29th July 2010
Young Brummies discover the effort that goes into staging a ballet at Birmingham Hippodrome
Participants in Ballet, Birmingham & Me (BB&Me) have discovered just how much effort it takes behind the scenes to put on a performance at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Ballet, Birmingham & Me is a unique project between Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Youth Service and Birmingham Association of Youth Clubs. Ballet, Birmingham & Me is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is a People Dancing programme, funded by Legacy Trust UK. It is a two-year programme of mass participation involving young people from across the City. Activities include dance workshops and rehearsals, leading to a major performance at Birmingham Hippodrome on Wednesday 8th December.
Participants work with dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet as well as professionals from other disciplines – such as production, set design and wardrobe – and will undertake a major role in the planning, creativity and management of a large-scale theatre presentation.
Charlotte, a BB&Me participant from The Pump in Kitts Green, said: “We all knew the scale of this project was huge, but I don’t think any of us realised just how much money is being invested in our performance of Cinderella. We learned that just one ballet costume can cost hundreds of pounds which certainly shocked us! It’s an incredible responsibility we’ve been given; not many young people can say they’ve performed on stage at the Hippodrome. We know we’ve all got to put in a great deal of effort from now until the show in December.”
Danielle, also from The Pump, commented: “The great thing about BB&Me is that it’s a project which will be recognised and respected in the region for years to come. We’ve all learned new skills already which will be genuinely useful to any of us who decide to pursue a career in the performing arts when the project is over.”
Over the last 18 months BB&Me participants have been undertaking ballet lessons with professional dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet as well as exploring the themes behind the Cinderella story to create their own unique version.
With just five months until the show is performed, BB&Me participants will be using the school holidays to undertake an intensive programme of dance classes until casting for Cinderella is announced at the beginning of September.
Ballet, Birmingham & Me will run alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet’s own production of Cinderella – the first major reworking of a ballet this decade, which forms part of the company’s 20th Birthday celebrations.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Cinderella performs at Birmingham Hippodrome from 24th November (World Premiere) to 12th December 2010 and tours to Salford, Plymouth and London in 2011.