KAFFEINE / Arts & Culture, Public Relations

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and leading cultural figures support RAD new Portrait Competition

17 December 2021

With the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) moving its global headquarters to brand new large building and dance studios in Battersea in Spring 2022, the century old dance charity is keen to promote dance as one of the most accessible art forms.

We were tasked to use the move and the RAD’s new mission of inspiring the world to dance in innovative new ways as a catalyst to deepen its credentials as one of London, and the UK’s, leading cultural organisations by getting people to see dance in a new light.

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To do this and inspired by the donation of a rare portrait of legendary Russian ballerina Tamara Karsavina, one of the RAD’s founders, we created a new portrait competition to commission a UK artist to paint a portrait of RAD founder, Dame Adeline Genee. Both portraits will then be hung in public view in the RAD’s new headquarters

To bring the competition to life we secured an illustrious judging panel including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, former English National Ballet Dancer Shevelle Dynott and Royal portraitist Ralph Heimans to give their time and join Dame Darcey Bussell and Luke Rittner, CEO to join the judging panel.

Our campaign harnessed Kallaway’s cultural connections to promote news of the portrait competition to leading arts and cultural destinations, organisations, schools and groups to stimulate interest including the Royal Academy, CASS Art, Central Saint Martins and The Royal Drawing School. We also sent personal invitations to UK artists we had followed throughout 2021 including winners of the BP Portrait Prize.

To deepen connections with the local community, we created an equivalent competition for primary schools inviting pupils to create a painting or drawing inspired by dance and how it makes them feel.

The competition is currently open for entries with strong signups so far. Winners will be announced in early 2021 with the unveiling of the portrait set to be unveiled in Spring 2022.