On Wednesday 10 May 2017 the 2nd Year students at the Royal Ballet School, Upper School in Covent Garden performed a selection of their choreographies for the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award.
Nine students were shortlisted to show their choreography, collaborating with fellow dancers to direct and stage the work. Each piece was then performed to an audience, including the judging panel: Aletta Collins, Kevin O’Hare, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon.
Congratulations to the 2017 winner Rebecca Blenkinsop, with her piece Fajjar. She started dancing at the age of 11 and was accepted into the Victorian College of Arts Secondary School in Melbourne. Now in her third year at The Royal Ballet School we look forward to watching this talented young dancer’s career blossom over the coming years. Rebecca’s award has been kindly donated by John Frost AM as part of The Leanne Benjamin Awards.
Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to support a young Australian or New Zealand dancer.
The Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award, generously supported by Peter Wilson, was created in 1973 to encourage choreographic talent. Winners have included Adam Cooper, Matthew Hart, Michael Clark, Jonathan Burrows, William Tuckett, Christopher Hampson, Christopher Wheeldon, Cathy Marston and Liam Scarlett, all of whom have gone on to have careers as choreographers.
It is an annual opportunity for students to create their own choreography. Each student is given two formal showings with feedback from guest choreographers, and regular discussions and meeting points to reflect on the students’ progress.
For the choreographers and their contributing dancers, this learning and development process has been a rich and rewarding time. These are the first or second pieces made by these choreographers and the award performance is followed by a feedback session with one of the judges.
The school is extremely grateful to receive funding for the creative and improvisation workshops. These stimulate ideas and encourage creative development in the choreographers and their dancers. It also enables music advice, guest choreographic feedback and collaboration with professionals on design, to realise the choreographers’ ideas for costume and video projection. Our thanks go to The Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation and June Drew, in memory of David Drew. We are also grateful to Peter Wilson who generously sponsors the competition.
The choreographic programme runs across two years at the Upper School, offering improvisation and choreographic strategies in a range of projects. In the 1st Year, students create short sketches on a given theme, whenever possible with live music and also see performances by visiting companies. In the 2nd Year, all students are involved in the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award.