Photo credit: Johan Presson

Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Brandon Lawrence helps dancers in lockdown

Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal, Brandon Lawrence hosts a Choreography Challenge to stimulate students’ creativity during and support their psychological wellbeing during lockdown.

The dance community has been hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic, with dance schools across the world closed and events, exams, and auditions postponed. Despite the proactive attitude of many dance teachers who now deliver online classes, many students report feeling lonely and missing what they call, their ‘dance families’.

Brandon for his dansez collection
Brandom modelling his Dansez collection

The ballet dancer knows this all too well, as Birmingham Royal Ballet has also had to adapt to support the morale of its artists and audience. However, as a performing artist, he also sees a silver lining, as this unprecedented break provides him the time to reflect on his craft and find creative ways to express himself.

I felt it was extremely important to connect the bbodance family during this challenging time. Many professional dancers and companies have been creating dance online; I wanted to make it extra special for bbodance members to be part of their very own piece of original dance. I urge you to let your creativity run wild!”

Brandonn Lawrence discussing the inspiration for the Online Choreographic Challenge

This is the challenge that Brandon brings to the students of bbodance, the organisation that trained him, and to whom he has been especially committed since becoming its youngest Patron two years ago. Since then, he has taught students, inspired graduates, and gained the esteem of longstanding bbodance supporters.

The Online Choreographic Challenge is open to students of bbodance teachers from across the world; all genres, ages, and abilities are welcome. 

Entrants have to devise original choreography to express what lockdown means to them using one of three pieces of music commissioned from the award-winning composer, Andrew Kristy, especially for this challenge.

Brandon will edit all submissions into a film illustrating the students’ collective experience; in addition, there will be a winner for each of the three pieces of music. Winners will receive special prizes delivered in partnership with Dansez, a sustainable dancewear brand that fights marine pollution that Brandon himself has a collection with.

 Entries close on 3 July. And the winner will be announced on 14 July. You can enter and find out all the info here.

Written by Kelly McFarland

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