15 July 2011 at 5.17pm
Have you seen the ROH flashmob video that's doing the rounds?
The dance action happened in the interval of Dance Futures, as assembled young people and their parents enjoyed a drink in the august surroundings of our Paul Hamlyn Hall. Their attention was grabbed by the dainty opening notes of Tchaikovsky’s Sugar Plum Fairy and some rather marvellous ballet moves by members of The Ballet School and Company. There followed a swift change of tempo to Outkast’s Hey Ya as more assembled flashmobsters grooved and shook in synchronized fashion.
Flash-mobsters were recruited from all of the education projects that the ROH has run over the past year from colleges in Thurrock and the Thames Gateway, to members of the Peckham Academy. Also spotted strutting their stuff were key members of the Education department and some rather light-footed Royal Opera House ushers. Even ROH Chief Executive Tony Hall was seen to be discreetly tapping a toe.
The mob was rehearsed by contemporary choreographer Sarah Dowling who coached some 70 participants aged 7 -70, professionals and novices alike. Was it fun? Here are the words of one young groover:
It was amazing, I’ve always wanted to dance with The Royal Ballet, but my muscles ached like mad the next day, as I did not warm up enough!
Tom Nelson, Insight Programme Manager, was tasked with organising the event. Surprisingly, he said, "making it look spontaneous like this is much harder work than anything planned".
The motto seems to be that it’s never too late to start dancing (but you really must do a proper warm up first).