Classically British 2015

October 16, 2015

After a decade of dazzling performances to packed audiences, in Edinburgh and London, Classically British returns to its home The Tabernacle, W11 as part of Black History Month.

Artistic Director of the Mark Elie Dance Foundation and Portobello Dance School, born and bred in West London has both nurtured and inspired young people to look at classical dance with fresh eyes. His motto of “diversity and access for all, no matter your shape, size or colour” has a joyful ring. Classically British aims to shine light on female black dancers and the scarcity of them in our British ballet institutions. One of his successes is former student of Portobello Dance School Kim Sojourna, who is now a member of the Rambert Company.

Those in the audience will be tantalised by a work in progress, Ballet Belle. Inspired by the story of Dido Belle; an illegitimate child of an English captain, who grew up amongst the aristocracy in Kenwood House London, alongside new dance pieces by the Classically British Company.

A guest appearance from Vincent Hantam, the first non-white male dancer to perform with Scottish Ballet in 1975, will be presenting two new pieces of work, with the Classically British dancers.

The event is a valuable educational experience, by providing an open dress rehearsal for local school children. It includes an interactive question and answer hosted by Artistic Director Mark Elie, Marie Kamara (Ballet Negre), and Leyton Williams (Matthew Bourne’s Company, Billy Elliot).

Classically British continues crossing boundaries and stereotypes, presenting a fusion of dance – classical ballet with flamenco, contemporary and street.