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Online Choreographic Challenge

Posted on June 19, 2020

Brandon Lawrence

Birmingham Royal Ballet principal Brandon Lawrence has launched an online choreography challenge to stimulate students’ creativity and support their psychological wellbeing during lockdown. The dance community has been hit especially hard by COVID-19, 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 their friends in the dance world.

Lawrence says: “I felt it was extremely important to connect the bbodance family during this challenging time, especially since Dance Days was postponed. Everyone was looking forward to it. 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!”

This is the challenge the dancer is offering 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 long-standing bbodance supporters.

Brandon Lawrence

Brandon Lawrence. Photograph by Virtuoso Dance Photography.

The Online Choreographic Challenge is open to students of bbodance teachers from across the world: all genres, ages and abilities are welcome. Students are asked to express what lockdown means to them by choreographing one of three pieces of music commissioned from the composer, Andrew Kristy especially for this challenge. Entries close on July 3. Click here for details.

Lawrence 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. This creative project comes shortly after bbodance’s 90th anniversary, which saw patrons, members, and friends from around the world come together for a warm online celebration.

Pictured: Brandon Lawrence. Photograph by Johan Persson.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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