Rickshaw driver’s son overcomes difficulties to get admission in famous UK ballet school UK News

Kamal Singh did not even know what ballet he was when he panicked at the Imperial Fernando Ballet School in Delhi during the summer of 2016. But the 17-year-old, known as Noddy, whose father was a rickshaw driver, was edited by ballet dancers in a Bollywood movie in the west of the city, and wanted to try it out for himself.

Singh is now one of the first Indian students to enter the English National Ballet School for four years. It started this week.

School fees and living expenses in London were far beyond the reach of Singh’s family of about 20,000, but the crowdfunding campaign in support of Bollywood’s biggest names took place in less than two weeks. Succeeded in raising funds.

21 Singh said, “I can’t describe how it feels, all my dreams have come true.” Surprisingly, I enjoy every day. “My family doesn’t know much about ballet but they are very happy and proud to be at the English National Ballet. I am the first in my family to come to London.

When Fernando Aguilera, his teacher, mentor and founder of the school in Delhi where he danced, first competed with the Sangh, he was surprised at the boy’s natural gifts.

“I knew right away that he was so skilled,” said Aguilera, who is from Argentina. “He was just as flexible as rubber. He had a body that was ready for ballet by God – he just needed to be taught how to use it.”

Singh told Aguilera that he desperately wanted to go with the classes but he could not afford the fee of Rs. 3,500 (37) per month. ”At that moment, my heart sank. Come on. I’m not going to charge you, just come because I want to see you in class, “said Aguilera.

After Singh’s second class, Aguilera said she realized the boy had a “true gift, even though she didn’t know it.” He then took the Sangh with him on a scholarship as a full-time student, until he had to travel two and a half hours from the child’s home for lunch and school.

Singh had never heard classical music or even the piano before his first lessons, but under Aguilera’s private tuition he learned not only ballet but also the basics of reading music, stories of famous ballet dancers and great ballets like Swan. Have learned stories Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and Giselle. He attended school for ten to twelve hours a day.

Aguilera said: “He was very dedicated, he worked hard and he wanted to learn. I taught him for four years, and he never asked for a break, he never missed a day.

Hobby of dance: Kamal Singh
Dance hobby: Kamal Singh, gone. Photography: Imperial Fernando Ballet Company

He also made the Sangh and his family realize that ballet has a future. “He made me watch videos of professional ballet dancers and taught me that it could be a career, just like a doctor or an engineer, and he also met my father for an explanation. Then my father Allow me to read full time.

Under Aguilera’s sponsorship, Singh traveled to Russia in 2019 to take part in a prestigious summer ballet course. He was awarded a scholarship to return this year, but coveted 19 epidemics and everything was canceled.

Just as opportunities seemed to be running out, an ad on Instagram stated that the English National Ballet in London was looking for male dancers. So Singh applied.

In September, an acceptance email arrived in Aguilera’s inbox. “I read the e-mail seven times, I couldn’t believe it. I translated it into Spanish just to make sure I was reading it correctly. And then I started crying,” Aguilera said. “

The Sangh’s first response was, “Sir, I don’t think so, read the letter again.” But the initial festivities quickly became a source of concern. For the Sangh’s family, the living expenses of Rs. Aguilera, determined not to get the money, was on the verge of taking a loan to fund her student when she thought the mob would start a funding page.

Within a week, he had raised Rs 1.5 lakh (£ 16,000). Over the course of two weeks, several Bollywood stars like Kanwal Kapoor launched the campaign, donated and shared information extensively. In the last week of September, Singh boarded a flight to London.

Vivana Durante, artistic director of the English National Ballet School, said the one-year program would provide Singh with “intensive training in classical and modern techniques”, and that he would be taught how to adapt to the 19th How to adapt to the world of dance. . “Talk about passion, hope and education. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. She is one of only ten male dancers and ten female dancers selected this year.

After starting training at just 17, Singh’s skills as a classically trained ballet dancer developed relatively late. But Durante said they are in good company. “Rudolf Nuriyev started too late. Obviously, if you start early, you have more time to train. But you find things like perfection where they start late and passion arises – and so does devotion and competence. “

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