The Royal Ballet School announces World Premiere

March 8, 2013

Press Releases

The Royal Ballet School announces World Premiere ballet

royal ballet school

World premiere for The Royal Ballet School’s end of year matinée on 14 July 2013 on the main stage of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.


Performance also features works by Maurice Béjart, Jiří Bubeníček and Valentino Zucchetti.


A specially commissioned one-act ballet entitled La Destinée will be the centrepiece of The Royal Ballet School’s end-of-year matinée on the main stage of the Royal Opera House on 14 July 2013.


Choreographed by the School’s Head of Outreach and Teacher Training Mark Annear, La Destinée will feature a new score by young British conductor and composer, Michael England, to be performed by the orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Sets and costumes will be designed by British-born alumnus of The Royal Ballet School, Gary Harris.


Sponsored by Stephen and Caroline Butt, La Destinée will showcase the exceptional talent of students from all three years of The Royal Ballet Upper School, and will also feature on stage a quintet made up of students from The Royal Academy of Music playing new string instruments from The Calleva Collection. The first ever collection of its kind in a conservatoire, The Calleva Collection at the Royal Academy of Music is a significant collection of new instruments crafted by the finest makers and commissioned by Stephen and Caroline Butt.


Although not essentially a narrative ballet, La Destinée is set in a palatial European ballroom in the late 1800s and explores a woman’s memories of distant times and past loves as she faces up to the realities of present-day solitude.


Excerpts from Maurice Béjart’s Seven Greek Dances, to music by the great Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, will also be performed. Seven Greek Dances was premiered in 1983 by Béjart’s Ballet of the 20th Century in New York and this version has been restaged especially for The Royal Ballet School by Jean Yves Esquerre who was a member of Béjart’s company.

The young Czech choreographer Jiří Bubeníček will stage his Canon in D Major, to Pachelbel’s well-known music of the same name. Canon in D Major was originally part of a longer work entitled Le Souffle de l’Esprit, created in 1992 and inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of the human body. Currently a Principal Dancer at the Semperoper Ballet, Dresden Jiří Bubeníček’s choreography has been performed by New York City Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, The National Ballet of China, North Carolina Dance Theater as well as for his home company in Dresden.

Former student of The Royal Ballet School, Valentino Zucchetti will stage his Sonata for Six to César Franck’s Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano. A Soloist with The Royal Ballet, Valentino Zucchetti first choreographed a piece to Franck’s music for the Company’s Draft Works at the Linbury Studio Theatre in 2011 and Sonata for Six is a development of that original creation.

To showcase the talents of the younger students at the Lower School and the First Year at the Upper School, a new ballet will be created by members of the Royal Ballet School’s Artistic Team, Diane van Schoor and Antonio Castilla, to Dmitri Kabalevsky’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in D Major (also known as the ‘Youth’ Concerto)

The climax of the end-of-year matinee is the spectacular Grand Défilé, featuring all 225 students of the school in a dazzling display of virtuosity.

rows of ballet students on stage

The students of the Royal Ballet School in the Grand Defile 2012 Photograph : Johan Persson

The Royal Ballet School is grateful for the generosity of its sponsors:

La Destinée, sponsored by Caroline and Stephen Butt

Canon in D Major, sponsored by Christopher Gorman Evans

Seven Greek Dances, sponsored by Candy Hurst Brown

Trio Sonata, sponsored by Anna Birkett

New ballet (title TBA) by Diane van Schoor and Antonio Castilla, sponsored by William and Judith Bollinger as part of the Sir Peter Wright Choreographic Programme


The Royal Ballet School’s Choreographic Training Programme is sponsored by the Royal Opera House Foundation.


