Elmhurst Ballet Company - Legacy Review

Elmhurst Ballet Company - Legacy Review


Posted 2023-05-21 by dpmfollow

Fri 19 May 2023 - Sat 20 May 2023

Birmingham’s prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School shows us what its pupils are made of with these performances from the final-year students. Legacy is both a nod to Elmhurst’s history as the school celebrates its centenary this year and also a look to the future and the legacy these young dancers will leave behind.

Performed by the student company at the school, Elmhurst Ballet Company, with support from Year 13 and Year 12 pupils, the programme is a mixed bill of classical and contemporary work that challenges the young dancers and showcases their achievements.

The evening begins and closes with pure classical ballet in the shape of Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering. Set to music by Alexander Glazunov, the work is typical Ashton in that it looks so beautifully delicate and yet depends on such strength and balance.

Choreographed by student Jack Farren, Resonate sees the company stepping into a much more contemporary world. Set to music by Elliot Moss, Farren’s choreography is confident and he brings a great deal of precision and technique out of his fellow dancers.

Sonia Fajardo’s Malambo turns up the heat with an Argentinian-inspired piece set to music by Alberto Ginastera. First showcased as part of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s An Evening of Music and Dance in February, the performance has come on massively in the intervening months so that the dancers are performing with zest and assurance.

The youngsters have been working with Jordan James Bridge, a Company Wayne McGregor artist, to create a new piece – The End is Where We Start. Set to a series of music including pieces by Ben Frost and Zbigniew Preisner’s Lacrimosa the work shows audiences the capabilities of both the ensemble and also focuses on some powerful pas de deux and solos.

The team jazz it up with Doin’ That Doo-Wah Thing!, a Cris Penforld piece set to music by Duke Ellington and Luther Henderson. With their top hats and tails, the work has plenty of personality and is performed with a touch of West End panache.

Avatara Ayuso’s Bronislava is a homage to choreographer Bronislava Nijinska, whose 1923 Les Noces also celebrates its centenary this year. The work is more of a reflection of Nijinksa’s work and legacy than any form of narrative although we see different female dancers leading and encouraging others while two men, presumably her brother and legendary dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and the ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, hold court.

And then like a whirlwind, we have David Bintley’s Argonauts, taken from his jazz-inspired Orpheus Suite which sees a group of all-male dancers in a high-energy romp set to music by Colin Towns. Hands raised as if playing instruments, they run, jump and leap around the stage in a well-synchronized band – leaving us all breathless by the end.

An evening like Legacy is very much a taster of what these young dancers can achieve. A series of glimpses, it reveals a group of young people dedicated to their craft who are just beginning their careers. The evening also features film footage of the students discussing their time at Elmhurst and their hard work preparing for Legacy - and their enthusiasm and love for dance shines through both in their words and on stage.

Legacy is performed at Elmhurst School until 20 May, see here .


78677 - 2023-05-20 09:41:26


Copyright 2024 OatLabs ABN 18113479226