Images Ballet Company (formerly Images of Dance) was created in 1991 under the Artistic Directorship of Margaret Barbieri and the guidance of Dame Alicia Markova. The company was founded to provide classical ballet dancers with invaluable performing experience and was re-launched under its new title, Images Ballet Company, in September 2015, under the Artistic Direction of Jennifer Jackson. It aims to presents diverse programmes of new, innovative ballets, as well as revivals of significant works and to include the element of live music in the performances.
Each year a new cast of company members are introduced as part of their training in classical ballet at the prestigious London Studio Centre. In 2016 the company toured works staged and created by Jose Martin, Morgann Runacre-Temple, Sally Marie, Jonathan Watkins and Jennifer Jackson. Their achievements were diverse, from the re-creation of fiercely technical nineteenth century ballet, to post-modern devised choreography they performed the evening-long performance at various theatre venues across the UK, before culminating in a season finale at Lillian Baylis Studio Theatre, London accompanied by the Maxwell String Quartet. The 2017 tour featured four thought-provoking and contrasting ballets. Irreverent choreographer Liz Aggiss made her very first work for a ballet company, delving into ballet stories with dark humour. Ballet Ireland’s Morgann Runacre-Temple presented imaginatively surreal articulations of the female body and Jackson collaborated with composer Tom Armstrong, to re-imagine dances from the prologue of Sleeping Beauty with a new score for viola and flute. Matthew Hart’s theme of love and loss was deftly woven into Malcolm Arnold’s Concerto for Two Pianos (Three Hands). In 2018 Runacre-Temple re-created her exquisitely detailed portrait of three women in Mozart’s life and viola and guitar duo Elliott Perks and Tom Ellis played live for Hubert Essakow’s dances with space and gravity. Bim Malcomson witty exploration of ideas from Lewis Carroll’s Alice and Erico Montes’ lyrical fluent choreographer with music by Florence Price completed a rich and musical programme.
Historically the company has performed classical repertoire and new choreography, premiering works by choreographers including Matthew Bourne, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Baldwin, Adam Cooper, Wayne Sleep and William Tuckett, as well as Jennifer Jackson. Senior principal members from major companies, such as The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company rehearse and workshop with the company.
Images Ballet Company dancers have gone on to join and perform with prominent companies including Royal Ballet Company, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, New Adventures, Royal Swedish Ballet, Vienna Festival Ballet, The Peter Schaufuss Ballet and Ballet Ireland.