Chance to Dance: 40 children shine in dance finale
Children perform new work in the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio.
Last Sunday 40 children aged 8-9 years old took over the Linbury Studio Theatre with Chance to Dance. They were performing Jam Tomorrow, a new ballet by Royal Ballet Soloist Kristen McNally.
Kristen, working with children for the first time, guided them through the themes and characters of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, harnessing the children’s imagination and sense of fun, allowing them to be themselves every step of the way.
The result was magical. The children, joined on stage by Royal Ballet dancers James Wilkie and Iohna Loots, danced their way through Wonderland – the flower garden, the sea of tears, clocks and doorways – to distract the ‘parents’ from eating the last jam tart!
Beforehand, backstage was buzzing with nerves and excitement, but once the show started natural performers were born. The children owned the stage and their personalities shone through as they brought Wonderland to life. The cherry on top was the reaction to Sunday’s performance: the children’s families were brimming with pride.
This is the first time a dancer from The Royal Ballet has choreographed for Chance to Dance, a company that offers children the opportunity to experience dance creatively. The annual performance is when everything starts to click into place. Children see the results of their hard work and get a full picture of the world of dance. With inspiration from dancers like Kristen, we see transformations takes place.