Interviews

5 Questions to Darcey Bussell about her upcoming British Ballet Charity Gala on 3 June 2021

Dame Darcey Bussell.<br />© and courtesy Royal Academy of Dance. (Click image for larger version)
Dame Darcey Bussell.
© and courtesy Royal Academy of Dance. (Click image for larger version)

The British Ballet Charity Gala is a unique evening of ballet, hosted by Dame Darcey Bussell and Ore Oduba. For the very first time, dancers from all eight of Britain’s main ballet/dance companies – Ballet Black, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, New Adventures, Northern Ballet, Rambert, Scottish Ballet and The Royal Ballet – will perform pieces from their repertoire on the same stage.

The Gala takes place at London’s Royal Albert Hall, on June 3. Ticket prices: £240 – £250. Book here. You can also stream the performance on 18 June at £20 via the ROH and ENB websites.   britishballetcharitygala.com

Q: It’s a huge Charity gala – how did it come to be and how many people are involved in making it happen?

The Royal Albert Hall where the Gala takes place on the 3 June 2021.<br />© David Iliff. (Click image for larger version)
The Royal Albert Hall where the Gala takes place on the 3 June 2021. © David Iliff. (Click image for larger version)
DB: it was my idea to be honest but then I had to persuade my husband to agree to work on it with me! The key element was the eight companies agreeing to collaborate, it is their gala and it will be unique. There will be 65 dancers.
 

What are the highlights and might you be dancing some steps on the night with Ore Oduba?

There are going to be many highlights given the wide variety of talent on the same stage. Each company has its own distinctive style which will make the evening so interesting and exciting. Ore and I are not planning to perform but perhaps we might get inspired on the night!
 

The proceeds go to all 8 dancing companies and 11 other dance charities that have all suffered terribly in lockdown – how much do you hope to raise and how can people support the gala?

The most important thing is to raise awareness, to engage with the public so that they appreciate how much we need them to get back into theatres as soon as possible please!

You can support the event by buying tickets today, either at the Royal Albert Hall for June 3rd performance or for the streaming which occurs on the Royal Opera House and English National Ballet sites from the 18th of June.

Or you can donate directly via our website britishballetcharitygala.com

Every donation will make a difference.
 

What’s your motto in life – what carries you through no matter what?

If you possibly can, be a little fearless… because until you have a go at something, you never know what you are capable of.
 

Dame Darcey Bussell.<br />© and courtesy Royal Academy of Dance. (Click image for larger version)
Dame Darcey Bussell.
© and courtesy Royal Academy of Dance. (Click image for larger version)

What next for you after the gala and what’s your biggest dance wish?

Right now I can only focus on the gala as it is in four weeks time!  Let’s keep our wonderful ballet companies thriving, we need them.
 

Bonus Question: Tell us a joke…

What did the fish say when she swam into a wall?   Damn.
 
 

About the author

Bruce Marriott

Bruce Marriott is editor of DanceTabs

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