Dancing your story

English National Ballet School performs for gala dinner at Banqueting House

The event

Winter’s frost, summer’s bounty and cosmic forces have transformed Banqueting House into a 17th-century masque. Forest creatures and balletic figures adorned with feathers proffer wine. Or is it nectar? Secrets are exchanged. Wild stories are told. Nothing is what it seems.

Dinner upstairs in the Banqueting Hall is sumptuous. The playing of harps is beguiling. But something is afoot.

Puck sticks his head out from behind the white velvet curtain at the other end of the Hall and as quickly disappears. Then the curtain is pulled back and four balletic pieces are performed by members of the English National Ballet School. The dancers dazzle in a bespoke programme specially designed to showcase their talents. The corporate sponsor and all the guests are transfixed.

How do they do it, they ask.

The reaction