Ballet in England from 1946

Ref: C3744371

Ballet is a significant part of our cultural heritage. The course traces the development of English ballet from 1946 including the establishment of the Royal Ballet. We will appraise the influence of choreographers such as Frederick Ashton who created the 'English style' of ballet for which the Royal Ballet is world renowned. We will experience the passion and drama of Kenneth Macmillan's choreography and the classicism of Peter Wright. We will assess some star-studded performances from the great doyens of ballet such as Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev who took London and New York by storm in the 1960s. We will discover how ballet today is scaling new heights of dance technique and virtuosity. We will consider the work of new choreographers seeking diverse ways to express dance as a performance art in the 21st Century.

Course aim

The course will provide an introduction to the history of ballet in England from1946. It will showcase a variety of works by leading ballet companies with a view to appreciating dance as a dynamic performance art today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is suitable for anyone who would like to know more about the history of dance and the birth of English ballet.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • appreciate why ballet is an important part of our cultural heritage.
  • identify the roots of English ballet from 1946.
  • recognise some of the leading choreographers who have created celebrated works in the 20th Century.
  • appreciate the diversity and virtuosity of ballet as a performance art today.
  • appraise new approaches to choreography by those creating new works for wider 21st century audiences.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to view dance performances via the internet in your own time.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Ballet in England from 1946


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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