Feature: The Royal Academy of Dance imaginative new dance classes inspired by the film Ballerina

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Photo: https://www.rad.org.uk/learn-to-dance/find-an-activity/childrens-repertoire-workshop

Félicie has one dream, to become a ballerina at the world’s best ballet school. She also has one big problem; she’s stuck in an orphanage with her best friend Victor hundreds of miles away.

…once you’ve mastered the steps: to be a great dancer is about the spirit you communicate on stage. “Passion is more important than technique,” Félicie is told. “How you deliver it, musicality, emotion. Every sound, every harmony needs to leave your body vibrating from the ends of your hair to the tips of your toes.

Inspired by the film Ballerina, The Royal Academy of Dance have created a new class exclusively taught by RAD Registered Teachers.

About the classes
RAD teachers around the United Kingdom and Ireland organise Ballerina-inspired classes in their studios, drawing on lesson plans created by the RAD. These classes aim to inspire children to dance through acting, storytelling and characterisation. Classes will also encourage students to respond creatively to music, and incorporate and adapt classical ballet repertoire. Two lesson plans have been made available to RAD Registered Teachers, one for ages 4-7 and one for ages 8-13.

As well as drawing on key themes from the film, the classes will explore French culture through music and imagery, and introduce young dancers to classical ballet repertoire through a range of activities for girls and boys.

How these classes vary from run of the mill ballet classes
Ballerina classes use the film as inspiration to encourage more students to try dance and to further their understanding of ballet. In addition to traditional ballet exercises, children will be taken on a creative journey through movement and dance to realise Felicie’s, the main character in the film, dream of becoming a ballet dancer. The classes focus upon creating movement inspired by what happens in the film, using the film’s narrative and characters as inspiration to tell a story through dance. However, each teacher will put their own unique spin on the exercises suggested in the lesson plan.

How the relationship with the Ballerina film came about?
Ballerina were looking for a leading dance organisation who could help to encourage young dancers to follow their dreams, like the character Felicie. The RAD was delighted to partner with the film and saw this as a great chance to offer more opportunities for our teachers and their students, and to encourage more children to dance.

The themes of the film
Ballerina tells the story of Felicie, an 11 year old orphan, who has one passion: dancing. Using Felicie’s incredible story, the film draws on themes of friendship, family, dance and never giving up on your dreams.

Felicie’s greatest dream is to become a ballet dancer with the Paris Opera Garnier. In order to achieve this dream, Felicie and her best friend Victor devise an incredible plan to escape from the orphanage that they live in and go to Paris. When they arrive in Paris, they find the enormous Eiffel Tower under construction and the Statue of Liberty in scaffolding ready to be shipped to New York. Everywhere Felicie and Victor look they see the city taking shape.

Felicie is willing to do anything to make it in Paris, and will even assume the identity of rival dancer Camille to fit into the dance school. Felicie undergoes intensive training in order to master her gracefulness and ballet technique, and to prepare for the challenge that is the Opera’s rigorous auditions. With her mentor Odette and Victor by her side, Felicie learns that nothing is impossible when it comes to achieving one’s dreams.

Throughout the UK, please check online timetable for more information

36 Battersea Square
SW11 3RA
+44 (0)20 7326 8000
Website: www.rad.org.uk

The RAD’s other story-inspired classes
The RAD offers a series of other children’s workshops inspired by books including the Gruffalo, Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Sleeping Beauty, as well as musical theatre workshops inspired by popular West End shows including Hairspray, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, Matilda and Mary Poppins.

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