Local Student Dancer Embarks on Four-month Ballet Tour

Carla Copeman from Hammersmith performing at venues across England

Carla going through some exercises in preparation

Carla Copeman, a final year dance student from Hammersmith in west London, is performing with dance company Ballet Central on a four-month, 11 venue tour across England.

The tour will include a performance in in London at the Lilian Baylis Studio Theatre in Sadler’s Wells on 16 May and finish at the Britten Theatre on 13 and 14 July.

Carla, aged 18, attended Lady Margaret School in Fulham and trained with West London School of Dance. She is now in the final year of a three-year BA (Hons) Professional Dance & Performance degree at the Central School of Ballet in London. Central is a centre for professional dance training providing graduates with opportunities for employment in the world’s foremost dance companies and international musical theatre productions.

Carla said: “Through the Ballet Central tour I will be able to learn the wider technical aspects of touring such as wardrobe and lighting and how they come together to make the performance special for the audience.” Carla continued: “My career ambition is to work in a professional dance company, and to have the chance to perform classical ballet, neoclassical or contemporary dance. This year, by joining Ballet Central, I have become particularly interested in contemporary dance and the enjoyment of the freedom of movement this type of dance allows.”

The annual Ballet Central tour offers audiences across the country the chance to see the company’s dancers showcase choreography from current industry professionals alongside newly commissioned work and refreshed classics from the world’s top choreographers. Performing a range of repertoire on tour over several months to ticket-buying audiences aims to be an enriching experience for the students, enhancing their skills and development, making them particularly employable.

Under the artistic direction of Artist-in-Residence Mikaela Polley and Artistic Director Kate Coyne, Ballet Central will present three new pieces this year created on Central’s dancers. Mikaela Polley’s new piece Unbound involves the entire company, created as a celebration of the dynamism of the ensemble bringing classical ballet and contemporary dance together. New choreography from the dance industry influencer Ashley Page, Twice Removed, is to music by the composer John Adams. Ballet Black’s Mthuthuzeli November, also a former dancer on the Ballet Central tour, has created a new piece Sunset in Cape Town. Cathy Marston’s piece Moving, Still is being restaged especially for this year’s Ballet Central tour.

Mikaela Polley, Artist-in-Residence said: “The experience of working with renowned choreographers in the creative process is invaluable for student dancers. They learn to absorb, understand, and interpret the story of each piece and the choreographers’ different ways of working. This accelerates their growth as future professionals and helps to prepare for the transition into company life when they graduate in July.”

Kate Coyne, Central’s Artistic Director said: “Joining Ballet Central and the experience of performing on tour distinguishes our dancers and supports their future employability in the dance industry. Performing is the ultimate goal for professional dance students so the chance to bring all their training to a peak in front of a live audience fulfils ambitions and stimulates new learning. Audiences benefit from seeing new talent and vibrant choreography in theatres across England.”

Tickets for the Sadler’s Wells performance are £17 and can be purchased online or through the box office on 020 7863 8000. Tickets for the Britten Theatre performances are £20 (£15 concessions) and can be purchased online or through the box office on 020 7873 7373.


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May 6, 2022