English National Ballet School has announced that its Artistic Director, Viviana Durante, has informed the Board of Governors that she has decided to step down from her post at the end of the current academic year. She has been at the artistic helm of the school for five years.
Here is her statement:
It has been a privilege to lead and guide the artistic development of the school for the past five years. It has been a joy to work with five cohorts of exceptional dancers, and to witness their growth as talented and creative artists.
The artistic, educational, healthcare, executive and operational team I have worked with are dedicated and talented, and we have created a safe, nurturing, and inspiring environment to empower the students.
We have been blessed to have enjoyed the support of English National Ballet, and many sponsors, donors, partner organisations, and visiting choreographers and teachers. Together with all involved at the school, their commitment has enabled us to provide our students with a wealth of opportunities that place us amongst the world's leading ballet schools.
Having had the opportunity to bring fresh ideas for training and collaboration to the School, I very much look forward to seeing the future success of the school. We have been able to introduce new courses including our graduate trainee programme, innovate in the field of dance and healthcare, and we have strengthened our international reputation. I wish all involved at the school the very best.
Durante will continue to lead the school's artistic streams through the summer performances in July.
The ENBS Board said,
Viviana has provided exceptional artistic leadership and has co-led the school through a time of significant challenge and change. Her vision and ability to create opportunities for our students is remarkable. We very much look forward to continuing to work with Viviana for the rest of this school year. She will leave with our thanks and very best wishes.
In addition to the summer performances in July, Durante will be at the Prix de Lausanne with third-year students Gabriel Pimparel (who has been selected as a Prix candidate by the judging panel) and Lana Klemen (who will participate in the choreography section of the elite dance competition).
During her tenure, Durante has helped ensure that ENBS students benefited from unrivalled performance opportunities, most recently being the only school in the UK and Europe to perform Frederick Ashton's Romeo and Juliet, as well as the only school in the UK and Europe to be permitted to perform a work by Pina Bausch: both of which will be staged this July.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.