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Artistic director designate for The Royal Ballet School

Posted on July 11, 2013


christopherpowneybobbronshoffChristopher Powney, currently director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, has been appointed artistic director designate of The Royal Ballet School. He will take up the position in April 2014.


Gailene Stock, the current artistic director, is sadly still unwell. Jay Jolley continues in the role of acting director, and will lead the school’s artistic programmes into the 2013–14 academic year. The 2014 summer term will be a period of transition, after which Powney will take over running the school. Gailene Stock will retire on August 31, 2014.


Powney danced with Northern Ballet, English National Ballet and Ballet Rambert. He qualified with The Royal Ballet School’s Professional Dancers Teachers’ Course, and has years of international teaching experience. He has been assistant artistic director of the Central School of Ballet’s graduate touring company, a teacher at The Royal Ballet Upper School, graduate teacher at the Royal Conservatoire at The Hague and, since 2010, artistic director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy. During his career, he has worked with Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Gable, Jirí Kylián, Lynn Seymour, Christopher Bruce, Twyla Tharp, Frederic Franklin, Ohad Naharin and Glen Tetley.


Powney said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been selected to direct one of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools, and to return to my own country makes it even more special. This is a school full of exceptionally talented and motivated young dancers, and it will be my pleasure to help them realise their dreams. I look forward to working with the dedicated board and team of The Royal Ballet School to ensure that the School remains at the forefront of dance education.”


Lady Douro, chairman of the board of governors, said: “Gailene Stock’s work at the School has enabled it to become one of the top classical dance training centres in the world. Christopher is the unanimous choice of the appointment panel and they are convinced he will ensure the School’s continued success. He possesses the knowledge and skills we are looking for to take the School forward.”


Picture: Christopher Powney. Photograph: Bob Bronshoff




Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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