Alsop students mix art with ballet

Students from Alsop High School, Walton, recently participated in workshops in collaboration with the English National Ballet and Liverpool Empire Theatre. 

The workshops focused on figure drawing, and were to contextualise the similarities between dynamic drawing and dance. 

Students worked with visual artist Heidi Wigmore. 

Heidi led the group in a series of warm up drawing exercises to sketch the figure quickly, and modelled strategies for the students to use to record the figure in motion. 

Ms Paula Alker, head of art at Alsop High, said: “These exercises took Alsop students out of their comfort zone and encouraged them to freely record the figures form.  

“Therefore, they became more intuitive and expressive with their marks and lines.” 

The students then had the opportunity to sit in on the ‘Company Class’ of the English National Ballet. 

They were able to draw the dancers while they warmed up and rehearsed sections of Swan Lake. 

Also, students were given an insight in to how hard a dancer’s day is, with vigorous training sessions to maintain fitness as elite athletes. 

The sixth form artists had to work in complete silence as any noise could distract the dancers and cause potential injury. 

They then produced a bank of ‘super-fast’ gestural drawings which recorded the dancer’s relationship to the space around them. 

Heidi Wigmore said: “The workshop with Alsop students combined the act of drawing and looking.  

“Dancing is thinking with the body and drawing is the closet action to thought.” 

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