Nick Kyprianou, New Adventures & Re:Bourne Audience Engagement Coordinator, had the chance to speak to the young choreographers of The Beauties Awake - Sleeping Beauty Curtain Raiser performed on Thursday 11 February, at Birmingham Hippodrome.
The Beauties Awake is the 7th Curtain Raiser that has been created in partnership with New Adventures & Re:Bourne and Birmingham Hippodrome Creative (sponsored by Tilney Bestinvest). The five-minute dance piece was created and choreographed by six young local choreographers, who are all previous Curtain Raiser alumni from Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) and Stratford Upon Avon College (SUAC). The choreographers were supported by professional dance teachers Joe Walkling (New Adventures & Re:Bourne) and Clare Palethorpe (Birmingham Hippodrome Creative).
Working with 22 dancers aged 12-19; the choreographers used the story of Sleeping Beauty as the inspiration for their performance, set in an enchanted forest the sleepwalkers find themselves in a place where nothing is at it seems. The piece was created in just 5 intensive sessions and brings together students from BOA, SUAC, Elmhurst School for Dance and Walsall College.
Nick spoke to the choreographers to hear their experiences of this fantastic opportunity:
Chloe Pilmer, a year 13 BOA student, also choreographed the Edward Scissorhands Curtain Raiser last year and said it has been great to create such a professional standard of work. Last year she worked with just four dancers but this year the group was split in two and the three choreographers per half had to work together.
Gianni Baldi, a year 13 SUAC student, danced in last year’s Curtain Raiser and said,
“when being a dancer you focus on just your role in the piece, whereas choreographing this year I had to constantly think about everyone in the curtain raiser, which comes with such a sense of responsibility.”
Freya Melling, a year 13 BOA student, also danced in last year’s Curtain Raiser and then choreographed this year’s work. She says how choreographing,
“opens your eyes to how you can adapt movement and change what you've learnt. It is enriching to pass on knowledge and understanding to other people and how you perform, realising how they may interpret what you say and how you can direct them.”
She says, “Last year the best experience was coming on stage for the first time and performing to a sell out audience. This year it felt amazing when the piece came together.”
Eleanor Grice, a year 13 BOA student, choreographed the Curtain Raiser both last year and this year.
“collaborating with other choreographers and has pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to see different ideas.”
Lauren Dias, a year 13 BOA student, who danced last year and choreographed this year said,
“the experience has been enlightening, giving direction, creating movement and putting my own stamp on the piece.”
All the choreographers found the experience to be very an exciting and unique opportunity to create a piece that was performed on such a reputable stage. The Curtain Raiser was received with much appreciation from the audience!