Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Airport officially launched their year-long partnership with an exclusive event showcasing the talent of one of BRB’s most long-standing and impactful programmes, Freefall Dance Company.


The partnership will focus on both Freefall and BRB’s Dance Track talent identification programme which endeavours to identify and train young participants showing a potential for ballet and instil a passion for dance at an early age.


Invited guests were treated to a live performance from Freefall, as well as the premiere of the Company’s third performance film, After Bach – Freefalling with Bintley which was funded through the partnership.


Speakers at the event included Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Chief Commercial Officer Paul James, CEO of Birmingham Airport Nick Barton and Councillor Jayne Francis who represented the City Council.


Freefall Dance Company is comprised of 10 adults with severe learning disabilities (SLD) and has been creating and performing daring, ground-breaking and award-winning dance since 2002. By combining the dancers’ exceptional talents and individual styles, Freefall has repeatedly challenged and amazed audiences locally, nationally and internationally proving their artistic potential.


Dance Track is BRB’s talent identification programme within Birmingham schools, aimed at training young dancers aged from six to eight.


Every year Dance Track invites 80 children who demonstrate a talent for dance to join the programme. The participants, who might not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in dance, are given free weekly ballet lessons taught by Birmingham Royal Ballet staff. Throughout the year, they are invited to Birmingham Royal Ballet to have a look behind the scenes, meet Company dancers and are offered tickets to see Birmingham Royal Ballet performances at Birmingham Hippodrome.


Through this new partnership, Birmingham Airport will provide funding to enable one new school in the North East area of Birmingham to join the Dance Track programme, giving more children in the city access to the world of dance.


As well as this there will be other activities throughout the year such as dance workshops with Birmingham Airport staff in the BRB studios and live performances from Dance Track and Freefall.


Birmingham Royal Ballet’s CEO Caroline Miller OBE said:


“Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) is excited to welcome Birmingham Airport as our ‘Community Engagement Partner’.  Like BRB, Birmingham Airport is a prestigious and highly respected West Midlands brand and we are delighted that this partnership will shine a light on two of our most valuable community programmes, Freefall and Dance Track, benefitting talented young adults with learning difficulties and local primary school children. We know that together we will make a real difference to our community and continue to change lives through dance.”


Birmingham Airport CEO Nick Barton said:


“We are delighted to be partnering with the Birmingham Royal Ballet during what is a momentous year for the Airport, as it is our 80th anniversary.  Birmingham Royal Ballet is a company that has a vision aligned to our own with a heavy focus on commitment to local communities and seeking new ways to engage.  These two unique projects are a great opportunity for the Airport to be involved in a world class company that is reaching out to the community, so that everyone can experience the magic of dance.


“Seeing the performance today really shows the importance of our partnership with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.  The dancers performed in front of a large crowd in a busy terminal with huge enthusiasm.  They are both a credit to themselves and to the BRB for the time and dedication that they have shown in Freefall.”


To see the video from today and to see the dancers perform please click here. 


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