Northumberland Rappers at the Royal Opera House
On 4 November 2011, five Year 11 students of The Royal Ballet Lower School presented a display of Northumberland Rapping as part of a special ‘Insight’ event at the Clore Studio upstairs at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden entitled ‘Ninette de Valois: Step by Step’.
In front of an audience of some 180 people, the sold-out event focussed on de Valois’ vision for the training of students at The Royal Ballet School which she founded in 1926. A key element of that vision was that students be exposed to other forms of dance, especially British national dance: Morris Dance, Scottish Country Dance and Rapping.
De Valois’ training heritage lives on at White Lodge where every student receives regular sessions in thee forms of dance.
The five White Lodge Rappers are coached by English Folk Dance specialists Simon Rice and Ron Smedley and have become particularly popular at White Lodge public events and as part of The Royal Ballet School’s end-of-year Summer Season at the Royal Opera House. The group has also been invited to compete in the Rapper Youth Competition on 31 March 2012 at Cecile Sharp House in Camden – the headquarters of The English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Pictured: Four Lower School students performing at the Royal Opera House
Photo: Patrick Baldwin