24 Elmhurst students have started rehearsals for the opening ceremony to mark the beginning of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on Thursday 28 July.
The opening ceremony will be held at the redeveloped Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr, in front of around 30,000 people and broadcast to an estimated global audience of one billion. During the opening ceremony, our students will perform alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers, a cast of 2000 volunteers and a 1,000-strong choir. The ceremony will introduce the nations’ athletes taking part in the Games, and will also welcome the Queen’s Baton.
The Creative Team is led by Artistic Director Iqbal Khan and Peaky Blinders' writer and creator, Steven Knight, and the Year 13 and graduate students are working with chief choreographer Corey Baker, known for his films featuring dance in striking and unusual places, including the award-winning Swan Lake Bath Ballet for BBC Arts. Jacob Wye, one of several dance captains working with Corey, is a former dancer with the critically-acclaimed Ballet Black and is keeping team-Elmhurst on track during rehearsals.
The Elmhurst students have rehearsed at the school in Edgbaston and during virtual sessions overseen by Corey and Jacob, with our artistic director, Robert Parker, a former Principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Rehearsals continue in Longbridge – in a mock-up of the performance space – before the first Alexander Stadium rehearsal on 13 July.
Choreographer and Movement Director, Corey Baker, said: “We are delighted that Elmhurst students are joining the cast of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Seeing them shine alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet and our professional contemporary dance cast, in adjacent with our wonderful volunteer cast is a real treat and an absolute highlight of our show. These young artists from Elmhurst have a bright future ahead of them and I am so excited that they are playing a part in creating our spectacular showcase for Birmingham and the West Midlands which will be broadcast live to around 1 billion people on 28 July 2022.”
On behalf of Elmhurst, Robert Parker, added: “Elmhurst’s involvement in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students. They are working with a highly-esteemed creative team and will be part of an event that will celebrate and showcase the region’s diverse creativity and talent. We are honoured and thrilled to be taking part and thank the creative team for including the school.”
Elmhurst’s Class of 2022 students dancing in the opening ceremony are Leah Allen, Olivia Chang-Clarke, Alice Higginbottom, Alyssa Holliday-Smith, Mackenzie Jacob, Shea Linley, Candela Nieto, Holly Slater, Lara Tessier, Isabel Falcus and Zack Pye. They are joined by Year 13 students Amelia Cook, William Davolls, Ella Dennehy, Caitlin Edgington, Jack Farren, Florence Fowler, Leo Morad, Kazusa Murayoshi, Benjamin Spiteri, Isabel Tornqvist, Sophie Walters, Heidi Whiting and Samantha Wong.