Ballet stars of tomorrow dance their way to Harrogate’s Ashville College for world-class tuition

Posted: 31st August 2023

ASPIRING ballet stars took centre stage at Harrogate’s Ashville College for a three-week residential summer school where they received world-class tuition from dancers, teachers and choreographers from major ballet companies – including The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet to name a few.

This Summer marks 50 years since Yorkshire Ballet Seminars (YBS) offered students the opportunity to learn from, and be inspired by, industry professionals – giving them the chance to dance. In doing so, it brought top-level ballet instruction to the north of England for the first time.

Previously staged in Ilkley and York, YBS has found its new home at Ashville College, where the seminars have been held for several years – including in 2021 when internationally-renowned ballet dancer Wayne Sleep paid a visit.

YBS gives dancers aged 9 to 19 the opportunity to attend residential courses in the Summer and Easter holidays, in addition to hosting a variety of events throughout the year, with the aim of inspiring and nurturing young talent.

Its latest Summer Residential was led by Christopher Marney, a freelance choreographer and director who most recently held the position of director at the acclaimed Joffrey Ballet Studio Company in Chicago.

Previously he spent five years as Artistic Director of Central School of Ballet in London and its professional touring company, Ballet Central.

Whilst a dancer, Chris performed internationally for companies such as Balletboyz, Gothenburg Ballet, Ballet Biarritz, Bern Ballet and the Michael Clark Company.

As a choreographer, his most recent work includes Eve (Sadlers Wells) and Lady Macbeth (New National Theatre Tokyo).

He said: “I am thrilled to be part of YBS’ Summer Residential 2023 programme at Ashville, and to have the opportunity to work with a new generation of upcoming, talented, young dancers.

“There was no shortage of skills on show, and we hope the YBS team once again inspired, excited and fuelled all our students’ passion for dance.”

Anna Rakusen-Guy, Ashville’s Events and Lettings Manager, said: “We were thrilled to see the return of our friends from YBS, and to welcome Christopher, his colleagues, and the students to our facilities.

“We were especially pleased to play host to YBS in its 50th anniversary year, and to celebrate the positive impact it has made in the world of dance throughout decades of high-quality tuition. We look forward to many more years of YBS taking centre stage here at Ashville

“Our campus is used by a variety of external organisations and community groups. We are always delighted to open up our excellent facilities to support beneficial initiatives like YBS.”

Source- Ballet stars of tomorrow dance their way to Harrogate’s Ashville College for world-class tuition | The Boarding Schools’ Association

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