Royal Ballet premières Doncaster Dances

Published: 19 September 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Doncaster Dances at Cusworth Hall Credit: Jamie Stewart
Doncaster Dances Southfield Primary workshop Credit: Jamie Stewart
Doncaster Dances at Cusworth Hall Credit: Jamie Stewart

This summer The Royal Ballet, in partnership with Cast and Doncaster Council, set themselves a mission to get Doncaster Dancing, resulting in a community dance film called Doncaster Dances, available on the Royal Opera House, Cast and Doncaster Council web sites and YouTube.

The film is inspired by the choreography of Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Romeo and Juliet and today’s lockdown themes of love and separation, family, friendship and solidarity. It features Doncaster local and Royal Ballet dancer Charlotte Tonkinson and fellow Royal Ballet dancer Joseph Aumeer. The project brought together more than 130 residents, 6 community groups, 2 care homes and 2 local schools.

In 2019, the Royal Opera House announced this partnership with Doncaster including a commitment to work in every school in Doncaster over three years and a performance by The Royal Ballet at Cast, but both events were postponed due to the pandemic.

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said, "The Royal Ballet were determined that the pandemic would not interfere with our plans for engaging with Doncaster residents and sharing the enriching experience of dance. Kenneth MacMillan’s powerful setting of Romeo and Juliet has always fired the collective imagination and was the perfect springboard for a process of creative exploration during dark times.

"Doncaster Dances has proved just how empowering the arts can be and is a wonderful testament to the resilience of the human spirit. This beautiful film is both poignant and optimistic, demonstrating that everyone in the community, young and old, can unite through dance."