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Coppélia workshops with Birmingham Royal Ballet

Creative Arts students were given a unique insight into life as a professional dancer by Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Students from Level 3 Extended Diploma Dance, Level 3 Extended Diploma Musical Theatre, HND Performance Dance, and Foundation Degree Dance took part in a full day of intensive workshops with Birmingham Royal Ballet, to create a 3-minute piece inspired by the ballet Coppélia.

The workshop culminated in a performance at the ‘Ballet-what’s that?’ event in The Galleries Shopping Centre on Saturday 10 March, with the students dancing alongside professional Birmingham Royal Ballet Dancers.

Lauren Robinson, Dance Lecturer at Sunderland College, said:
“Our students represented the college and creative arts department in the most professional manner during the workshop and final performance. It was a pleasure to observe the hard work from their current training being put into practice.

“Our students were absolutely delighted to be given the chance to work with one of the world’s best classical ballet companies, who are respected for their excellence, artistic innovation and social responsibility. It was an excellent networking opportunity for our students wanting to pursue a career in the professional industry.”

Coppélia tells the tale of an eccentric toymaker, who causes quite a stir when he tries to bring his greatest creation, a doll, to life.

Olivia Ferry, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dance student, said:

“I feel so privileged to have had the chance to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet. It was a truly amazing experience for any young learner to receive and I am so grateful to Sunderland College for giving me the opportunity.”

Birmingham Royal Ballet are set to return to Sunderland Empire next month to perform the full length ballet Coppélia.

Sheree Rymer, Curriculum Manager for Creative Arts at Sunderland College, said:

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet.  This exposure to ballet reinforces the quality of teaching they get at college within their dance training. It allows our students to have access to professionals working in the industry, which raises their aspirations.  Our students study Ballet as part of their curriculum at Sunderland College, and therefore, this chance to develop their skills and learn from those working in the industry is a life-changing experience.”

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