Summer Spotlight on School Talent

Friday July 7th 2023

The Elmhurst annual summer show has remained a highlight of the school calendar for 100 years. This year, Century performances sold out and showcased the diverse talents of Elmhurst students from the Lower and Upper School, Elmhurst Ballet Company and the weekend Young Dancers’ Programme.

Students collaborate with artistic staff and guests to bring the performances of Century to the Elmhurst Studio Theatre stage. Every year, rehearsals intensify during the last month of the summer term and it is a mammoth task to present the shows in addition to numerous Elmhurst events and dance and academic exams at the end of the year.

The summer performances are split into Whole School, Upper School and Lower School shows. They provide vital opportunities for students, from gaining experience in working collaboratively to honing performance skills, from the ability to learn and retain many dance steps to being in a studio with guest artists and choreographers, from long days into evenings for technical and dress rehearsals to building stamina and fitness levels, and tackling some very quick costume changes…there really is another show going on backstage!

With thanks to choreographers old and new, students experienced an impressive range of dance, choreographic and creative styles in Century, including graduates of Elmhurst Ballet Company in Birthday Offering by choreographic great Frederick Ashton; Journey, a new work for the whole Lower School by Gavin McCaig of Northern Ballet fame; Juncture, a contemporary dance work by Charlotte Edmonds; Mocedades, a ballet work for Year 10 by Elmhurst teacher Sonia Fajardo; La gioia di ballare for Year 11 by Elmhurst ballet teachers Lee Robinson and Gloria Grigolato; Year 12 & 13 men in Classical Concerto ballet by Lee Robinson; members of Elmhurst Ballet Company in The End is Where we Start by Jordan James Bridge for Studio Wayne McGregor, further strengthening a relationship between the school and the award-winning London based company; graduates in Jazz Doin' That Doo-Wah Thing! by West End performer Cris Penfold; there was plenty of audience cries of ‘Ole!’ for the ever-popular flamenco dance highlighted in Escencias by Ana Garcia; excerpts from Sir Peter Wright’s admired version of Coppélia pleased audiences throughout the run, including Lower School in a Coppélia Suite, and Year 12 & 13 in various pieces from Sir Peter’s production; Year 12 brought contemporary dance piece Memoria by Sandrine Monin to life; inspired by The Greatest Showman film, Year 11 showed us their joy of jazz dance in From Now On by Cris Penfold; Elmhurst Ballet Company men, with Year 12 & 13 men, brought the house down in Argonauts from David Bintley’s challenging and energetic The Orpheus Suite; and the Whole School in Grand Défilé, literally translated as the ‘Big Parade’, never fails to make the entire audience smile. There might have been a few tears of joy from parents and friends too!

Hats off to everyone who worked tirelessly to create the entertaining and extremely successful Century – a run of shows we’ll remember at the end of our incredible 100th year!


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