Christopher Powney has danced with Northern Ballet, English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company. He performed and created many leading roles and worked with numerous prominent choreographers and artists, among them, Christopher Gable, Lynn Seymour, Frederick Franklin, Ivan Nagy, Rudolf Nureyev, Glen Tetley, Christopher Bruce and Jiří Kylián.
During his dancing career Christopher began to turn his focus towards teaching and qualified with The Royal Ballet School’s Professional Dancers Teachers’ Course. He was Assistant Artistic Director of Central School of Ballet’s graduate touring company and in 2000 he helped coordinate and performed in a Gala to celebrate the life and work of Christopher Gable CBE.
In 2000 he joined the faculty of The Royal Ballet School at the invitation of Gailene Stock, teaching 2nd Year boys at the Upper School. He then moved abroad in 2006 to take up the position of Graduate Teacher with the dance department of the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague. In September 2010 Christopher was appointed Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy. Throughout this period he assisted in establishing The Dutch National Ballet Junior Company and founded the Amsterdam International Summer School.
Christopher has taught internationally and participated as a jury member on many international competitions. Christopher returned to The Royal Ballet School and took up the post of Artistic Director in September 2014.
Head of Intensive Courses and International Relation
Samira’s early training was with Noreen Bush at The Bush Davies School and then at The Royal Ballet School at age sixteen. At eighteen, she graduated into Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet.
During an illustrious, twenty year career with Sadler’s Wells and Birmingham Royal Ballet, under the directorships of Sir Peter Wright and David Bintley, Samira worked with legendary choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Dame Ninette de Valois. She danced in all the classics, in particular noted for her interpretation of Giselle, in Peter Wright’s own production. In David Bintley’s three act ballet; The Snow Queen, Samira was chosen to create the title role, winning critical acclaim.
In 1999, after retirement from dancing to concentrate on teaching and choreography, Samira was invited to teach and to help develop Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track Programme and also taught Royal Ballet School Junior and Senior Associates.
In 2004 she joined Elmhurst Ballet School becoming graduate teacher, Ballet Mistress and Resident Choreographer. She also successfully conceived and managed Elmhurst’s satellite Associate Programme. She has choreographed for Birmingham Royal Ballet, National Youth Ballet and Elmhurst Ballet School. She achieved her Professional Teaching Diploma at The Royal Ballet School’s Professional Dancer’s Teachers Course.
In 2012 Samira was appointed Director of Dance at English National Ballet School. She became Head of Intensive Courses and International Relations at The Royal Ballet School in November 2017.
Royal Ballet School Teacher
Gillian joined The Royal Ballet School at the age of eleven. She graduated in 1987, joining The Royal Ballet the same year; progressing through the ranks, Gillian performed a vast repertoire of soloist and principal roles include Manon, Sugar Plum Fairy, Mary (Mayerling) and Anastasia; Gillian was part of the creative process of new works by choreographers such as MacMillan, Forsyth, Bintley, Page, Tuckett and Tharp.
During her time in The Royal Ballet, Gillian was involved in educational work through programs such as Chance to Dance and RNIB. In 2002 Gillian received the Northern Ireland Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.
After completing The Royal Ballet School Teacher Training Course for Professional Dancers in 2007, Gillian joined English National Ballet School as third-year tutor. She continued as Guest Principal Character Artist with The Royal Ballet, performing roles such as Nurse (Romeo and Juliet) Berthe (Giselle) and Carabosse (Sleeping Beauty).
Gillian relocated to Sydney in 2010, where she established her business Classical Ballet 121 to provide talented dancers the opportunity to work with her on a one to one basis. Classical Ballet 121 has now developed into a successful full-time ballet school, preparing students for elite ballet schools and companies worldwide. Gillian enjoys teaching and performing for The Australian Ballet Company as a guest.
Royal Ballet School Teacher
Kenta Kura joined The Royal Ballet Upper School on a Prix de Lausanne Scholarship in 1995. He danced with The Royal Ballet from 1997-2014, where he rose to the rank of Soloist, dancing many soloist and principal roles including the blue bird from Sleeping Beauty, the peasant pas de deux in Giselle and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. He retired from the Company in 2014 to take up his current position at The Royal Ballet School after completing the Diploma in Dance Teaching course. While a dancer with the Company he participated in projects with Chance to Dance and the Royal Opera House's Learning and Participation department. Choreographic work includes for The Royal Ballet's Draft Works in 2013/2014.