A curtain raiser show gave three students the chance to make their dance debuts at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Vicky Beard, Jamie Grant McIntosh and Chloe Thorpe appeared in the five-minute dance performance ahead of the theatre’s production of Swan Lake.
The Level 3 Performing Arts students all agreed that being involved in the show was a valuable experience both personally and professionally.
As it was the first time she was appearing at the venue, Vicky was glad to have her family in the audience. “They’re very supportive so it helped me to have them there,” she said. “Being in the show was amazing.”
Praise for the students not only came from the audience but from the Swan Lake cast itself after they dropped by one of their rehearsals.
“They gave us a massive cheer at the end of our rehearsal,” said Jamie. “Our lecturers told us afterwards that it was the loudest cheer they’d ever heard anyone in a show give to students. That made us all feel good about what we’d done.”
The 18-year-old was also pleased to have a more proactive role in creating the actual dance performance, as he explained.
“With a curtain raiser, you start off with some ideas about the show you’re involved in then get to give your own interpretation to the performance you’re collaborating on. He continued: “This wasn’t just a straightforward dance routine either – body language was important too. Our faces had to show what we were communicating.”
What meant most to Chloe was the process of auditioning and then making it on stage.
“120 students from different local schools and colleges auditioned so it means a lot to have made it into the final ensemble,” she said. “It’s hard work being involved in shows like this and the hours are long, but it’s always worth it. You’re performing to a live audience and it’s another chance to improve.”