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Ballet Central appeals to track down bespoke Black Swan tour costumes after £25,000 Farringdon swipe

PUBLISHED: 08:08 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:15 15 May 2018

Central School of Ballet performers in Black Swan. Photo: Amber Hunt

Central School of Ballet performers in Black Swan. Photo: Amber Hunt

© 2017 Amber Hunt

Rising ballet stars’ unique hand-made costumes have been swiped half-way through a national tour of Black Swan and Cinderella – but they have vowed “the show must go on”.

Central School of Ballet ballerinas in Black Swan. Photo: Amber HuntCentral School of Ballet ballerinas in Black Swan. Photo: Amber Hunt

Some £25,000 of lighting and sound equipment, staging, props and 100 bespoke costumes were taken when Ballet Central’s 3.5 tonne Luton hire van was pinched from a garage in Farringdon in the early hours of May 8.

Ballet Central is Central School of Ballet’s graduate performing company, and pupils are in the middle of its annual tour created with top choreographers like Matthew Bourne. It started in March, and Bath is the next stop on Friday.

Anita Hamilton from Central told the Gazette: “Our pupils are absolutely devastated. Putting on a costume is part of the process of acting out the role and bringing the character to life.

“Without the costume it affects your ability to perform your role.

Central School of Ballet ballerinas in Black Swan. Photo: Amber HuntCentral School of Ballet ballerinas in Black Swan. Photo: Amber Hunt

“This is the culmination of their three-year professional degree and it’s the opportunity for them to perform to ticket-buying audiences across the country. Very often that’s how they get jobs when choreographers and directors see them performing.

She added: “The very lucky thing is the tour has a gap until Friday so we have a few days to make preparations and that the show carries on. That’s the most important thing now.”

The tracking device on the van with registration plate BV14 VCO was switched off in Bromley-by-Bow in the early hours of Tuesday.

Police believe the Nationwide Vehicle Rental van was the target and its contents have probably been discarded by the thieves.

Central School of Ballet's Cinderella show. Photo: Amber HuntCentral School of Ballet's Cinderella show. Photo: Amber Hunt

The costumes were in two black flat chests and a silver upright case labelled Ballet Central.

Anita added: “We don’t know what the thieves would want. The police were baffled and assumed they were going after the vehicle itself. “They suggest it was probably done by professional people who knew what they were doing and that it’s not spontaneous. You don’t just go in and open up places, unless you know what you are after.

“We have offers of help from all sorts of people, an extraordinary amount of help. But we want the costumes back and think the thieves would have had no idea what it is.”

Anyone with information should call 101.

Central School of Ballet performs Cinderella  - but the costumes have now all been stolen. Picture: Bill CooperCentral School of Ballet performs Cinderella - but the costumes have now all been stolen. Picture: Bill Cooper

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