To book tickets

Box Office: Tickets available from 10am on 9 April online via The Royal Opera House

Tel: +44(0)20 7304 4000


Mark Annear, choreographer of La Destinée

The Royal Ballet School’s Head of Outreach and Teacher Training, Mark Annear was born in Melbourne, Australia and is a graduate of The Australian Ballet School.  He performed with the Dancers Company in 1980 and was accepted into the Australian Ballet in 1981 where he performed a wide number of leading roles. In 1985, while continuing his dancing career, he was appointed Assistant to the Ballet Staff of The Australian Ballet which involved administrative and teaching duties. Mark has worked extensively in vocational dance training for over twenty years. From 1989 – 1991 Mark was Lecturer in Classical Dance at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and from 1992 a senior classical teacher at the Australian Ballet School.  At The Australian Ballet School Mark was appointed to the position of Head of Senior School and Head of Academic Studies in 1998 and in 2009 he was appointed to the position of Head of Teacher Training and Community Access.  From 2011 Mark is the Head of Outreach and Teacher Training at the Royal Ballet School, London. Mark has been a guest teacher and choreographer with a number of schools and companies including West Australian Ballet, Meryl Tankard Company, Compangie Preljocaj, Royal New Zealand Ballet, the Beijing Dance Academy, Canada’s National Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School. As a choreographer, Mark has created nearly fifty ballets for The Australian Ballet School, the West Australian Academy of performing Arts, the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, West Australian Ballet and the Dancers’ company. Two of Mark’s ballets – Tchaikovsky Suite and Mendelssohn Concerto – have been performed by The Royal Ballet School.



Michael England, Composer of La Destinée

Michael England was born in Colchester and went on to study at Huddersfield University. Since then he has embarked on a highly successful career as a conductor, composer and musical director. Orchestral credits include The Philharmonia (at Buckingham Palace), Royal Scottish National Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Sinfonietta, Slovenia Radio Symphony Orchestra (also televised) the Nederlands Balletorkest and the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.Within the Musical Theatre he has conducted the West End productions of The Phantom of the Opera; Les Misérables, The Producers, Jerry Springer – The Opera (also screened on BBC TV) and Monty Python’s Spamalot. In addition to this he was conductor for the world première concert version of Evita, (NSO) held at Hylands Park, with an audience of 14,000. He has worked as an accompanist in London, Paris and New York and has been Musical Director for Tony Award winner Liliane Montevecchi; Olivier Award winner Ruthie Henshall; and for John Barrowman. Michael has composed music for film, TV, theatre and ballet, as well as writing arrangements performed at both the London Palladium and Drury Lane. He wrote and conducted orchestrations for Ruthie Henshall’s album, Pilgrim as well as orchestrating the European première of The Ballad of Little Jo, the acclaimed production of Company and most recently Judy & Liza. In April 2007 he helped set a new world record in Trafalgar Square for ‘The Worlds Largest Coconut Orchestra’! conducting an ensemble of 5,877 people!


Gary Harris, Set and Costume Designer of La Destinée

Gary was born in London, and trained at the Arts Educational and The Royal Ballet Schools. He joined London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) in 1978 and was one of the Company’s leading soloists until he left in 1985 to pursue a career as a freelance dancer, performing in West End shows, including On Your Toes, La Cage aux Folles and Phantom of the Opera. He has worked the world over as a dancer, teacher, répétiteur and designer. In 1991 he joined the Royal Ballet, London, as notator and répétiteur, working with choreographers such as William Forsythe and Kenneth MacMillan and re-staging the works of Fredrick Ashton. He assisted Kenneth MacMillan in the first staging Manon for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1990, and restaged Song of the Earth for the same company in 1996. He was Associate Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet and choreographed a cast of 1,200 performers for the handover of Macau back to China in 1999. Gary was Artistic Director of The Royal New Zealand Ballet from September 2001 – December 2010. For the RNZB, he restaged Swan Lake, Paquita, Coppelia and Giselle. The company premiered his production of The Nutcracker in 2005 and Don Quixote in 2008. Notable design commissions include The Sleeping Beauty and Raymonda for The National Ballet of China, Christopher Hampson’s Double Concerto for English National Ballet and Saltarello, Esquisses and The Sleeping Beauty for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Since returning from New Zealand, Gary has continued re-staging the works of Kenneth MacMillan.

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