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Ballet Workshop

Posted on July 21, 2021

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Capital Ballet, in collaboration with The Cockpit, has organised a week of open rehearsals and performances providing dancers, choreographers and musicians with an opportunity to engage in their art form and reconnect with audiences. Ballet Workshop provides performing experience to recent graduates and early-stage professional classical and contemporary dancers who have had their training and careers interrupted by COVID-19. Focusing on creating new works, it brings dancers, choreographers and musicians together in one place to allow them to re-engage with all aspects of their craft.

“During the last year it has become clear that my mission is to create a company that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. Ballet Workshop is the first step in the long road ahead,” said Jamie Carter, programme director of Ballet Workshop and founder of Capital Ballet.

The scores used are by LGBTQ+ and minority composers. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Act II, with new choreography by Carter, has been arranged for piano and violin, reflecting the intimate nature of the performance space. Ethel Smyth’s Sonata of Piano and Violin provides the setting for Jacqueline Back’s duet for two women. The songs of “Empress of the Blues” Bessie Smith have been compiled by Carter into a series of vignettes performed by jazz vocalist Julia Titus.

Open rehearsals take place from August 23 to 26, from 7–9pm, and performances are at 7.30pm on August 27 and at 1.45pm and 7.30pm on August 28. All feature musical accompaniment. Tickets are available from

Pictured: Jamie Carter. Photograph: Matthew Holler. 

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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