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RAD presents The Royal Ballet with the QEII Award at glittering ceremony

05 Sep 2014

RAD presents The Royal Ballet with the QEII Award at glittering ceremony
Last night, The Royal Ballet received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, the highest recognition the Royal Academy of Dance can bestow.

The event was held at the Ballroom at Claridge’s in Mayfair, 60 years after the award’s inauguration, initially conferred upon Royal Ballet founder Dame Ninette de Valois in 1954, at a luncheon held in the very same venue.

Nineteen Royal Ballet Principals attended the event as guests of honour, as well as Director Kevin O'Hare who received the award from RAD President Darcey Bussell CBE. Many ballet lovers and celebrities from the ballet world were also present.

As this presentation of the QEII Award celebrated the shared history between The Royal Ballet and the RAD, the gala was also a fundraiser for the Genée International Ballet Competition, the RAD's flagship event. The Genée provides young dancers a unique opportunity to work with renowned choreographers and teachers, as well as the chance to perform on an international stage and compete for a range of medals and prize money.

The Genée has proved to be a launch pad for a professional career in dance for many, and the money raised last night will provide the means for a broader pool of young talent to participate. Since the year 2000, 14 Genée medallists have gone on to dance with The Royal Ballet alone – amongst them current Principals Lauren Cuthbertson (Silver Medallist, 2001) and Steven McRae (Gold Medallist, 2002), both present at last night's celebrations.

RAD vice president Wayne Sleep commented: 'I was RAD trained since the age of 10 and this was essential to me winning the Leverhulme Scholarship. This helped me achieve my dream of becoming principal dancer with the Royal Ballet.'

Initial calculations of funds raised through silent and live auctions, and through individual pledges received on the night, indicate that the event raised around £70,000 towards the creation of a new Genée bursary scheme, details of which will  be announced in due course.

Neil Macdonald, Global Brand Director for Royal Salute said 'Royal Salute is delighted to have supported the Royal Academy of Dance and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award. Like Royal Salute, the award was also founded in 1953 so there is a natural partnership.'

Some photos from the event can be viewed below (click on image to enlarge).


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