Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

Performing Arts Workshop: The Nutcracker

09 December 2016

Year 7 students have been working hard in their Music, Dance and Drama (Performing Arts) lessons this term, looking at the staging, production, choreography and music of Tchaikovsky’s famous Ballet, The Nutcracker. From creating musical compositions to taking part in dance classes and character work in drama, the girls have been exploring the huge creative process that takes place to stage and produce a work like The Nutcracker.

On Friday 2 December, professional ballerina Ana Karina Enriquez Gonzalez came to EHS to talk about her many performances of different roles in the ballet and to demonstrate the most famous solo, ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’. Ana has been an international prize winner on several occasions and has worked as a dancer in Venezuela, at the Birmingham Royal Ballet and most recently with the famous choreographer Will Tuckett.

Ana spoke in detail about how she became a dancer, what inspired her and how she overcame many problems so that she could follow her dream to become a professional dancer. Working for six hours a day on gruelling technical exercises and having to fit this around her school work as a child, travelling thousands of miles away from her country, family and friends and the highs and lows of working in the industry.

The students asked a range of questions, some directly related to ballet and many others about everyday things like ‘what do you do in your spare time’. This gave the students a fully rounded picture about the dancer/person behind the character and helped dispel many of the myths and stereotypes surrounding the rather intriguing world of professional dance. 

The work shop was a great insight into Birmingham Royal Ballet’s version of ‘The Nutcracker’ and the students who took part in the afternoon will be attending the matinée performance of this work on Wednesday 7 December to conclude their first term in Performing Arts.

Mr K Robson
Director of Music

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