Young Bermudian to dance before Queen at her Jubilee
A Bermudian teenager is to perform in front of the Queen as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Ravi Cannonier-Watson and his Royal Ballet School classmates will dance at Buckingham Palace next month.
Thousands of spectators are expected to be at the event and millions more could watch the performance on television.
The 17-year-old explained: “It’s still very early days, we’ve only had about two rehearsals so far but the more rehearsals we have the more we will find out about the actual occasion and what we’re doing.
“It’s very exciting and I’m very honoured to be – not just me but everyone, my year group – I’m very honoured to be performing for such a momentous occasion.”
Ravi said that preparations were well under way in London for a string of celebrations, which will highlight Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign.
He explained that 29 full-time Royal Ballet School students would be joined by company members for the contemporary dance piece, which was choreographed especially for the June 4 event.
Ravi added: “We know that we will be performing just outside the front of Buckingham Palace, by the gates.”
He added: “I’ve not quite hit reality yet.
“With rehearsals and everything, we’ve kind of been focused on that, we haven’t been thinking about what it’s actually going to be like when we perform.”
Ravi said that news of his year group’s performance for Her Majesty was delivered “nonchalantly” by an artistic director during a lesson.
He added: “It was the fact that he said it with such a cool tone that was confusing because it is an absolute honour to perform for the Queen herself, especially for the jubilee.
“This is going to go down in history.”
Ravi has lived and trained at the Royal Ballet School since the age of 11 and was selected to continue into its Upper School two-year training programme.
He was pleased to be among 15 Royal Ballet dancers to be chosen for a recent show, that included members of other dance schools, to support people affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
Ravi said: "To have all those different schools, different styles and everything all dance in one massive programme for a very special cause, important cause … it was honestly an amazing experience.“
The teenager – a grateful recipient of grants from the Bermuda Arts Council, the Peter Leitner Arts Scholarship and the National Dance Foundation of Bermuda – hopes to teach classes and choreography workshops when he returns to the island this summer.
He said: “I’ve never really gotten into the teaching side of things, I’ve just been so focused on getting myself together.
“But now that I’m kind of coming to the end of my student life, I’ve picked up many different lessons from many different teachers that I think young Bermudian dancers could benefit from.
“Hopefully I can ignite some passion within some younger dancers to keep the cycle going.”