Three years since we presented our much-loved summer shows, and after hundreds of hours planning and rehearsing, our students from across all year groups including our youngest of students of the Elmhurst Young Dancers’ Programme were back on stage in performances of ASCENT. Over six sold-out shows, including a fundraising Gala evening, around 1500 people attended performances in our studio theatre.
The ASCENT summer shows for 2022 and all the events that run alongside them were a huge success with thanks to guest choreographers, staff and students, and of course our wonderful audiences full of Elmhurst supporters, parents and friends. Thank you to everyone who came along to see a show, and for all the super comments about the performances and the range of content – ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz and flamenco!
One review said, ‘…The range of dance was there for all to see, all executed with a delightful enthusiasm and no mean talent by pupils who have been waiting for two years to show us what they can do, and they did it in some style.’
Women in dance played a huge part in this year’s summer shows with guest choreographers, Elmhurst staff and students creating work. Jenna Lee, a former Soloist with English National Ballet and Founder of JLee Productions, created work for Years 7-9 students. Laura Day, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Principal Character Artist & Assistant Répétiteur created Journey to the Ball and At the Ball inspired by Cinderella for Year 12. Sandrine Monin, dance artist, choreographer and movement director created The Invitation for Year 12 students, and freelance choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple created a new work for Year 13.
Elmhurst staff including Sonia Fajardo, Ana Garcia, Jenny MacNamara, Sarah-Jayne Blackwell and Indra Reinholde also created a range of dance pieces for Ascent.
Tetris made a return to the stage after delighting audiences in Birmingham and London. Tetris, performed by Elmhurst Ballet Company, was choreographed by Class of 2022 student Olivia Chang-Clarke who was seen in this year’s televised BBC Young Dancer Competition finals.
During Ascent, Elmhurst Ballet Company performed excerpts from Atomos, created by Wayne McGregor for Company Wayne McGregor in 2013. Elmhurst Ballet Company worked collaboratively with Studio Wayne McGregor artist Louis McMiller to bring the Atomos excerpt to the stage. The performance marked the fourth project between Elmhurst and Studio Wayne McGregor. Majisimo, a work by the late Cuban dancer and choreographer George Garcia was performed by Elmhurst Ballet Company, rehearsed for the stage by Elmhurst teachers Joshua Barwick and Michael Raynaud.
Peaky Pachuco! was inspired by the TV hit Peaky Blinders and choreographed by Zak Nemorin for Elmhurst Ballet Company.
Elmhurst artistic team members Nicky Linzie, Andrea Tredinnick, Gloria Grigolato, Lee Robinson, Jim Grundy, Joshua Barwick and Michael Raynaud also created and/or rehearsed numbers for the shows.