Central School of Ballet’s graduate performing company play Crawley

Georgia Howlett
Georgia Howlett

Central School of Ballet’s graduate performing company Ballet Central brings its annual tour to The Hawth, Crawley on Monday, June 24 at 7.30pm.

And for dancer Georgia Howlett, originally from Horsham, it will be a West Sussex return.

“I am in my third year at Central, in my graduate year,” she says. “I moved away when I was 16. I did GCSEs and then skipped sixth form. It was great.

“We moved straight into student accommodation, and I love the independence. It was nice to have a change and to meet new people.

“I started ballet when I was three at my local school, Horsham School of Dance, and I did classical ballet until I auditioned.”

Ballet certainly answers a need: “I am very creative and I feel this is the best way that I can express that. There are so many mental and physical and creative challenges within all the styles that can really challenge you, and there is a lot of work put into the supplementary strength training on the outside. We have to be athletes.”

Georgia will graduate in July. She has been touring with the graduate performing company since March. In the meantime, she is looking at finding her ballet future in the big wide world out there.

“We are trying as much as we can to apply for different companies which is quite difficult to do alongside the tour, but that’s the aim.

“I have been to a few auditions abroad and I am working on applications, but it is a slow process. You want to be able to send off your best work. You do videos and send off your photo and CV.”

Under the artistic direction of Christopher Marney, Ballet Central have been offering a diverse range of dance and theatre as they perform in 20 venues across England over a five-month period before heading to Tokyo.

The idea is that the annual Ballet Central tour offers audiences across the country the chance to see the company’s young and dynamic dancers showcase some of the best dance theatre from current industry professionals alongside newly-commissioned work and refreshed classics from the world’s top choreographers.

A company spokesman said: “This season’s repertoire delivers an exciting performance of theatricality, technical excellence and drama choreographed by top dance industry influencers, with stunning costumes enhanced by powerful music.

“The repertoire includes Christopher Marney’s Carousel Dances, inspired by the 1945 musical Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein, a unique version of the Dying Swan Solo created by Calvin Richardson, and the company is delighted to present an extract from Frederick Ashton’s acclaimed Valses Nobles et Sentimentales performed to Maurice Ravel’s suite of waltzes.

“Following the wonderful response to Kenneth MacMillan’s piece in the 2018 tour, Ballet Central is honoured to present another excerpt from MacMillan’s works, House of Birds, based on the Grimm Brothers’ macabre fairy tale, Jorinda and Joringel.

“Ballet Central also presents Jasmin Vardimon’s (in between), a physical contemporary work first created with the National Youth Dance Company in 2013. And for the first time, Ballet Central is collaborating with Thiago Soares, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, who has created a new work with Ballet Central’s young dancers which will be premiered in London at a series of performances at the Bloomsbury Theatre in July.”

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