The aim of the Imperial Classical Ballet Faculty is to increase the standard and appreciation of Classical Ballet, both in performance and in teaching. Founded over fifty years ago, this Faculty continues to exert a strong influence in the international promotion of the English classical style.
The syllabi were originally compiled by a committee of well-known and established teachers. Nowadays they are regularly reviewed, thus ensuring that they continue to provide the strong foundation for today's ever advancing technical standards. The use of the Imperial Classical Ballet syllabi gives the teacher guidance in correct and safe teaching methods for all age groups and at all levels from beginner to professional. Children and students are encouraged to acquire a sound basic technique combined with an understanding of co-ordination and musical interpretation which are the essentials of a pure classical training. Numerous outstanding teachers, and classical dancers in major international ballet companies, have been wholly trained within the Imperial Classical Ballet syllabi.
The syllabi have been carefully developed in order to provide a fully comprehensive training both for children and young adults who wish to dance for pleasure and for those interested in a professional training and, therefore, wishing to study for the major Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2 examinations.
These have been devised to provide a worthwhile sense of achievement both for children and young adults who dance for recreation and for children hoping to pursue a career in classical ballet. There are ten Class examinations ranging from Pre-Primary to Higher Standard 8, and seven Grades ranging from Primary to Grade 6, all of which progressively develop a child's technical ability and understanding, giving him or her a sense of dance, poise and an understanding of its relation to music. For each Grade the candidate is required to perform one of the set dances or classical variations appropriate for that level, thus developing their use of mime. Additionally there are mime and music sections in each of the Class Tests. The most recent additions to the children's examinations are the Performance Awards which have been designed to encourage a candidate's sense of projection and performance.
These may be entered in a choice of two categories and provides a sound and well constructed build-up of technique and the artistic qualities so vital for this demanding profession. The major syllabi are designed to benefit both students aspiring to dance professionally and also those wishing to enter the teaching profession. Students aged 25 years and over may be examined as 'Mature' candidates.
Various annual awards are arranged by the Faculty, the most prominent being the Imperial Ballet Awards, in which entrants from Grade 3 to Advanced participate. Within this event is also included the Kathleen Browning and Eileen Read Choreographic Awards, thus encouraging children and students of all levels to develop a creative and musical awareness. Additional annual events include the Stella Mann Bursary and the Elizabeth Baines-Hewitt Award. These events are adjudicated by professional classical dancers and leading dance teachers. For established young teachers the Faculty also holds the Mavdor Scholarship which is designed to assist the successful candidate in furthering his or her qualifications within the Faculty.