DAMEN AXTENS - NZ AT THE ROYAL BALLET SCHOOL LONDON
Damen Axtens right performing at The Opera Holland Park London
12 Years Old
Gilroy Studio Invercargill
JUNIOR 1st RUNNER-UP 2013
AUSTRALIAN BALLET SCHOOL 2014
ROYAL BALLET SCHOOL 2016
As of September 2018 I will be entering my graduate year at the Royal Ballet School. The past two years in London have flown by and I have learned so many skills that will be valuable for my career in the dance industry.
One of the opportunities that we are offered in the second year is to create a piece of choreography to be performed at the in-house ‘Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award’. The award is adjudicated by some of the top choreographers in the dance world, notably this year Wayne Mcgregor was among the very prestigious panel. I was lucky enough to win the competition, which has been one of the highlights of my time at the RBS so far.
The Royal Ballet School also does an annual end of year show at the Royal Opera House, as well as shows at Opera Holland Park. My piece was performed at OHP which was an amazing experience. This year we performed a number of contemporary and classical pieces, including a condensed version of Sir Anthony Dowell’s ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. It was a truely humbling experience to be able to work with Sir Anthony Dowell, one of Ballet’s ‘Greats’,
I am sure it will stick with me throughout my life. I was fortunate enough to perform as one of the ‘Ivans’ in ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ on the Royal Opera House stage, which is of course another highlight of my time at the school so far.
I am very much looking forward to starting the graduate year at RBS but am equally as excited to find where I will embark on my professional career.
I am so grateful for the opportunities that the Alana Haines Awards has given me and I know that I would not be where I am today without having gone to this competition back in 2013.