Elmhurst Ballet School, the school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, announces details of Elmhurst Ballet Company, the first-ever company for the school’s Graduate Year. Elmhurst Ballet Company will launch in 2019 with Origins, an evening of dance, at Elmhurst’s studio theatre in Edgbaston, Birmingham on 8 & 9 February, and Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio in London on Friday 15 February.
Origins will include a range of excerpts from works by leading classical and contemporary dance makers including David Bintley’s The Shakespeare Suite, Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations and Romeo and Juliet, Peter Wright’s Swan Lake and Wayne McGregor’s Entity.
Jessica Wheeler, Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School, said: “The launch of Elmhurst Ballet Company is an exciting development in the school’s history, especially as we work towards marking our 100th anniversary in 2023. The Company will enhance the student experience with performances in a variety of locations, including at home in Birmingham, and in London. Students will gain a greater sense of working and touring in a professional company whilst learning and performing a diverse range of choreography. On behalf of the school, I’d like to extend our gratitude to the incredible choreographers who have granted us permission to perform excerpts of their work during the inaugural year of Elmhurst Ballet Company.”
Robert Parker, Artistic Director of Elmhurst Ballet School, added: “Elmhurst Ballet Company will help our graduate students make a smoother transition to their professional dancer lives. Throughout their time at the school, students enjoy many performance experiences, from working with Birmingham Royal Ballet to dancing in our summer shows. Elmhurst Ballet Company will allow Company artists to hone and perform challenging and well known choreography and will take them off site to experience new venues and a touring regime. This is an important development for our next cohort of graduating students, and all those in the school years to come, as they dance ever closer to their professional careers.”
Subsequent years will see Elmhurst Ballet Company continue to deliver performances in its home city of Birmingham, return to London and develop a touring strategy that enables the Company to perform in towns and cities associated with the graduate students.
Elmhurst Ballet Company will help to deliver the school’s future outreach, learning and participatory activities, starting with performances and workshops in selected state schools relating to the 2019 launch programme.
Origins would not be possible without the generosity of David Bintley, Sir Peter Wright, Studio Wayne McGregor and Deborah MacMillan, the custodian of the ballets of her late husband Kenneth MacMillan. Wayne McGregor’s Entity (excerpt), will be performed by Elmhurst Ballet Company with thanks to the concept, direction and choreography of Wayne McGregor. Original music is by Jon Hopkins; costume design taken from the original by Patrick Burnier; lighting design taken from the original by Lucy Carter; and staged on Elmhurst Ballet Company by Studio Wayne McGregor Artist, Catarina Carvalho.