We are thrilled to announce details of Elmhurst Ballet Company in Immerse, an evening of dance and film that celebrates the talent and versatility of our sixteen final year students.
Just weeks before the students graduate and pursue their professional careers in dance, Immerse opens at Elmhurst on 20 & 21 May, followed by two performances at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, London on 28 May 2022.
Elmhurst Ballet Company bridges the gap between school and working life and equips students with the skills required to pursue a professional career. The student company experience provides the young dancers with invaluable opportunities to work collaboratively with a range of dance companies and choreographers whilst creating their own dance work and taking ballet into the community through Elmhurst’s Outreach Programme. Final year students also gain experience in the running of school departments other than dance, including finance, fundraising and communications.
Jessica Ward, Elmhurst’s Principal, said: “At Elmhurst we aim for students to be the best dancers and the best of humanity too. The EBC students have dedicated their early and teenage years to training and now they are close to leaving the school. As students, with thanks to close links to Birmingham Royal Ballet, they experience all aspects of dance, how a company functions and what makes a production come to life. This year’s EBC decided on the show’s name as they would like the audience to immerse themselves in the performance, the range of dance on offer and the skills they have honed during their time at the school.”
Immerse marks the third production presented by Elmhurst Ballet Company. Highlighting the local, national and international make-up of the school and company, the Class of 2022 fledgling professional dancers are: Leah Allen (South Africa); Olivia Chang-Clarke (Leeds, UK); Isabel Falcus (Market Drayton, UK); Alice Higginbottom (Bolton, UK); Alyssa Holliday-Smith (Cheshire, UK); Mackenzie Jacob (Gillingham, UK); Amy Jones (Doncaster, UK); Shea Linley (Scunthorpe, UK); Ben Lythgoe (London, UK); Amber Meehan (Gillingham, UK); Candela Nieto (Spain); Zack Pye (Glasgow, Scotland); Holly Slater (Australia); Nat Sweeney (Birmingham, UK); Lara Tessier (Australia); and Satsuki Ueda (Japan).
During Immerse, the company will perform excerpts from works by celebrated and award-winning dance-makers including Atomos, created by Wayne McGregor for Company Wayne McGregor in 2013. The opportunity for the young performers to recreate the contemporary dance work reaffirms the school’s ongoing association with the award-winning company. Elmhurst Ballet Company will work collaboratively with Studio Wayne McGregor artist Louis McMiller to bring the Atomos excerpt to the stage. The performance marks the fourth project between Elmhurst and Studio Wayne McGregor.
Also weaved into the programme is: Four Scottish Dances by David Bintley, the second professional choreographic work by the former Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, created for the 1979 Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet tour to Israel; Elite Syncopations by Kenneth MacMillan, created for the Royal Ballet in 1974, with music by African-American composer Scott Joplin, the 'King of Ragtime'. The performance is with thanks to the generosity of Deborah MacMillan, the custodian of the ballets of her late husband Kenneth MacMillan; Being by Peter Leung, a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on choreography, stage direction and photography; Peaky Pachuco! a new jazz dance piece by Zak Nemorin, a performer, choreographer, teacher, filmmaker and co-creator of Uprooted, the award-winning cinematic exploration and celebration of jazz dance; Majisimo by George Garcia; and Elmhurst Ballet Company members’ own choreography.
In between the live performances, film by Birmingham based video production company Make it Reel will take audiences behind the scenes and show the creative process to produce Immerse.