Bonjour everyone, how are you today? The weather has truly been a scorcher this weekend! I love seeing the sunshine but the heat drains me. Why is british heat so gross haha. Anyway on the 6th June, I was invited to a ‘Studio to Stage’ event at the Birmingham Hippodrome. I’ve always wanted to see a ballet but just haven’t got to yet. So going to this event got me half way there. I didn’t know what to expect but anyway I collected my tickets and made my way to the auditorium. I arrived 5 mins before it was due to begin but everyone else was already there! I thought oh no, don’t embarrass yourself in front of these avid ballet fans. It started off with a senior member of the Birmingham Royal Ballet company taking us through how a dancers day pans out. Looking at the dancers physiques, I became very interested as what was required to have such a sculpted and strong appearance. A dancers day starts at 10.30 where they will do a ballet class, kind of like a warm up for the rest of the day. Some of the terminology like ‘plie’ I had heard before when doing pilates.
Some history of ballet was also discussed. Ballet actually began in Italy. But the style of dancing was introduced to the French Royal Court around the renaissance period and Louis 14th loved it. He is the one responsible for why we see Ballet on the stage today. The dancers then went through some of the moves they would practice to music by a pianist. To see the shapes that these dancers can make with their bodies was beautiful. It really made you appreciate how much work and dedication is involved. The rest of a ballet dancers day involves rehersals for various performances. Which we were allowed a sneak peek of an upcoming performance in full costume! I was trying to provide some social media coverage of the event but at this point, I was asked to stop filming. Which I guess I understand.
I really enjoyed taking a look behind the scenes as it were of ballet. It made me want to watch a ballet even more! So I hope I will be able to attend one soon. Also it was good to see that the principal dancer of the Birmingham Royal Ballet is a person of colour. And her male counterpart on that evening also was. The arts such as ballet, opera and theatre can sometimes seem like its an activity that isn’t inclusive of people of colour. When I have attended these events, we tend to feel like the odd ones out. And also the performers on stage do not represent how we look so sometimes its hard to identify. It hasn’t discouraged us from attending but it will encourage other people of colour to get involved I think if they see a variety of people on stage. If you get the opportunity , head down to the hippodrome or a theatre near you and do something different. Instead of going to the cinema, go and see a ballet! It will inspire you to really taste the different arts of the world.
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Birmingham Royal Ballet http://www.brb.org.uk
Birmingham Hippodrome http://www.birminghamhippodrome.com