Royal Ballet School

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Arnold Lionel Haskell (1903—1980) ballet critic

Merle Park (b. 1937)


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Originating as de Valois's London Academy of Choregraphic (sic) Art (founded 1926), it became the Sadler's Wells School in 1931. In 1947 it moved to Baron's Court in W. London and under the direction of Haskell it was expanded to include academic studies. In 1955 the Lower School was established at Richmond's White Lodge, for boarding- and day-pupils aged 11–16, offering secondary school education and ballet training. The Upper School moved to Covent Garden in 2003, offering full-time academic and dance studies to pupils over 16 as well as a teacher-training course. M. Wood succeeded Haskell as director in 1966 followed by J. Monahan in 1978, Merle Park in 1983, and Gailene Stock in 1998. Students gain stage experience from annual school performances at Covent Garden as well as participation in company performances. The school provides both Royal Ballet companies with some, but not all, of their dancers.

Subjects: Dance.

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