Choreographer and dancer Christopher Marney, currently playing the role of Count Lilac in Sleeping Beauty, has today been announced as the new Artistic Director of Ballet Central.
As an alumnus of Central School of Ballet, Marney will be responsible for leading Ballet Central, the school's touring company of graduates towards employment in the theatre industry.
Heidi Hall, Acting Director of Central School of Ballet, comments "I am delighted that Christopher is joining the school as Artistic Director of Ballet Central. Christopher and I were both fortunate enough to be taught by the late founder of the school, the legendary Christopher Gable and I have no doubt that Christopher will ensure that his ethos and legacy will live on in future generations of Central students as we continue to produce not just fantastic dancers but versatile and intelligent performers".
Marney is currently performing in a world tour of Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty (of which he was also the Associate Choreographer), and is also known as the choreographer of recent works such as McQueen The Play in London's West End and Ballet Black at the Barbican. Other notable mentions are Marney's comprehensive performance career with such companies as Balletboyz, Michael Clark and the Gothenburg Ballet as well as his Critics Circle nominations at the National Dance Awards.
Whilst he will take up the post from September, Marney will continue to undertake freelance work as a performer/choreographer & is looking forward to forging collaborations between the Central School of Ballet and current industry professionals.
In his appointment Marney comments "I am thrilled to return after twenty years to the School that prepared me for my career and to continue the ethos of my role model and teacher, the late Christopher Gable".
Matthew Bourne says, “With the inspired appointment of Christopher Marney as Artistic Director of Ballet Central, the already strong links between my company, New Adventures and Central become even more significant and meaningful. Christopher is one of a string of exceptional dancers and performers from Ballet Central who have enriched my company over the last two decades and it is heartening to know that his matchless professionalism, work ethic and deep love and understanding of theatre and performance will be at the heart of his nurturing of these students as they transition into this competitive industry. I wish him well in this new and exciting venture but selfishly hope that he will return from time to time to continue his very fine career as a performer with New Adventures.”
Christopher Hampson (Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet) comments, "Ballet Central are in for a bright and creative future under the Artistic Directorship of Chris Marney. He will build on the undoubted success of this vital part of Central School of Ballet's structure and it's refreshing to know that such a creative individual will be shaping the futures of these young artists."