Talented Walsall College Dance students have been selected to perform the ‘curtain raiser’ at the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre on Thursday 11th February.
Level 3 students at the college, Ann-Marie Wood (18), Chelsea Cowley (17), Emily Hartshorne (18) and Faye Bolan (16) are set to take to the stage as part of an ensemble and perform a five-minute dance piece before Mathew Bourne’s production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. The short piece, ‘The Beauties Awake’, is a brand new dance inspired by themes from the main show.
The students were given the honour after impressing judges during the auditions process, where hundreds of hopefuls tried out and only 29 were selected. They have been attending regular rehearsals and working with a professional choreographer and two members of Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures cast.
Matthew Bourne OBE is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director. He is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical.
Performing Arts Lecturer at Walsall College, Julie Wright said: “We are very proud of the students and can’t wait to see them showcase their talents on stage.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the students to build up their experience of performing to a live audience and working in a professional environment. It’s a great honour to work alongside a Mathew Bourne team, as he is the most celebrated name in the British dance industry.
“This is the third consecutive year that Walsall College students have been selected for the prestigious curtain raiser for of a Mathew Bourne production in its seven-year history, which is a testament to the commitment of our staff and students in striving for high standards in their work.”
Faye said: “So far the whole experience has been very challenging but I feel I’ve learnt so much. I’m really excited about performing in front of a large crowd as it will be a massive achievement for me and something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Chelsea said: “Being involved in the project has been an eye-opener into the professional world of dance and it’s just made be more determined to make it in the industry myself.”
Places are still available for Dance courses starting in September. For more information, please visit www.walsallcollege.ac.uk