dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Ballet stars of tomorrow
Elmhurst Ballet School's Summer Shows are a chance for the pupils to have their moment in the spotlight and for us to see the dance stars of tomorrow.
Under the title of Awakenings, the show in the auditorium at the Birmingham school features dancers of all ages, from the new pupils right through to those just graduating and going on into life in the dancing profession.
While there is plenty of classical ballet, the show also aims to highlight the versatility of the youngsters so also features contemporary dance, jazz and flamenco.
There is some pretty challenging choreography with Wayne McGregor's Entity and Stephen Delattre's Hugging Trapped Emotions really demanding a great deal from the dancers. But the summer show also gives opportunities for dancers to explore their choreographic talent so this year features a new piece Phosphenes created by James Lovell, former Elmhurst student currently dancing the Prince in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.
The Upper School are also given a chance to showcase their talents with excerpts from Sir Peter Wright's The Sleeping Beauty. Thanks to the loan of costumes from Birmingham Royal Ballet, the students look every inch the professional as they step onto the stage. Francesca Hardwick dazzles as Princess Aurora and Ryan Felix's dominates the space as Prince Florimund.
And it has to be remembered that in a professional ballet company these roles would be danced by principals so for students to take on so many of the characters from Sleeping Beauty and perform them so well is a real tribute to their talent and the work of their teachers.
Since moving to Birmingham in 2004 Elmhurst has proved to be a real asset to the city. Its close connections with Birmingham Royal Ballet have given many young dancers fantastic opportunities in the professional world but it has also meant the city has been first to spot home-grown talent.
As many of these youngsters now go off to begin their professional careers or to continue through the school there is no doubt we will be seeing more of many of them in the future.