Earlier this year Birmingham Royal Ballet received £2,000 from the LBC Choreographic Award to allow dancer(s) the opportunity to create new work on their fellow dancers.

The choreographer chosen by BRB was Olivia Chang Clarke who joined in 2023 as an artist and had previously won a number of choreographic awards during her training at Elmhurst School.

Her piece was presented at A Night at the Museum in Birmingham on 27 June. The city faces many challenges at present, especially funding for the arts and maintenance work at the Museum and Art Gallery resulting in gallery closures. However the major arts organisations are working together in projects such as this to mitigate the effects - this residency lasts a week until 2 July.

Entitled Melody in Three, the first and third parts are upbeat and at times humourous interactions for 8 dancers to Mozart, played live by a quartet from Birmingham Conservatoire. The middle part is a slower and more serious pas de deux to a de Beriot violin solo played by the co-leader of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

This world premiere performance got a deserved enthusiastic response from the audience. Olivia said she wanted to show ballet as fun, in which she thoroughly succeeded.

There followed solos and pas de deux from Sir Peter Wright’s productions of Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Nutcracker.

And if that were not enough, just over the road from the Museum, in the Gas Hall, the central pas de deux from Melody in Three was repeated amongst the pre-Raphaelite pictures currently on exhibition there in lieu of the main Art Gallery. This included a digital tracking system that projected movement on to a screen responding to the dancers.

In summary BRB has used LBC funding to support a young dancer with proven choreographic talent, live music, the integration of dance and technology and joint working with another major arts institution in the city.

The London Ballet Circle is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1123258 © 2021 The London Ballet Circle. All rights reserved unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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