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Leonardo da Vinci: Masterpieces of Motion at Windsor Castle

This October half term, a series of immersive dance performances inspired by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci will be staged in the magnificent State Apartments at Windsor Castle.
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

The six family-friendly evening performances have been specially choreographed for Windsor Castle by Edwin Ray, a lead dancer in Matthew Bourne’s dance company New Adventures, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance master’s death.

Each evening after the Castle has closed to the public for the day, audiences will take their seats in the Waterloo Chamber for an introduction to Leonardo’s work as a court artist by Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings and curator of the landmark series of exhibitions Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. A cast of dancers will then guide the audience into St George’s Hall, the largest room in the Castle, for a contemporary dance piece inspired by Leonardo’s extraordinary anatomical insights and depictions of movement. Storytelling interludes will captivate adults and children alike as they journey through the imagination of one of the greatest minds in history.

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

A highlight of the evening will be an opportunity to view up-close the six original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci that have inspired the production. Drawings on display in the State Apartments will include The head of Leda (c.1505–8), The muscles of the shoulder, arm and neck (c.1510–11) and A standing male nude (c.1504–6), all of which will have recently returned from display at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

The production forms part of Royal Collection Trust’s year-long programme to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, which includes 14 exhibitions of the artist’s work at museums and galleries across the UK. These exhibitions offer the widest-ever UK audience the opportunity to see the work of the Renaissance master, and have already been seen by more than a million people.

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

The Royal Collection contains by far the greatest collection of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. The works have been together as a group since the artist’s death and provide an unparalleled insight into Leonardo’s investigations and the workings of his mind. When not on public display, they are kept in controlled conditions in the Print Room at Windsor Castle.

Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust, said, ‘Leonardo spent much of his career as a court artist, designing performances and festivities alongside his work as an artist. It is wonderful to be able to stage a performance based on Leonardo’s drawings in Windsor Castle, the home for the last two centuries of the world’s greatest collection of his studies.’

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

Edwin Ray, Artistic Director of Masterpieces of Motion, said, ‘We want to transport our audience into the world of Leonardo da Vinci, and have created a unique performance featuring dance, storytelling, facts, fun and theatrics, suitable for all the family. I’m so excited that our audience will get to see the original Leonardo drawings that have inspired the performance that they will be immersed in.’

Masterpieces of Motion is choreographed by Edwin Ray, with Associate Choreographers Anjali Mehra and Tom Jackson Greaves, and performed by Sam Archer, Steph Elstob, Laura Caldow, Joseph Fletcher and Carl Lock. Storytelling interludes are performed by Olivia Armstrong.

Tickets are £30 for an adult and £25 for under 17s. Under 5s are free. Full info & booking via their website here.

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