'Ballet at its absolute best' coming to Canary Wharf this weekend

Swan Lake performance

Principal Ballerina Constance Devernay performing in David Dawson’s Swan Lake. - Credit: Rimbaud Patron

Some of the world's best ballet dancers are set to come to Canary Wharf this weekend.

Ballet Nights is set to grace the stage of the Lanterns Studio Theatre in Canary Wharf on Saturday (October 23).

Described as “ballet at its absolute best" by producer Jamiel Laurence, Ballet Nights brings together renowned choreographers and performers alongside those who are emerging - all with the intention of attracting new audiences to ballet.

According to Jamiel, who produces the show alongside Henry Dowden of the English National Ballet, the show will feature “some of the best performers in the world".

Among the highlights will be a performance of Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux from choreographer David Dawson, set to be performed by Constance Devernay and Barnaby Rook Bishop of Scottish Ballet.

There will also be a rendition of Don Quixote Grand Pas by Katja Khaniukova and Francesco Gabriele Frola.

Jamiel grew up in east London before going on to working as a soloist during a twelve-year career with Scottish Ballet.

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On what motivated his decision to stage Ballet Nights in the Docklands area, Laurence describes feeling “a lot of frustration with the status quo”.

That, together with a "lack of curated performance opportunities in the area, especially for undiscovered creatives", proved motivation enough.

As project manager of the Canary Wharf theatre, Jamiel saw an opportunity to address this need and collaborated with Dowden to create a solution.

He said: “If you come to us for your first ballet experience, you won’t be getting something in miniature, you’ll be getting the full-blown performance.

"It’s a new way to see, hear, feel and experience the most exciting artists of our time, but also celebrate dance heritage.”

This event is just "the beginning"; the intention is for Ballet Nights to become a leading figure in classical ballet, neo-classical and contemporary dance.

“I’d really invite audiences in to come and be a part of that beginning and help steer how they want that event to progress," Jamiel added.

A determination to support freelance dance artists during the coronavirus pandemic also led Jamiel to establish #FundFreelanceDance, a crowdfunding initiative which aims to help artists return to the studio.

To purchase tickets for Saturday's performance visit balletnights.com/

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