Ballet Hoo was a right ballyhoo!


Looking pretty good after seven hours in the car!

I thought today this blog would be bursting at the seams, flowing over with warmth and joy at the groundbreaking event I’d witnessed last night.  I thought I’d be painting a picture of hope for the future of youth and absolutely brimming with inspirational and so very soulful stories of the young people involved in the Ballet Hoo project.

Only last week I watched the Channel 4 TV programme (one of 4, 2 still to come, ) tracking the progress of the 200 disadvantaged teenagers taking part in the 18 month Ballet Hoo programme.  It combines intensive life coaching with strict and disciplined ballet training and a very firm hand holding everyone responsible for their actions whilst understanding how difficult their circumstances might be.  Any rule breaking, such as not turning up on time is dealt with fairly and very firmly.

We wept pretty much throughout the hour long TV programme.  So, so moved by the efforts against all odds of some of the teenagers, by the openness of guys who had been to prison to say that they found a ballet performance they’d seen gripping and beautiful. And really touched by the love and understanding and skill of the coaches, co-ordinators and ballet professionals working on the project. They are pouring themselves into freeing the souls of the young people on this project.

Last night was the culmination of the project in a live, full length performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Birmingham Hippodrome.  After watching the TV programme we knew we wanted to be there to see the performance and I spent a fair part of the next day online and on the phone trying to get through to get tickets.  I got the last 4 tickets.

Delighted to be going we set off but never got there. We came to a stop less than quarter of a mile behind a traffic accident that was described as carnage by those who saw it and stayed there while countless ambulances, fire engines and police cars flew past us. We started moving again only after the performance would be over, limped back home both gutted not to have seen the performance and very grateful we’d not been in the accident.

If you’d like to experience a little hope for the future of young people, I can’t recommend it highly enough.  I have only once been more moved and impressed by a project of this kind. (I’ll post about the other project shortly).

There’s still a couple of programmes left to see on Wed, Channel 4, 10pm.  The performance we hoped to see live last night is being shown on Channel 4 TV on Saturday 7th October at 6.45pm.

We’re all busy then but we’ll be taping it then making an evening of watching it.  Champagne and tissues I think.

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