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ORT Report: BOA Raising the Barre

The Year 12 Dance pathway students at Birmingham Ormiston Academy put on a stunning, two-night performance, which showcased their talents as a year group. Raising the Barre was packed with a range of different styles - from urban, to ballet, to jazz and many more – making for an extremely enjoyable, entertaining performance.

The performance started with an upbeat, light-hearted jazz routine, where the dancers wore dazzling sparkly outfits. This was an exciting opening to the show, and set the show off to a high standard.

Throughout the show, each class had 3 pieces. DA1 performed: Knife Crime, Soda Pop and Refugee. Knife Crime was an especially successful piece, portraying a very important and current issue in our society today. Throughout this dance, we got to see both ballet and urban styles brought together, and the whole performance was excellently executed by the dancers of DA1.

DA2 performed: Freedom, Homeless and French Fancy. Homeless in particular was very popular with the audience; the whole piece was centred around the growing issue of homelessness in the UK. In this, the dancers’ commitment to their roles, not only through the powerful delivery behind their movements but also the facial expressions showing struggle and pain, built a connection with the audience, and resulted in a powerful, hard-hitting performance. The piece ended with a few dancers left on stage and the audio of a train announcement – and this had a really personal lasting effect on the audience, as many of us pass through the train station every day (or even when travelling to see this show), and see how big an issue homelessness is in Birmingham alone.

DA3 performed: Waltz of the Snowflakes, Covergirl and Pride. Waltz of the Snowflakes (from the Nutcracker) was beautifully choreographed and  effortlessly performed. The only purely ballet routine credited the dancers as they showcased their talent in the ballet style. The dance was cleanly executed and looked stunning on stage with the white costumes.

As well as the group numbers, there were some excellent solos/duets/small groups scattered throughout the show. Tanya Mur-Richards started as the first solo of the night with an emotion-filled number called Lovely, followed by a graceful and impressive ballet solo by Annelise Ashley. Ellie Morris, Jess Molineaux, Maisie Jupp and Rosie Cope gave a strong performance as a quartet, shortly followed by a solo by Abigail Tyrrell with her stand-out tap performance. Aimee Dhadda and Emily Hawkins gave an entertaining and very strong performance - which was a powerful opening to the second half. Ethan Akotiah showed off his flexibility and characterisation in his number, Revolt, followed by another strong duet performed by Madelene Constantinou and Lauren Hiley. At the end of the show, Taila Warman and Freya Fitzpatrick performed Ain’t no Other Man, which showcased their talent as dancers. The last duet was performed by James Lambert and Tobious Hadley, which proved to be very popular with the audience as it was brilliantly choreographed and extremely entertaining.

Raising the Barre was a spectacular performance – the talent on the stage was absolutely incredible and I look forward to seeing them perform in Year 13.

Article by BOA Student Mimi, as part of our ORT Report scheme