New RAD headquarters
The RAD has announced plans for a new headquarters, just a mile away from our current location in Battersea. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to broker an agreement with York Place Buildings enabling us to, in effect, exchange 36 Battersea Square for a brand new, purpose-built headquarters. The new building will be almost double the size of our current premises, offering better facilities, a performance space, studios, library and archive.
The Evening Standard reported that the Academy had struck ‘a radical deal’ with the developer, and Luke Rittner, RAD Chief Executive, said it could ‘turn out to be a prototype’ for other arts organisations who struggle to manage the growing costs of maintaining a presence in London. ‘As a global organisation and world leader in dance education and training, our new home needs to reflect that status in every way’, he said.
‘I believe that this agreement will deliver a worldclass headquarters that will not only make our worldwide members, staff and partners proud; it will support us in the fulfilment of a vision to make innovative, artistic and lasting contributions to dance and dance education throughout the world.’
The trustees of the RAD are satisfied that this agreement offers the most cost-effective opportunity in the current economic climate, enabling us to make the most of the value of our property. We will launch an appeal later this year to help fund the move to the new premises.
Discovering Repertoire, a classical ballet performance programme, is an innovative new concept in training and assessment from the RAD.
Suitable for students aged 12 through to adult, the three levels cater for those with some prior ballet experience through to those of a more advanced standard. Uniquely, it includes well-known classical repertoire, meaning students will learn and dance choreography that they have seen on the stage, set to music that they know and love.
Learners have the option of taking regulated examinations recognised on the UK qualifications framework, with variations taken from:
• Level 2: Coppélia, Giselle
• Level 3: Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty
• Level 4: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake
The programme is based on modular assessment, to enable students to learn at their own pace. To promote a sense of achievement and progression, students will be awarded a certificate for completing each unit, while those successfully completing all three units will achieve a qualification at the corresponding level.
Along with increasing the accessibility of dance for all, the modular structure of Discovering Repertoire offers an inclusive and flexible opportunity suitable for a wide range of abilities and ages – but most importantly it will make real the aspiration of many to dance classic ballets such as Giselle and Swan Lake.
Discovering Repertoire will give teachers multiple ways in which to grow or extend their business. It will extend the interest of students who otherwise might stop dancing once they realise that ballet is not going to be their vocation, by giving them a fun and creative alternative to the RAD’s graded and vocational graded syllabi. For vocational students, the modular approach provides an opportunity to enhance and refine technical skills, and gain strength if preparing the development exercises and variations en pointe.
The programme is expected to launch globally in early 2018. Read more at www.rad.org.uk/discovering-repertoire
Discovering Repertoire trial examinations are taking place in various countries.
Janet King's studio in Pretoria (see images) was the first school in South Africa to host these trials in March.
Photos: Leon Burke
Silver Swans® training and licensing
The new Silver Swans® teacher training and licensing scheme is in the midst of its pilot phase in the UK and US. By the end of July, there will be 130 licensed teachers who can begin to teach classes in their respective countries to over 55s from September.
We are looking at options for developing and expanding this popular initiative.
Register your interest in classes online, and be the first to hear when they are up and running in your area. To keep up to date with the project, visit www.rad.org.uk/silverswans
Lorraine Redmayne, Examinations Co-ordinator, retired from her fulltime post at the Academy in December and for the first part of 2017 assisted the examinations department in a temporary capacity.
At her farewell party in June, attended by staff, examiners and teachers, Olivia Lume, National Director paid the following tribute to Lorraine.
“How does one even begin to acknowledge your contribution to the RAD – You have worked tirelessly for the Academy and you are very deserving of a leisurely retirement – no longer having to face the everyday stresses of your highly pressurised duties as examinations co-ordinator and indeed the many hours spent daily in traffic.
I have known you for what feels like a lifetime – 30 years to be exact, and during this time we have shared so much. Joyous occasions as well as times of sadness and distress, but we went through all the emotions together, supporting one another and often seeing ourselves as 'two peas in a pod'. It certainly has been very strange and different not having you around every day.
As an employee you were always exceptionally loyal, a brilliant organiser, a dedicated and conscientious colleague to teachers, examiners and RAD personnel. As a person, whom I don't consider just a colleague, but indeed a friend, you have all the qualities of a precious gem – a gracious lady in every sense, a beautiful heart and soul, a fighter, a survivor and one that deservedly has earned respect, admiration and most importantly the love from those whose lives you have touched.
I still think you are far too spritely and energetic to be retired or as you sometimes refer to yourself – “I am now a pensioner”, but jokes aside dear Lorraine,I am honoured and blessed that my life was touched by you. This is not goodbye but farewell dear friend as your life enters another phase.”
Following the party Lorraine responded as follows:
“Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Words cannot describe the amazing send off I received from Olly on the occassion of my retirement.
After 30 years at the Academy it was also very sad to say 'goodbye' to the examiners, teachers and staff but I am sure that I will still be in touch with many of you.
I am extremely grateful for the generous monetary gift and flowers I received from the Academy, teachers and pianists as well as the generous gift voucher from the examiners and wonderful gifts from various teachers.
I will always treasure the book, put together by Olly and Manny, with all the kind words and photographs reminding me of the awesome rapport I have with all of you.
Thank you all, particularly Olly, who went out of her way to make this a memorable occasion. I will miss all of you.”
The RAD Western Cape Regional Panel hosted a farewell party for much loved pianist, Ally van Oordt, in April.
Ally was showered with flowers and gifts as well as lovely tributes from Sheila Stirling, Kim Day, Robin van Wyk and Dianne Cheesman.
Ally is synonymous in the Western Cape as a professional and dedicated musician. Her ties with the UCT School of Dance, Cape Town City Ballet and the RAD span many, many years. She will always be remembered for her outstanding qualities as an exceptional musician and infectious personality – always kind, loving and accommodating. Her quirkiness and wonderful sense of humour further magnify her huge personality.
RAD teachers throughout the Western Cape will truly miss Ally in their studios and indeed the exam room. The RAD family wish Ally a well deserved retirement, blessed with good health and happiness.