Students at the Torremolinos Dance Centre. / sur

World Ballet Day celebrated in Torremolinos

On 19 October, fifty renowned companies from all over the world celebrated the art of dance giving a unique insight into their ballet studios via free online streaming

ALEKK M. SAANDERS

Many people in Spain, both young and old, are passionate about ballet. This cherished art form has become a tradition on the Costa del Sol. Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty are always popular in the Cervantes Theatre. Ballet originated from Italy and France as an artistic dance form during the Renaissance and became quite popular in Russia by 1850. During the early 20th century, the famous theatre producer Serge Diaghilev formed the Ballet Russes that once toured Spain.

Spain also prepares its leading dancers, such as Nacho Duato, to conquer international stages. There are large and small classical schools across Spain and not only in the big cities. In the towns along the Costa del Sol there are a few ballet schools too. One of them is in Torremolinos.

For more than 30 years, the Centro De Danza has been training students with the goal to prepare for the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) examinations in Imperial Classical Ballet and Modern Theatre Dance and Jazz, and the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) in classical ballet, which are regulated by the British QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Agency).

The director of the Torremolinos Centro de Danza, Carmen Crespo, stresses that ballet is not only pretty tutus and leotards, it also involves intense physical discipline.

“Detailed techniques and aesthetics appeal to young people who crave creativity and routine together with a physical vehicle to express themselves. Our students try to do their best and we at the Centre do everything possible to prepare the pupils for auditions for entry to colleges in the UK.”

Most of the students at Torremolinos Centro de Danza are girls. However, Renaissance dances at the Italian court were originally only performed by men, as any form of women dancing was considered disgraceful.

“This year we could celebrate two more anniversaries as the first ballet school is thought to be founded in 1661, thanks to Louis XIV. At first, only men were allowed to dance in Paris, but in 1681 women were allowed to join them, although they had to wear floor length gowns. That means 360 years has passed since the opening of the first Ballet school, and it is the 340th anniversary of women ballet dancing,” Carmen explained.

Last Tuesday, students of the Torremolinos Dance Centre celebrated World Ballet Day. Several ballet companies from around the world participated in the celebrations, including The Royal Ballet, The Australia Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, and the San Francisco Ballet.

“This year, the 19 October, was the eighth year. Major dance companies in different countries joined forces in a world-wide celebration of dance, with live streams of rehearsals, previews of new productions as well as videos of some of the biggest stars of ballet in action. We celebrated Ballet Day in class and also rehearsed in the Principe de Asturias Auditorium of Torremolinos ready for the gala on the 30th April. Actually, this year more than ever, there is a special meaning in celebrating because, after the pandemic restrictions, friends and colleagues around the world return to the studio and the stage” she added.