Mar 28th 2013
Grace and favour
Staff and patients on wards D25 and 27 at City Hospital were treated to a touch of the graceful arts after welcoming visitors from Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Elmhurst Dance School.
Final year students Casper Stadler, Owen Daniels, Mikaela Clarke and Charlotte Goffin spent an hour chatting to patients and staff. They brought items from costumes featured in The Nutcracker, and then further delighted patients by donning their tutus and ballet slippers to demonstrate a selection of moves and positions.
The visit was coordinated by the charity Kissing it Better and PALS, and the visit was a resounding success. Several women on the wards had taken ballet lessons as young girls, and found the visit a very nostalgic and moving experience. Others were happy to chat to the young performers, and hear them describe some of the disciplines involved in their training.
The Elmhurst School for Dance, based on the Bristol Road, is the oldest vocational school in the UK, and the only purpose-built professional dance school in Europe. They have enjoyed a 10-year association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, where many dancers have gone on to professional careers. Many professional dancers at the BRB also teach at the school.
Birmingham Royal Ballet got involved with Kissing it Better last October, and appeared on BBC TV’s The One Show last October in a multi-cultural event that was broadcast live to the nation from City Hospital.
Media and PR Manager Simon Harper said, “We’re committed to breaking down the barriers of the ballet world; we don’t live in an ivory tower. We reach out to about 10,000 individuals each year through community and outreach work in hospitals, care homes, schools, communities, and try to make a difference to people’s lives outside of theatres.”
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