Prize for Education 2019
My First Ballet 2020 © Danilo Moroni i
English National Ballet [ENB]’s mission is to bring ballet to the widest possible audience. Our co-founder Anton Dolin first visited school pupils in the 1950’s to inspire them about ballet, and reaching young people still forms a cornerstone of our work.
Our My First Ballet series are classical ballets specially devised for the youngest audiences, aged 3+. Creating a magical gateway into dance, we are investing in the future of ballet, planting the seed for tomorrow’s audience. By relaxing and de-mystifying the art form, My First Ballet welcomes a wide range of people, forging lifelong connections to the arts. First launched in 2012, each year the project evolves – adapting new ballets and developing associated outreach projects to widen our reach and deepen engagement.
Our project for the FEDORA Education Prize is My First Ballet in spring 2020. ENB will commission a choreographer and creative team to adapt a classical ballet for young audiences. Touring to London and regional theatres nationwide, we will diversify ballet’s reach encompassing the whole country.
Our ambition is to schedule relaxed theatre performances for young people throughout the run, opening up the production in more ways. Alongside the performances, outreach projects will interlink with My First Ballet to further expand engagement and demystifying ballet. These will include in-theatre family workshops, exploring the choreography, narrative and costumes. We also want to deliver SEND and Early-years workshops inspired by My First Ballet taking place beyond the stage, in schools, nurseries and community centres.
Tamara Rojo (Spanish), Artistic Director of English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, will lead the artistic team for My First Ballet 2020. Tamara’s vision is the driving force in all aspects of ENB’s artistic and outreach work, creating a joined-up approach to reaching the youngest audiences, with the same commitment to telling ballet narratives in new ways and revitalising them for modern audiences as in our main artistic programme.
The choreographer will be selected in 2019 for My First Ballet 2020, with the focus on artistic excellence and modern story interpretation. The cast of My First Ballet, currently in their first year at English National Ballet School are hugely international, including Italian, Belgium, Norwegian, British, Spanish, Australian, Japanese, Canadian and American students.
Fleur Derbyshire-Fox (British), Engagement Director at English National Ballet will lead on creating the accompanying workshops to My First Ballet within the project.