past year, I am so grateful to come together with my friends and work on this project. In particular, collaborating with past and present company members in ‘The Dying Swan’ performance, whom I have looked up to throughout my time at the school.“
The programme will be screened online, Friday 16th April, 2021 7.30pm GMT. Tickets for the streaming will be free, however, donations can be made to contribute towards future projects for BTUK 2 and its dancers.
For more information about BTUK 2 and its upcoming events, visit the Ballet Theatre UK website for more information, www.BalletTheatreUK.com/BTUK2