1 October 2020 09:30

The RAD gives unprecedented access to its archives at the V&A

A new date has been announced for the opening of this landmark display to mark the centenary of the Royal Academy of Dance.

The Royal Academy of Dance has partnered with the V&A to co-curate a free to enter display to mark the iconic dance education organisation’s centenary. On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100, opening 2 December 2020, will tell the story of how the RAD shaped the future of dance training, the famous faces who lead the way, and how the RAD continues to bring the joy of dance to the lives of people across the world – even in the face of a global pandemic.

Home to one of the largest dance collections in Europe, this is the first time that RAD has given access to its archive on this scale in its history, and the first new display to open in the V&A’s Theatre and Performance galleries since the museum reopened in August.

On Point is structured in three sections, housing over 60 original objects and over 80 archival images. The display draws on items and footage from both the RAD’s and V&A’s archives, including many objects that have not been displayed before. Alongside items relating to activities at the heart of RAD’s work, such as teacher training and ballet syllabi, the display will also bring visitors closer to some of ballet’s most famous faces. The RAD has always had a strong line to the dance profession, and has played a pivotal role in the careers of many prominent dance figures, from Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, to Robert Helpmann (The Red Shoes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)  and John Cranko (The Prince of the Pagodas), some of whom will be celebrated in this display.

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE, President of the RAD said: This is such a milestone year for the Royal Academy of Dance and a pivotal point in our history, as we map out a bold and exciting future. We are so pleased that despite the huge challenges faced by everyone this year, we are still able to bring this display to life with the V&A.

“When I became President of the RAD, I was very proud to be following in the footsteps of legendary dancers before me, such as Margot Fonteyn and Antoinette Sibley. Seeing their stories, and those of the RAD, laid out alongside my own is an honour. I hope that this glimpse into dance history will leave visitors feeling inspired.”

The display will run until 19 September 2021. Find out more about On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100.