The Royal Ballet School announces new Artistic Director Designate
The Royal Ballet School announces the appointment of Christopher Powney to the new post of Artistic Director Designate, who will take up his position in April 2014.
The summer term of 2014 will be a transitional period after which he will take over running the School from Gailene Stock CBE AM, who will retire on 31 August 2014.
A former teacher at The Royal Ballet Upper School, Christopher is currently Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy and has danced with Northern Ballet, English National Ballet and Ballet Rambert.
During his career he has worked with some of the world’s leading dancers and choreographers, including: Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Gable, Jiri Kylian, Lynn Seymour, Christopher Bruce, Twyla Tharp, Frederick Franklin, Ohad Naharin and Glen Tetley.
Lady Douro, Chairman of the Board of Governors, said: ‘Gailene Stock’s work at the School has enabled it to become one of the top classical dance training centres in the world. Christopher is the unanimous choice of the Appointment Panel and they are convinced he will ensure the School’s continued success. He possesses the knowledge and skills we are looking for to take the School forward.’
Christopher Powney said: ‘I am thrilled and honoured to have been selected to direct one of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools and to return to my own country makes it even more special. This is a school full of exceptionally talented and motivated young dancers and it will be my pleasure to help them to realise their dreams. I look forward to working with the dedicated Board and team of The Royal Ballet School to ensure that the School remains at the forefront of dance education.’
The School’s current Artistic Director, Gailene Stock, is sadly still unwell. Jay Jolley continues in the role of Acting Director and will lead the School’s artistic programmes into the 2013/14 academic year.
Christopher Powney has danced with many leading international dance companies including English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company. Powney turned his focus to teaching, having qualified with The Royal Ballet School’s Professional Dancers Teachers’ Course. He was Assistant Artistic Director of the Central School of Ballet’s graduate touring company and has had many years of international teaching experience. In 2000, he joined the teaching staff of The Royal Ballet Upper School. In 2006 he was invited to take on the position of graduate teacher with the dance department of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.
Christopher has also taught at the Monaco Dance Forum, been a member of the board for the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine and was a jury member of the 2011 Prix de Lausanne competition. In September 2010, he was appointed artistic director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy.
The Royal Ballet School
The Royal Ballet School is one of the world’s greatest centres of classical ballet training which for generations has produced dancers and choreographers of international renown – from Margot Fonteyn, Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell, Anya Linden, Darcey Bussell and Kenneth MacMillan, to a new generation currently making its mark on the world stage – Lauren Cuthbertson, Steven McRae, Edward Watson and Christopher Wheeldon to name but a few.
Admission to the School is based purely on talent and potential, regardless of academic ability or personal circumstances, and 90% of current students rely on financial support to attend the School.
The School’s mission is to train and educate outstanding classical ballet dancers for The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other top international dance companies, and in doing so to set the standards in dance training, nationally and internationally.
The School offers an eight-year carefully structured dance course, aligned with an extensive academic programme, giving the students the best possible education to equip them for a career in the world of dance.