A ballet company devoted to providing opportunities for dancers of diverse backgrounds has been granted funding from the Arts Council to run its project Tales of Africa in Peckham over the summer.

Ballet Soul is working with young locals (ages 15-25) who are interested in dance, and will train them in classical ballet and contemporary styles using African movement to create a performance at Theatre Peckham.

The company’s choreographer and artistic director, Ben Love, didn’t begin training as a ballet dancer until he was 17 and thought, as a young black male, that ballet wasn’t for him. In order to change both the industry and the public’s perception, he will now offer free placements to Peckham locals in the summer through this new program.

Ben Love regularly works as a freelance guest teacher and choreographer in the UK and Europe, including the Studio Harmonique in Paris and The Royal Ballet Upper School in London.

Tales of Africa is at Theatre Peckham on August 18 at 3pm and 7:30pm. Admission: £5-£12 + booking fee. Tickets are available from www.theatrepeckham.co.uk or https://bit.ly/2OuXws1

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