2 November 2023 13:55

Bedells Bursary winners announced

On Sunday 29 October India Kennedy, aged 16, was awarded The Bedells Bursary. India is currently trained by the dance faculty at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. Her winning performance was the Swan Lake Pas de Trois – First Female Variation, and a self-choreographed variation entitled Reverie.

16 young dancers took part in this competition where candidates were judged on a non-syllabus ballet class, taught by Maria Rowland ARAD, PDTD, along with the performance of their chosen classical variation and a variation choreographed by themselves, their teacher or a peer.

In recognition of the huge importance of nurturing and providing opportunities for creativity in young dancers, this year’s Choreographic Award was presented to Maltese dancer Noa Ng, aged 15, for her self-choreographed Dancer’s Own solo entitled Kaleidoscope. Noa trains at Incite Motion School of Dance, with Christiane Borg Manche. The award of £250 is made possible, thanks to funding generously provided by the Lynn Wallis Bursary Fund.

Candidates were judged by Ibrahim Önal a lead tutor at the English National Ballet School and Sarah Wildor, a former Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet, who had been coaching candidates for The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition earlier that week, and very kindly stepped in to cover Ashley Shaw.

This year’s Bursary took place at the RAD’s headquarters in London, coinciding with The Fonteyn final at His Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket. It was wonderful to see so many Bursary candidates going on to enjoy the performances later that evening, where The Bedells Bursary winner from 2022, was awarded a gold medal. India was also presented with her certificate on stage at The Fonteyn, by Dame Darcey Bussell, President of the RAD.

Recognising young dancers’ excellence in artistic and technical achievement and providing opportunities for creativity, the bursary is named in honour of Phyllis Bedells, a founder member and Vice-President of the RAD. The bursary, supported by the Mary Kipps Bequest, has a value of £1,000. This event is a global competition, open to members of the RAD who are 17 years of age and under and have passed the RAD Advanced 1 Examination (with Distinction).

During the weekend, the candidates enjoyed a masterclass with Sarah Lamb, Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet.

Darren Parish who staged the Bedells Bursary and rehearsed the young dancer's Dancer’s Own Solo and Classical Repertoire Variations said: “It was a delight to see the growth and commitment these dancers showed over the two-day event. Their enthusiasm and passion for their dancing shone through in their classwork and the variations they performed. They should be very proud of all they achieved and offered their audience.”