About Ballet Central

Ballet Central was created in 1984 as the touring company of Central School of Ballet to give Central’s graduating students the opportunity of professional performing experience to ticket-buying audiences. The company visits towns and cities across the UK every spring performing in mid-sized theatres.   An annual production of the timeless family favourite Nutcracker is performed in the Christmas season and various other small performances throughout the year.

Ballet Central aims to make dance accessible by bringing the talent and skills of the next generation of top dance graduates through performances staged across the country. The company’s diverse repertoire of much-loved classics, theatrical narrative productions and innovative new dance pieces created by influential choreographers appeals to first-time audiences and dance enthusiasts alike. Find out here about current performances, the repertoire and where to book tickets.

A feature of the Ballet Central tour is the opportunity to see dance from highly-acclaimed and emerging choreographers who collaborate with students to produce newly commissioned works and much-loved revivals.

Recent Ballet Central choreographers include: Matthew Bourne, Kenneth MacMillan, Wayne McGregor, Frederick Ashton, Thiago Soares, David Bintley, Christopher Bruce, Christopher Hampson, Jenna Lee, David Nixon, Michael Pink, Darshan Singh Bhuller, Mikaela Polley, Malgorzata Dzierzon, Sophie Laplane, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Christopher Gable.

The Ballet Central experience also provides young dancers with an understanding of all aspects of creating performance, including the staging of repertoire, costume design and technical aspects of sound and lighting.

Kenneth Macmillan

Christopher Bruce

Matthew Bourne

Kenneth Macmillan

Kenneth MacMillan was one of the leading choreographers of his generation. His close association with The Royal Ballet began when he joined Sadler’s Wells School (now The Royal Ballet School) aged 15. He was Director of the Company 1970-77 and Principal Choreographer 1977-92. His ballets are distinguished by their penetrating psychological insight and expressive use of classical language. These qualities are demonstrated in his many works for the Company, which include Romeo and Juliet, Gloria, Manon, Mayerling and Requiem. MacMillan was born in Dunfermline and discovered ballet while evacuated in Rutford during World War II. Aged 15 he forged a letter from his father to Ninette de Valois requesting an audition. He joined Sadler’s Wells School on a full scholarship, later entering the Company. He created his first major work, Danses concertantes, in 1955 and went on to become one of the world’s leading choreographers. He died backstage at the Royal Opera House during a revival of Mayerling.

Christopher Bruce

Christopher Bruce is one of Britain’s leading choreographers, with an international reputation. He was born in England in 1945 and started studying dance at 11 years old. After studying at the Rambert School Christopher Bruce joined Rambert Ballet in 1963, where he quickly became the leading male dancer. Bruce appeared in works such as Don Quixote in 1964 and Coppelia in 1966. In 1977 Christopher was was appointed associate director of the company and was Associate Choreographer from 1979-87, where he created over twenty works for the company. Between 1986-91 he acted as associate choreographer for London Festival Ballet, later ENB, and resident choreographer for Houston Ballet in 1989. In 1994 he became artistic director for RDC. Often political in his work, he integrates classical ballet and modern dance, often set against popular music by artists like Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones. His productions include Cruel Garden, 1977, Ghost Dances, 1981, Swansong, 1987, and Rooster, 1991.

Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne is firmly established as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director. He is the creator of the world’s longest-running ballet production, a record-breaking nine-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical.

Matthew started his dance training at the comparatively late age of 22 and danced professionally for 14 years, creating many roles in his own work. As artistic director of his first company, Adventures in Motion Pictures, from 1987 until 2002, Matthew created many award-winning works. Further hit productions were created when New Adventures was launched in 2002, becoming the UK’s busiest and most successful dance company and the major exporter of British dance across the world. Matthew is also a West End and Broadway choreographer; a 25-year relationship with producer Cameron Mackintosh has resulted in the globally successful musicals Mary Poppins (which is currently enjoying a West End revival), My Fair Lady and Oliver! He has seven honorary doctorates and in 2018 received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from University of Oxford. He is also a companion of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and a proud patron of many organisations, including Tring Park School of the Performing Arts, Arts Educational Schools London and Laine Theatre Arts.

In 2015, he became the first dance figure to be given the Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre, presented by the UK Theatre Awards. He received the OBE in 2001 and was knighted in the Queen’s New Year honours in 2016; in the same year he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award in recognition of his outstanding services to dance.

“In the 2019 tour Ballet Central was honoured to present an excerpt from House of Birds with grateful support from Lady MacMillan and the MacMillan estate who provided permission for Ballet Central to bring the piece to life once again.”

“Ballet Central presented Mya in the 2017 tour, one of Christopher’s recent works first created in 2016. The dramatic piece involves three dancers in all enveloping suits. Central’s students benefited from workshops delivered by Christopher himself. “

“First presented by Ballet Central on the 2017 tour, Highland Fling will once again be performed on the 2021 tour with the kind permission of New Adventures. “

Discover more…

Book Tickets

Our diverse repertoire appeals to first-time audiences and makes us a firm favourite amongst dance enthusiasts. Find out where to book tickets for a show near you here.

The Company

Meet the 2021 Ballet Central Company involving final year students at the Central School of Ballet.

Current Repertoire

The 2021 Ballet Central repertoire promises to deliver exciting theatricality, technical excellence and drama choreographed by international dance industry influencers. Find out more here.

The Creatives

Meet the 2021 creative team who will help bring the 2021 Ballet Central repertoire to life.

Support Us

By supporting the critically-acclaimed Ballet Central Company, you can give Central School of Ballet’s final year students a unique touring experience. Find out how you can help to make this a reality.

On Film

Here you will be able to see excerpts of selected repertoire from Ballet Central, Central’s graduate touring company, and trailers and special dance performances captured on film.