Lockdown ballet student takes part in worldwide online project

David Wall, 19, a final year student at the Central School of Ballet

David Wall, 19, a final year student at the Central School of Ballet - Credit: Archant

A Paignton ballet student has taken part in an online choreography project.

David Wall, 19, a final year student at the Central School of Ballet, should be on a five-month tour performing in venues across England with the touring company Ballet Central.

But he was forced to return home to Paignton as schools and higher education colleges closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Back home in Paignton during lockdown, he took part in an online choreographic project with 27 fellow dancers from around the world.

The three-minute film was released on YouTube and Ballet Central's website this week.

Called Centrally Connected Performs, the project was created to allow final year dance students the chance to demonstrate their skills in lieu of the Ballet Central touring experience.

Each student was given the challenge of choreographing and performing a solo to a specially created and coronavirus-inspired music by Central's composer-in-residence Philip Feeney.

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Centrally Connected Performs is part of Central's remote learning, teaching and training initiative established to ensure continuity for students participating in the school's BA and MA programmes even though its studios in Herbal Hill, London are currently closed.

David will complete his degree this July at Central despite the lockdown.

Selected from hundreds of candidates, David was one of a few to secure a coveted place on Central's three year BA (Hons) degree in professional dance and performance, accredited by the University of Kent and affiliated with the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.

On average only 40 students are accepted each year to train on this prestigious programme.

Most students take up jobs in top international dance companies or in international theatre productions after graduating.

David said: 'The choreographic project has given me the chance to explore creativity, while learning new choreographic skills.'

Artistic director Christopher Marney, explained: 'Centrally Connected Performs allows students to create their own choreography to Philip's innovative music. The result is a unique collaboration and showcase of leading dance talent.'