Discovering Repertoire is a classical ballet performance programme, an innovative new concept in training and assessment from the RAD. Uniquely, the programme includes well-known classical repertoire, meaning students will learn and dance choreography that they have seen on stage, set to music that they know and love.
Suitable for students from age 12 through to adult, the three levels cater for beginners, those with some prior ballet experience, as well as the more advanced dancer.
Levels and variations
Learners have the option of taking regulated examinations recognised at the following levels on the UK qualifications framework:
|Equivalent to||Variations studied|
|Level 2||Grade 5/Intermediate Foundation||Coppélia, Giselle|
|Level 3||Grades 6–8/Intermediate & Advanced
|Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty|
|Level 4||Advanced 1 & 2||The Nutcracker, Swan Lake|
The variation choreography is tailored to the different levels, e.g. Level 2 will offer a modified variation, while Level 4 will offer the full variation.
Flexible, modular learning and assessment
The programme is based on modular assessment, to enable students to learn at their own pace. Each level is made up of three units:
- Unit: Class - barre and centre
- Unit: Variation 1 – development exercises and Variation 1
- Unit: Variation 2 – development exercises and Variation 2
To promote a sense of achievement and progression, students will be awarded a certificate for completing each unit, while those successfully completing all three units will achieve a qualification at the corresponding level. Female students can decide whether or not to dance en pointe, giving greater flexibility in how the work is approached and executed.
There was a fantastic response from volunteers to trial the programme as it was being developed (over 300 responses from teachers worldwide). In total, 150 teachers from 28 countries were involved in the trial, offering constructive and positive feedback on the new work - ‘creative’, ‘challenging’ and ‘inspiring’ were among the commonly held views. This feedback has led to a much greater definition of the target audience and the levels at which the material is pitched.
Throughout January and February 2018, the programme was showcased around the world in a series of launch events across 15 countries, giving over 1,000 teachers an insight into the work. Since the launch, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Who will Discovering Repertoire appeal to?
The social, health and wellbeing benefits of dance are well documented across all age groups. Along with increasing the accessibility of dance for all, the modular structure of Discovering Repertoire offers an inclusive and flexible opportunity suitable for a wide range of abilities and ages – but most importantly it will make real the aspiration of many to dance classic ballets such as Giselle and Swan Lake.
An alternative for vocational and non-vocational students
Discovering Repertoire will give teachers multiple ways in which to expand their business. It will extend the interest of students who otherwise might stop dancing once they realise that ballet is not going to be their vocation by giving them a fun and creative alternative to the RAD’s graded and vocational syllabus. For vocational students, the modular approach provides an opportunity to enhance and refine technical skills in the class module and gain strength if preparing the development exercises and variations en pointe.
Challenging and engaging adults
Adults of all ages are coming back to ballet: for fitness, for social reasons, or because they have rediscovered their passion by seeing their children dance. Our research also shows that adults want to be challenged, to progress, and to feel a sense of achievement. Discovering Repertoire will deliver this satisfaction, enabling them to learn and dance the ballet repertoire that they know and love, and be assessed in smaller, more manageable and less intimidating units of work.
Discovering Repertoire banner images: Markus Pfaff, Mariano N Ruiz, aopsan/Shutterstock