BPREVIEW: Time in Motion @ Crescent Theatre 25-26.08.17

Words by Lucy Mounfield / Pics by Tim Cross

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain (NYB) – a company that offers talented young dancers an opportunity to participate in the production and performance of ballet at a professional touring level.

For this 30th anniversary season the NYB will present Time in Motiona mixed programme of seven ballets choreographed by some of the UK’s most eminent professionals and rising talents, all performed by a company of young dancers aged 8-18yrs from across the UK.

Time in Motion comes to the Crescent Theatre on 25th to 26th August, marking NYB’s first performance on a Birmingham stage and following the company’s summer school programme at Elmhurst School of Dance in Edgbaston. These young dancers have been working with several professionals from Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB), including soloist Jonathan Payn, first artist Ruth Brill and BRB’s director Sir David Bintley, who will guest judge the in-house choreographic competition at the end of the summer school. The young dancers from Birmingham’s Elmhurst School of Dance will perform in Time in Motion alongside a 105-strong ensemble of dancers from NYB’s season of events.

The artistic director of NYB, Mikah Smillie, sees the importance of their 2017 season as a platform for nurturing and encouraging young artistic talent from a variety of backgrounds, stating that ‘it not only provides our young dancers with a snapshot into how company life works but it also develops important learning skills, creative partnerships and most importantly, lifelong friendships which are at the beating heart of every dancer’s life.’

Across the production, Time in Motion will bring together seven short ballets from eminent choreographers in the dance world, taking us on an exploratory journey through time and space. Such a theme has been a source of inspiration for many choreographers during the evolution of ballet, and particularly in contemporary productions where the story becomes more abstract and instead themes can be explored through the movement of dance.

Furthermore, Time in Motion will encompass a wide variety of styles and choreography – from the more representational story-telling aspect of ballet, to the abstract contemporary world of modern dance. The evening will open with Christopher Hampson’s Carnival, followed by Jonathan Payn and Samira Saidi’s classical works, IKEN and Aspirations.

NYB’s Time in Motion will also feature Etta Murfitt’s character led piece – inspired by Dream Ballet from Oklahoma!, a new contemporary piece titled T-Symmetry by Rambert graduate Arielle Smith, as well as a playful short ballet by Louise Bennett set to Leo Delibes’ score of Coppélia. The production will be brought to a close with the ‘keenly anticipated’ premiere of Steamboat Summer from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s first artist and choreographer, Ruth Brill. This selection highlights NYB’s commitment to young artistic development by showcasing new original work as well as acknowledging the classical roots from which each dancer must learn to progress.

Time in Motion will not only mark the beginning of a professional career for many of the young dancers and choreographers who take to the Crescent Theatre’s stage, but is a fitting celebration of the National Youth Ballet of Great Britian’s time as a world leading youth dance company.

For more on National Youth Ballet, visit www.nationalyouthballet.org 

For more from Crescent Theatre, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.crescent-theatre.co.uk