Royal Ballet star performs with plastic to raise awareness of ocean pollution


Royal Ballet dancer, Fernando Montaño, has danced underwater among art installations made from re-cycled plastics as part of an event to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and raise funds for his chosen charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

Columbian-born Montaño, says he’s become increasingly aware of the ever-growing levels of ocean pollution, and especially the problems that our use of single-use plastics is creating in seas around the world.

“I decided to create my own photographic project, Dance for the Sea, to help highlight the issue and, having commissioned some special costumes that I created with Croatian designer, Mario Mise, I asked underwater photography specialist, Robin Conway, to take the images as I swam and performed in a pool whilst surrounded by plastic detritus and installations made from recycled plastic waste.”

The images and video of Montaño’s performance amongst plastic will be on show at a charity event he’s staging, in aid of MCS, ‘Dance for the Sea’ at the Susie Sainsbury Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music in London on July 18th. The event is sponsored by global internet service company, Rakuten.

In addition to the show there will be an auction of some novel experiences including afternoon tea with MCS Ocean Ambassador and BBC’s Dragon’s Den star, Deborah Meaden.

“I wanted to contrast the freedom that comes with dance and light with the claustrophobic, strangulating and destructive impact of plastic in all its forms once it enters the global water system,” says Fernando. “What has made this project special is its community nature. I’ve been very grateful to all the schools and local groups who gave their time and energy to collect items that they then turned into backdrops and installations for the photographic session.

“We have selected the best ten photos for our campaign and hope to use them to highlight the disastrous environmental impact of plastic on our ocean and ultimately, the quality of life for this and future generations around the world. 10 limited edition prints of each photo will be used to raise funds and awareness for MCS.”

TV presenter Sian Lloyd will host the evening and Fernando will choreograph and perform a number of dances throughout the show as well as being interviewed on stage about his passion for the subject and why he created Dance for the Sea.

He’ll be joined by Lithuanian mezzo soprano Justina Gringyte who will soon be reprising her role as Carmen in the English National Opera’s production at the London Coliseum.

Acclaimed Latvian concert pianist Reinis Zarins will accompany them, and other performers will include the outstanding same-gender ballroom dance champions Axel Zischka and Thorsten Dreyer.

Sandy Luk, Chief Executive of MCS said: “Fernando’s performance with plastic brings pollution and ballet together in a truly inspiring and innovative way. Using the art of ballet to show the destructive impacts of plastic litter is a juxtaposition that many would never have considered. We’re thrilled to be Fernando’s charity partner for this unique show.”

Tickets are £48 and £55 and a limited number of £50 VIP passes are available for the MCS exclusive post-show VIP reception in the Angela Burgess Recital Hall where they will be joined after the performance by Fernando and the cast.

Tickets and more info is available from the box office at

Find out more about The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) at

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