Last Friday our CAT Dance Generation student & ballet dancer Grace B was specially invited by Elmhurst Ballet School to review the inaugural performance of Elmhurst Ballet Company. The company launched with Origins, an evening of dance at Elmhurst Ballet School, Birmingham with a programme that included excerpts from David Bintley’s The Shakespeare Suite, Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations and Wayne McGregor’s Entity. 

GRACE’S REVIEW: On Friday 8 February 2019, 7pm I went to see the Elmhurst Ballet Company’s premiere performance of Origins. The programme had exerts from both classical and modern ballets and Wayne McGregor’s contemporary piece Entity.

Throughout the performance, all the costumes stayed true to the traditional costumes that you would see today at a professional ballet company. There was only one dance that included props the ‘Clog Dance and Lily of Laguna Pas De Deux’ from Hobson’s Choice (choreographed by David Bintley). In this dance, it included a chair and a basket in which the main male character explored the different shoes inside it. The different shoes influenced the way he moved and the type of character he was portraying. For all the performances, there was no sets or scenery used instead, lighting was used to create the atmosphere.

There was no live orchestra or musicians, instead, they used recordings. There was one piece of music that I loved which was the ‘Sugar Rum Cherry’ from the Nutcracker Sweeties (choreographed by David Bintley CBE) that also included some sounds made by the dancer on stage when she made a shushing noise, which conveyed what type of character she was: secretive and seductive reflected in how she tries to entice the audience throughout the dance.

There were 13 dancers and there was a mix of duets, solos and group dances. Many of them were either solos/ duets/ or groups with a minimum of 4 people. The only big group dances were ‘Adrenaline’ (choreographed by Amy Turner-Daly), ‘Excerpts’ from Entity (choreographed by Wayne McGregor CBE) and ‘Paquita’ (choreographed by Marius Petipa). The music complemented the number of dancers and so did the lighting.

I really enjoyed this performance. All the dances really made me feel something and I was very excited to see each and every piece that was included. Overall, my favourite was ‘Hamlet’ from the Shakespeare Suite (choreographed by David Bintley CBE) and performed by Ryan Felix. The choreography and emotion were amazing and the Ryan really showed the heartache and frustration with the character.

Image: Elmhurst Ballet Company’s Ryan Felix as Hamlet in The Shakespeare Suite. Photo Andy Ross