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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Flutsch

Ballet Central Tour 2024


Review: Ballet Central, on tour throughout the UK until July 2024. Book here. Our reviewer attended the Oxford show on 31 May at the Oxford Playhouse.

[Disclosure: Our reviewer received free tickets, and a free programme for the purposes of this review.]

Ballet Central

The Central School of Ballet’s 2024 cohort of graduating students is on tour with one of the most exciting dance programmes I’ve seen in a long time. The show is made up of three contemporary dance pieces, and, after a 20 minute interval, the show finishes with Act III of Coppélia.


 This is the first time I’ve seen a Ballet Central Tour showcasing its graduating students and I was completely dazzled.  The depth of talent in the cohort is extraordinary. Artistic director Kate Coyne has created an incredible programme that not only showcases the prodigious talent of the cohort, but gives the audience an exceptional and progressive dance experience.

Ballet Central

The world of classical ballet can be quite traditional and conservative and I was so happy to see Ballet Central breaking many classical traditions to wonderful effect.   A duet in the contemporary piece Night Flight v2.0 - between very tall ballerina Ella Ronte, and much smaller male dancer Kazuya Nagata created the most magical effects and gave us, the audience, shapes, movements and an atmosphere that I haven’t seen before in classical ballet.  Kudos to Ballet Central for breaking new ground. 

Ballet Central
Ella Ronte and Kazuya Nagata rehearsing Night Flights V2.0

It is rare in a dance show that I will love every single piece, but in Ballet Central 2024 show every piece was interesting, beautiful and very entertaining to watch.  Probably my favourite of the contemporary pieces was Stay On It choreographed by Jules Cunningham to the most incredible music by African American composed Julius Eastman.  I’m embarrassed to say that this was my first introduction to the composer Julius Eastman, and since Ballet Central’s show, I have been listening to his extraordinary works nonstop.

From the very opening chords, I was mesmerised by the complex music and how Cunningham’s bold choreography blended seamlessly with the music.  Costume designer Chloe Ivey-Ray has done an extraordinary job of recreating the music and choreography in costume form.  Stay On It is a complete piece – with dancers, music, choreography and costumes blending into one extraordinary piece of art.

Ballet Central
In the absence of any press photos of Stay On It - here is a screen grab of the Stay On It costumes.

I’m beyond impressed with Ballet Central and its graduating cohort – each and every dancer brings something different, interesting, individual and beautiful to classical ballet and I’m excited to follow their careers.  The stars of the future are in this cohort – go and see this beautiful show if you can.


If you enjoyed reading this review, you may enjoy reading my other reivews of dance as well as my review of shows on at Oxford Playhouse which you can find here.


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