English National Ballet at 'Cultural Cities'
Above: Michelle Ballentyne (courtesy English National Ballet)
Future Cities Forum is delighted that English National Ballet's Head of Ballet Futures, Michelle Ballentyne, will be speaking about widening this important art form to new audiences at our 'Cultural cities' event this week.
Michelle won a scholarship to study at Laine Theatre Arts for three years where she gained her Associate in Cecchetti Ballet with Distinction. During her time there, she also won a scholarship to The Royal Ballet Summer School.
After her studies, she immediately gained a place as a Principal Dancer with Union Dance Company, touring both nationally and internationally. Michelle went on to perform in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats (where she played the roles of Demeter, Bombalurina, Cassandra and Tantomile), and also Starlight Express, where she played the role of Buffy.
Michelle was also a Principal Dancer with The Carol Straker Dance Company and has worked extensively in both theatre and television productions. In 2008, Michelle graduated from Middlesex University with a BA Hons in Dance Studies. Upon graduating she continued to demonstrate Martha Graham Technique at Middlesex University and went on to work very closely with Robert Cohan and Anne Donnelly on the first drafts of the 'Rescen' projects, documenting Martha Graham Technique for future resources.
Michelle has dedicated many years to teaching ballet and contemporary dance, and currently teaches at The Urdang Academy, Bird College, The Tring Park Associates Programme, Ballet Black, and also teaches Adult Ballet for The Classes and Courses Programme at The Place. Michelle is also working on the English National Ballet's Ballet Futures project alongside Kerry Nichols (ENB's Associate Director, Artistic Development).
Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet has introduced ground-breaking new works to the Company’s repertoire whilst continuing to honour the tradition of great classical ballet, gaining acclaim for artistic excellence and creativity. 2019 saw English National Ballet enter a new chapter in its history when it moved into a purpose-built state-of-the-art home in east London, Mulryan Centre for Dance, bringing a renewed commitment to, and freedom for, creativity, ambition, and connection to more people, near and far, than ever before.