The Royal Ballet Creates: Kristen McNally & Thomas Whitehead in Rehearsal

Kristen McNally and Thomas Whitehead, who recently led “Ballet Rocks” at the Move It Show, are preparing to take over Covent Garden’s Apple Store this Saturday 9 April. The event is free and visitors will have the opportunity to collaborate with Kristen as she works with four Royal Ballet dancers (Thom, Jonathan Watkins, Yasmine Naghdi and Jacqueline Clark) on new choreography set to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

The idea to use this particular score came after Kristen watched Kanye’s recent short, Runaway. A big fan of the hip hop artist (incidentally she would love to be able to see him headlining Coachella this month), she regretted the use of so many choreographic clichés; the way the ballerinas looked so “commercial” in his film. This interactive session at the Apple Store is Kristen’s perfect chance to show how classical ballet technique can be tweaked and used as a basis for movement that looks truly fresh. For the three separate 30-minute sessions (to be held at 2, 4 and 6pm) audiences should expect pointe shoes mixed with dance sneakers, all accessorized with Kanye’s trademark shutter shades.

Ahead of Saturday, a sneak peek at Kristen’s creative sessions with Thom:

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge & see as slideshow)

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All photos by The Ballet Bag ©

The Royal Ballet Creates – 9 April 2011, 2, 4 and 6pm at Apple Store, Covent Garden.

Audience members will have the chance to apply for free tickets to The Royal Ballet’s “Draft Works” at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre later this month.

Further Information:

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).


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  • [...] Ballet Live will be presented by George Lamb and Royal Ballet Soloist Kristen McNally. Between them, they will have exclusive access to the Company, and audiences will be encouraged to [...]

  • [...] Ballet” for the blog “Behind Ballet”. Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally choreographed a new work set to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in the middle of a busy Apple Store on a Saturday afternoon. [...]

  • May 4, 2011


    ‘Blue Steel’ moment… ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • [...] new dance audiences. One of the coolest dance events of the year in the UK was The Royal Ballet’s takeover of Covent Garden’s Apple Store, to create, amidst iPads and MacBooks, a dance work inspired by Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark [...]

  • [...] Redoing Runaway (the Ballet Bag) [...]

  • April 9, 2011


    Hot photos girls !

  • April 8, 2011

    La Darina

    I am really looking forward to this, McNally is all kinds of awesome! I love it that ROH illustrated their blog post with a picture of Whitehead & co. in her previous piece “Yes We Did”