ENB School connects virtually with NHS patients and staff

Published: 11 March 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

ENBs first year women Credit: ASH

English National Ballet School has partnered with CW+ charity of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to share ballet performances with patients both in hospital and isolating at home.

The school’s performances, classes, rehearsals and talks will be available via the charity's Virtual Connections digital platform, which supports the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and those self-isolating in the wider community.

ENB School performances on Virtual Connections will initially include its Virtual Summer Performance featuring students dancing works by choreographers including Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Didy Veldman, and its Winter Showcase, filmed at The Roundhouse by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt and featuring a socially distanced ballet by Andrew McNicol and a contemporary work by Hannah Cameron.

Artistic Director of English National Ballet School Viviana Durante said, “ballet and the arts have such a positive impact on our health and wellbeing, and I hope that with this work we can bring some joy and comfort to the hospital’s patients, their families and carers, and the doctors, nurses and staff.”

Trystan Hawkins, Director of Patient Environment at CW+, explained, “it’s important for us that patients have access to such rich, creative content. We know that watching dance seems to evoke an emotional response in people, often relaxing patients, especially if dancers perform more rounded movements like ballet.”

Once lockdown restrictions ease, the school will also perform live in the hospital.