We love our very special guests at Elmhurst. This term has been no different and despite COVID-19, friends and colleagues from across the dance sector have accepted an invitation to work with our Lower and Upper School students across a range of disciplines in our studios, in-house theatre and online. By experiencing these enlightening windows into the world of professional dance, our students’ training remains relevant to the sector that will engage and employ them in the not too distant future.
We were delighted to invite Choreographic Consultant Bim Malcolmson into Elmhurst who delivered hugely insightful workshops that asked students to consider the origins of ballet and its relation to Greek philosophy, science and geometry. Bim’s choreographic works have been performed in many internationally acclaimed venues such as Sadler’s Wells, the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban and our students received her work with great energy and enthusiasm. Thank you Bim!
Reece Causton, a Principal dancer with New Adventures, visited Elmhurst at the end of November to work with our Upper School students. Reece joined New Adventures in 2013 and has performed in the majority of the company’s repertoire working closely with its Artistic Director, Sir Matthew Bourne. Reece delivered a Contemporary dance technique class that New Adventures’ company members would typically receive before a day of rehearsals and performances. An audition workshop followed and feedback and reflection on key areas such as technique, focus, speed of learning and performance instilled invaluable advice and guidance as our older students move ever closer to entering the profession. Thank you Reece!
Young students from our Lower School in Years 9 and 10 had a workshop with ZooNation, the award-winning Kate Prince Company, the ground-breaking storytellers who create original music and dance to inspire the next generation of theatregoers and theatre makers. Thank you ZooNation!
‘Old Elms’ or ‘Elmies’, our Elmhurst alumni, are always well received when they return to school or engage online with current students. At the end of last month, Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 Zoomed with former student Ebony Thomas who is now a company member of the incredibly pioneering dance company, Ballet Black. We look forward to welcoming Ebony back in the spring term. As with all our students we are extremely proud of everything Ebony has achieved. We know there’s many more great performances to come and we can’t wait to see him and more alumni on stage again soon!
More very special guests during the recent term included Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Assistant Director, Marion Tait, and Choreologist and Répétiteur, Patricia Tierney. They selected some of our Lower School students to perform in the company’s much-loved The Nutcracker to be live-streamed from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Friday 18 December. The performance will then be available on-demand from Saturday 19 December at 7.30pm through until midnight on Christmas Eve.
Congratulations to Year 7 students Samuel Lyons, Ben Whittaker-Brown and Kian Malek and Year 8 student Wesley Mpakati for taking part in this year’s production. Members of the Elmhurst Ballet Company will also be seen in the famous snow scene!
For more information about BRB’s The Nutcracker and to book tickets please head to www.brb.org.uk