Elmhurst Ballet Company to Perform 'Mode'

A mixed bill of dance in London and Birmingham as Elmhurst celebrates 20 years in Birmingham in 2024.

15 April 2024 Posted by One Dance Team


Elmhurst Ballet Comoany in GEOMANTIA; photo Magda Hoffman

Elmhurst Ballet Company, the graduate year performance strand of Elmhurst Ballet School presents Mode at the Shaw Theatre, London on Saturday 11 May and Elmhurst Studio Theatre, Birmingham on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May 2024.

The Elmhurst Ballet School initiative, now in its sixth iteration, prepares students for life after school. Like professional dance companies, members take daily ballet class, work with established artists, and deliver outreach sessions in schools in their final year.

To bring Mode to the stage, a range of eminent individuals and organisations have passed their dance experience and knowledge on to the 19-strong company.

The students have worked collaboratively with Neil Fleming Brown, a Company Wayne McGregor artist, to learn FAR. Since its premiere in 2010, FAR has toured the world, picking up accolades for McGregor's ever-insightful vision. Conceived and choreographed by Wayne McGregor, this piece draws inspiration from the Age of Enlightenment and the 18th Century French philosopher Diderot’s seminal encyclopedia. The work marks the sixth project between Elmhurst Ballet School and Studio Wayne McGregor in a relationship that enables students to explore multi award-winning Wayne McGregor’s cutting-edge choreography and creative process.

In the year that Elmhurst Ballet School celebrates 20 years in its current home in Birmingham, the school has collaborated with Birmingham City University’s School of Fashion and Textiles, whose Fashion Design students have meticulously designed and crafted the costumes for new piece, À la Mode. Showcasing the fantastic designs of the BCU students, À la Mode takes audiences on a journey across three dance genres - jazz, ballet, and contemporary - all infused with a runway-inspired ambiance.

The Company will also dance one of the most celebrated pieces in all of classical ballet when they take on The Kingdom of the Shades from Marius Petipa's La Bayadère. From the first performance in St Petersburg in 1877, the ballet was hailed by contemporary critics and audiences alike as one of Petipa's masterpieces.

Members of the graduate company will also be showcased in Fête Galante by Michael Corder - a demanding original work for the company involving a divertissement of varied, classically structured dances in six short movements that reference the styles of 18th century court dances. Another new piece, The Invitation by Sandrine Monin, explores the feelings of a collective pulse of anticipation and the pursuit to grasp a moment in time.

An excerpt from Spartacus by Yuri Grigorovich; Keeping the Faith, a new jazz piece by Elmhurst teacher Cris Penfold; and Geōmantía by Scarlett Brass, an Elmhurst Ballet Company artist, complete the programme.

Elmhurst Ballet Company members in 2024 are: Lucie Apicella-Howard, Scarlett Brass, Ellis Gilbert, Imogen Hart, Nicholas Hepher, Amy Hickey, Marlo Kempsey-Fagg, Mandy Kwan, Monica Langlois, Victoria Lavalle Mendoza, Yuna Nomura, Gabriele Pitzanti, Nicole Rutter, Hana Sato, Zara Scott, Ida Sorensen, Isabella Streckfuss, Pietro Vittoria, and Kiera Wilkinson.