Along with many arts organisations and theatres across the UK, we are all thrilled at Elmhurst Ballet School to see our theatre curtain rise again to present two dance programmes from Saturday 3 to Thursday 8 July 2021.
After a 15-month live performance hiatus here at the school, the summer programme of shows kicks off on 3 & 6 July with our graduate year students of Elmhurst Ballet Company in Proxemics and concludes on 7 & 8 July with the whole school performing in Elevate.
We made a full return to face-to-face teaching in April and as students continue their dance training and academics, excitement builds through the summer term as almost 200 of our young students prepare to return to live performance in front of a socially distanced audience.
For our youngest dancers, the shows will mark the first time performing at the school since starting their full-time training in September 2019. For Elmhurst Ballet Company it is an opportunity to showcase skills just days before flying the Elmhurst nest and pursuing a professional career in dance.
Proxemics highlights a range of dance styles accomplished by the young dancers of Elmhurst Ballet Company, the final year, performing strand of the full-time course here that eases the transition from student to professional life.
The 20-strong Elmhurst Ballet Company will take to the stage in a mixed programme of work by some distinguished names from the dance world: a classical ballet excerpt from Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère; and Capricious, a new contemporary dance work reaffirms our ongoing association with the award-winning Studio Wayne McGregor. Odette Hughes, the company’s Associate Director worked collaboratively with Elmhurst Ballet Company to create Capricious, a thirteen-minute piece based on the students’ experience of the pandemic. The work marks the third collaboration between Elmhurst and the London based company.
Also part of the Proxemics programme is Lines by Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal dancer and our newest Board member Brandon Lawrence and filmmaker and spoken word poet Davy Lazare; a new jazz dance piece by Zak Nemorin, recently celebrated for his Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance film; and Silem, a new work by Elmhurst Ballet Company member Enrique Ngbokota who was part of the Young Cast in Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet in 2018.
Elevate will bring Elmhurst’s entire student community together in a second mixed bill during the programme of July shows. Performed by Lower and Upper School students and Elmhurst Ballet Company, we hope Elevate will lift audiences’ spirits as theatres reopen and the arts and other sectors look ahead.
In Elevate and in addition to the works performed by Elmhurst Ballet Company listed above, Birmingham Royal Ballet Soloist Laura Day creates a new work for Years 7 - 9 set to Vaughan Williams’ ‘English Folk Dances’; Year 10 & 11 perform in Sleepwalkers inspired by the New Adventures’ production of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, created by New Adventures Resident Artist Kerry Biggin.
Mark Baldwin OBE, an Elmhurst Governor and former Artistic Director of Rambert creates Melody Space set to Handel’s ‘The Messiah’ for Year 12 students; and fresh from their performances with Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Year 13 will present an excerpt from Sir David Bintley’s Cinderella on the Elmhurst stage; Peter Leung, a multi-disciplinary artist with a focus on choreography, stage direction and photography creates a new work for Upper School students set to Dvorák’s String Quartet in F major; and works by Elmhurst artistic faculty Gloria Grigolato and Lee Robinson (classical ballet) and Ana Garcia (flamenco) completes Elevat
Please note: due to social distancing and fewer seats this year, priority booking will be open to Elmhurst’s students’ parents in the first instance. General on-sale for Proxemics will open to the public on 16 June via the events page of our website.