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Meet Ben Love - where African movement meets classical ballet.

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Meet Ben Love.



Introducing Ben Love, the founder of Ballet Soul, a unique ballet company, combining African movement styles with classical ballet and traditional dance. Ben ensures all performances in Ballet Soul break moulds, bringing traditional stories to today's modern audiences.


It was wonderful having a journey into Ben's life and work and how Ballet Soul came about. We also created his fantasy cultural year and played the This or That game. Watch the video above or listen to the audio version on Soundcloud. It was great fun.


Born in the vibrant heart of Nairobi, Kenya, at the age of 9 he settled in Ilkeston, Derbyshire with his family. Despite early aspirations in professional football, Ben discovered a profound passion for dance that would shape his future life and work.


This was discovered at 16, when Ben watched a captivating performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, igniting within him an unwavering commitment to ballet. Embracing this, he embarked on a rigorous training regime, earning a scholarship at the prestigious Arts Education School, with campuses in both London and New York. It was during this time that Ben honed his skills and made history as the first black male lead dancer with European ballet companies, including the Portuguese National Ballet, London City Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, and Norwegian National Ballet.


Ben Love - Ballet Soul

His experiences as a dancer fuelled his determination to address the lack of diversity in ballet education and representation, driving him to establish Ballet Soul an embodiment of his Kenyan heritage, English upbringing, and the multicultural influences of London.


With a mission rooted in innovation, multiculturalism, and artistic expression, Ballet Soul under Ben's leadership aims to democratise access to ballet while empowering individuals to participate in all aspects of performance art.


Ballet Soul offers ...


• Open auditions

• Workshops and Summer Schools

• Open rehearsals and mentoring Ballet Soul dancers

• In-school workshops based on curriculum needs

• One-to-one training

• Strong links with local partners

• Opportunity to become a major player in the entertainment industry

• Ground breaking performances

• Educational outreach initiatives such as providing opportunities to take workshops into schools to discuss ballet as part of the curriculum

• A broad practical dance education and opportunity to develop technical, musical and performance skills


Othello21, Ben’s film and documentary, is a modern reinterpretation of Shakespeare's classic tragedy, infused with Ballet Soul's signature style. The film transports us to modern Britain, where high flying media man Othello is taking London by storm. He is a passionate and powerful African man, married to the love of his life - Desdemona. In a dream he is left a blood red scarf by the spirit of his mother. A token of his past and a symbol of his love, their present and future, Othello gives the scarf to Desdemona. A decision that may come back to haunt him.





An example of how Ben’s work continues to challenge perceptions and push the boundaries of ballet as an art form. Watch the film here and the making of it here.


Looking to the future, Ballet Soul has embarked on a comprehensive 5-Year Plan, marked by a commitment to accessibility, excellence, and community engagement.


Ben's visionary approach to choreography and his dedication to fostering inclusivity and creativity has certainly earned him acclaim both as an artistic director and as a driving force behind Ballet Soul. With each performance, Ben and Ballet Soul leave an impact on the cultural landscape, inspiring audiences and artists alike to embrace the transformative power of dance.



You can find Ben on LinkedIn here, Facebook here, Instagram here, YouTube here and X here.


Check out the website here.

 

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