Yet again we congratulate ourselves about how fortunate we are in Birmingham, where, in spite of cut-backs and future threats of reduced arts funding, we are privileged to have such a vast diversity of creative talents in our fine city.
None more than this Fundraising Gala Performance hosted by King Edward’s School in their magnificent new Ruddock Performing Arts Centre. Girls from the K.E. High School are also part of the school orchestra as we heard with a tour de force of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet. Plenty of solos, all familiar but a challenge for any musician: harp, cello, trumpet, violin, oboe to name but a few.
Elmhurst Dance School is closely associated with Birmingham Royal Ballet, so we were also treated to gorgeous costumes from wild Cossacks to classical tutus. Two BRB soloists graced the stage with the students as Odette and Siegfried, an added bonus for all.
The zany Shostakovitch Jazz Suite No 1 followed after a nippy stage and costume change, delighting with non-stop contortions and wild acrobatics. Another WOW factor with Secuencias Flamencas. No castanets, but plenty of clapping hands and nifty Spanish footwork, rhythmic guitar and earthy solo singing.
Imagination and fun supported by deliciously repetitive recorded music, Still Life at the Penguin Café delighted everyone. Quirky dances from a vast variety of animals: full head masks slickly created their various creatures with charm and obvious enjoyment. We loved the little dancing flea and marvelled at the zebra/man with amazing makeup and aboriginal style of dancing. Smiles all round.