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The Royal Ballet Leap Into Doncaster With 300 Local School Children

Performances runFriday 23 – Saturday 24 September 2022.

The Royal Ballet take over Doncaster on 23 and 24 September with two spectacular Gala performances at CAST as well as a unique, free-to-watch, mass dance performance with 300 local school children on 24 September.

Led by Director of The Royal Ballet, Kevin O'Hare, and featuring stars of The Royal Ballet, these special Gala performances offer a dazzling showcase of some of the most exciting performers in dance today from across the Royal Ballet Company. This is a fantastic opportunity to sample the extraordinary range of the Company's acclaimed classical and modern ballet repertory. Cherished ballet classics will be included alongside works by Royal Ballet founding choreographer Frederick Ashton, though to contemporary work by Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor. Emerging choreographic talent from within the Company will also feature in the newly created programme.

Iconic classics include duets from Swan Lake performed by Doncaster born Royal Ballet dancer Charlotte Tonkinson, alongside La fill mal gardée, Le Parc and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Emerging choreographic talent will also be celebrated with new works by Royal Ballet dancers Kristen McNally and Joshua Junker who has set his latest work to the music of Elvis Presley.

The Royal Ballet's visit to Doncaster will also include a special free-to-watch, mass performance by 300 local school children in Sir Nigel Gresley Square outside the theatre on 24 September at 1.15pm. Children will perform a dance routine, Alice's Adventures in Doncaster inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland led by five dancers of The Royal Ballet including Doncaster local Charlotte Tonkinson in the role of Alice. Doncaster College Fashion student Page Waite's winning design for a new hat for The Mad Hatter has been made by the Royal Opera House Costume department and will have a starring role in the schools' performance.

The programme is part of the Royal Opera House's ongoing, ambitious partnership with Cast and Doncaster Council, which was set up to improve access to arts provision and advocate for the role that the arts play in improving the lives of young people. The partnership commenced in September 2019 and, following a year of postponements due to COVID-19, was recently extended into 2023. Its aim is to reach as many schools as possible across the borough by July 2023, inspiring creativity of the children of Doncaster and develop young talent through dance, music and theatre craft.

Deborah Rees, Director of Cast, said:

'This partnership marks a shared ambition for culture in Doncaster. Positive outcomes for local young people remain our greatest challenge as a town and our most exciting opportunity to inspire a generation. To be able to share this once-in-a-lifetime performance with the people of Doncaster, particularly those young people who have been taking part, will be a very special moment for Cast.'

Kevin O'Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said:

'We are delighted to be taking our hugely successful partnership with Doncaster to the next level this year. After the trials of the pandemic, it feels great to plan for in-person performances in Doncaster once again, and the Company is excited to bring the best of The Royal Ballet to Cast.'

Jillian Barker, Director of Learning and Participation at the Royal Opera House, said:

'It's wonderful to see our partnership with Doncaster go from strength to strength and witness the transformative power of dance and ballet in action. I'm proud that we are on track to reach most schools in Doncaster before next Summer, and in particular to see so many enthusiastic children and young people thrive and enjoy all that the performing arts have to offer.'

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said:

'We are delighted to welcome The Royal Ballet to Doncaster and this will be a wonderful opportunity for our residents, and particularly our young people, to have the chance to see this world-famous ballet company right here on our doorstep. We, along with our partners, are determined to raise our cultural offer across the borough and we are setting the bar high with these very special events.'

This programme is supported by Doncaster Creates.

The Royal Ballet Leap Into Doncaster With 300 Local School Children

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