White Lodge Open Day continues to be a popular choice in Richmond Park
One of the most eagerly anticipated events in the Borough of Richmond calendar, the White Lodge Open Day on Saturday 11 June, attracted more than 2,000 members of the general public.
Arranged by The Royal Ballet School Parent/Teachers Association, the Open Day is an opportunity to invite the general public into White Lodge and enjoy at close quarters the stunning Grade 1 listed building of the Kings Pavilion - a former 19th century Royal hunting lodge and a particularly fine example of the English Palladian style of architecture.
The White Lodge Open Day offers something for everyone with various craft stalls, a range of refreshments and variety of food options, face painting and party food for children, holistic massage for adults, tombola and raffle plus tours of the White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre.
The highlight was the range of performances on the lawn given by students of The Royal Ballet School and Junior Associates (part of the national vocational scheme run by the Outreach Programme for young people from 8 years old).
Thanks to the clement weather, performances ran throughout the day and audiences were treated to excerpts from some of the most popular ballets including The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and La Fille mal gardée. The programme also included ‘character’ dances such as the Mazurka and Tarantella as well as English national dances such as Morris, together with Scottish and Irish reels and much more besides.
More than £15,000 was raised for the Parent/Teacher Association with proceeds after expenses supporting the work of The Royal Ballet School and, in particular, to help fund projects and pay for equipment that the School would not normally be able to purchase.
Here’s what the public said:
‘It was an amazing event…well thought out and it had something for everyone throughout the day. To see all the students dancing was a real highlight.’ (Mrs S, Petersham)
‘I often see White Lodge in the distance across Pen Ponds and it was a lovely event and rare chance to visit a local landmark and see the work of one of our great cultural institutions.’ (Mr F, London)
‘The dancing was amazing and my face was painted as a blue butterfly.’
(Miss F, 8 years, Kingston)
‘Absolutely loved it! They should run them more often and more people can enjoy it!’ (Mrs Y, Richmond)
Pictured: Year 7 students of The Royal Ballet School performing L’heure de lecture by Nicola Katrak
Photo: Marius Arnold-Clarke