It’s that time of year already where at The Royal Ballet School we start to prepare for our annual dance assessments. The exams will take place in just over a month and we will be appraised in classical, variation, pas de deux, character and contemporary work. Our teachers have begun to set the classes which we will perform and be marked on by the panel, leaving us enough time to really work on and become familiar with what we need to show in order to be admitted to the graduate year. The lead up to the assessments is an important time to concentrate on all aspects of your daily training and ensure you achieve your goals.
This year for the variation exam I will dance the Sugarplum Fairy from The Nutcracker. I was taught the English National Ballet version by our teacher Daria Klimentova, who of course has performed the role many times herself. I am happy to be dancing this solo and I hope to give an appropriate interpretation both technically and artistically.
Next week the focus is on the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition. Similar to the Lynn Seymour Award before Christmas, this is an internal competition for 2nd year students of the Upper School only. Nine of my classmates have been creating a piece over the past few months to develop and explore their personal choreographic skills. Anyone could take part in the competition but not all dancers are willing or feel capable of going through the demands of a choreographic process. For some it is preferred to assist a choreographer or simply enjoy performing their work.
My involvement in the competition has been helping out two of my friends with their choreographies. My role was to be an outside eye to the development of their work; assisting rehearsals, making suggestions and supporting their ideas. In both cases I also helped to choose the title of their choreography. I have enjoyed this process and I admire the unique pieces they have created. I wish them both the very best for the competition and I hope my contribution to their choreographies has been worthwhile.