8 September 2022 12:22

Winning portrait unveiled at Royal Academy of Dance

Today, the Royal Academy of Dance unveiled the winning artwork commissioned as the winner of the nation-wide portrait competition launched to celebrate the opening of its brand-new global headquarters earlier this year.

RAD President, Dame Darcey Bussell, Chief Executive, Tim Arthur, and Sophie Smith, Senior Manager of Freed of London, alongside artist Zi Ling. Photo: Elliott Franks.

Artist, Zi Ling, was commissioned to create her contemporary take on ballet pioneer and RAD founder, Dame Adeline Genée, following a nationwide competition

With over 60 proposals submitted, each capturing the likeness of the founding RAD President, a judging panel of singer songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor, royal portraitist, Ralph Heimans, Shevelle Dynott, former English National Ballet Dancer, and RAD President, Dame Darcey Bussell, awarded artist Zi Ling the top prize for her bold, contemporary interpretation of one of ballet’s foremost pioneers.

Sponsored by Freed of London, the competition was created to honour Dame Adeline’s extraordinary contribution to modern British ballet. The brand-new 150 x 120cm portrait titled 'Drops of Morning Dew Fell on her Feet' will now permanently hang in reception at the RAD’s global headquarters in Battersea.W

Winning artist Zi Ling said: “Dancers are always my favourite subjects and I have been inspired by many great dancers, such as Pina Bausch and Rudolf Nureyev, for their talents of using their bodies as canvas. I am absolutely thrilled by being given this unique opportunity to bring Dame Adeline Genée, this legendary figure back to life, and hopefully encourage younger generations of the RAD to continue her legacy.”

Tim Arthur, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Dance commented “Zi Ling’s vibrant painting really captures the essence of our founding member Dame Adeline Genée and will serve as a daily reminder of her extraordinary contribution to the teaching of ballet for generations to come. What better way to mark this exciting new chapter in the RAD’s history than with a new portrait that celebrates the opening of London’s newest home of dance”

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE, President, Royal Academy of Dance says: “I am delighted to unveil this strikingly modern artwork from artist Zi Ling, representing a real homecoming for Dame Adeline who will now take pride of place in the new RAD global headquarters. Chosen as the winner from competition entries received up and down the UK – it was Zi’s proposal that really captured that sense of movement and impressed the judging panel with her bold use of colour.”

Unveiling gallery

In the Media

9 Sep '22
The Times

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