29 January 2020 07:25

RAD trails Centenary plans at V&A book launch event

The commemorative volume is first in a series of celebrations of the Academy’s past, present and future.

Last night at the V&A Museum, the Royal Academy of Dance celebrated the launch of our centenary book,  Royal Academy of Dance: Celebrating 100 Years.

This commemorative volume, which is now available to buy here, charts the history of the RAD, providing an overview of the Academy’s accomplishments up until the present, along with a sense of its plans for the future. Containing stunning archival and contemporary photographs, this is a fabulous celebration of exams, training, events and competitions, and the many personalities associated with the RAD over the years.

The sold-out event was attended by RAD President Dame Darcey Bussell, who noted that her teachers were her first inspiration in dance, as well as Dame Monica Mason – her first engagement for the RAD since her appointment as Vice President – who praised the fact that “the RAD has maintained standards of teaching around the world.”

Dames Darcey and Monica were part of a panel at the event that discussed the RAD’s beginnings, present, and future to the sold-out crowd. Also on the panel were dance critic Gerald Dowler, V&A curator Jane Pritchard and Dance Gazette Editor-in-Chief David Jays, who was the chair of the panel.

While a centenary is, naturally, a good opportunity to reflect on the past 100 years of success, much of last night’s conversation revolved around the Academy’s plans for the future, with some big changes happening at the RAD. Most notably, there will be a new home for dance within the next few years as, in January 2017, the Royal Academy of Dance announced plans for a new purpose-built global headquarters, just one mile away from its current location in Battersea, London.

The new building, promises state-of-the-art facilities to enable us to further strengthen our ties with the local community, to meet the ever-growing demands for high quality dance education, and to expand on our commitment to dance teacher training internationally.

On 31 December 2020, the RAD officially turns 100, so the Academy have created a year-long programme of events and initiatives throughout 2020, leading up to that moment and focusing on sharing our past, our present and our future with our global dance community.

For the first time we are unveiling highlights of the exciting year ahead and the one message that we want you to take away is that we want everyone, young and old to get involved in the celebrations.