30 April 2020 12:00 - 13:00

Pioneers of the RAD: Focus on Felix Demery and Ruth French (Webinar)

The webinar will introduce two of the Royal Academy of Dance’s pioneers in dance teaching, by briefly examining the context and careers of Felix Demery (1888-1977) and Ruth French (1903-1986), including Demery’s studies with Eduoard Espinosa, one of the founding members of the RAD and subsequently founder of the British Ballet Organisation.

Participants will gain insight into writings of both Demery (1930s) and French (1940s), including their combined effort in producing key teaching manuals published by the RAD in the 1950s. In addition, analyses of extracts from their writings in The Dancing Times and jointly published books on ballet technique will generate an awareness of the pioneering work undertaken by these pioneering members of the RAD.


The aims of this webinar are to:

  • Provide insights into the ballet heritages of Felix Demery and Ruth French
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of key ballet teaching and choreographic legacies associated with Demery and French
  • Gain appreciation of the writings on ballet technique created for the readers of The Dancing Times by Demery (1933), French (1947), and the technical manuals written for the RAD (1950s)

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar, participants will

  • have an increased understanding of the backgrounds and influences in Felix Demery and Ruth French’s careers
  • have an increased understanding of Felix Demery’s perspectives on ballet teaching through his writings on ballet, technique and style (1930s), as well as those written by Ruth French (1940s) and their combined publications in the 1950s
  • have awareness of the observational and analytical skills required for examining solo dances choreographed by Ruth French for the Royal Academy of Dance

About the Presenter

Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel is Head of Research in the Faculty of Education, editor of Focus on Education, and has published in Dance Chronicle, the South African Dance Journal, and The Times of Malta. She has written Princess Nathalie Poutiatine and the Art of Ballet in Malta (forthcoming, 2019) and co-edited a significant anthology on contemporary ballet (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). From 2005-2016, Kathrina led modules on 20th and 21st Century ballet and dance histories at the Faculty of Education. Find out more information on her role at the RAD.

CPD Hours

1 hour Time-Valued CPD


Members of the Royal Academy of Dance receive discounts on all CPD activities.

How to book

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Key Information

Time Fee
12:00 - 13:00 Member Fee: £15
Non-Member Fee: £20