Dancers keep shoppers on their toes at Birmingham Royal Ballet roadshow ahead of Sunderland performance

Dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet with students from Sunderland College and members of the Sunderland Empire Movers Group, who performed at The Galleries, Washington.
Dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet with students from Sunderland College and members of the Sunderland Empire Movers Group, who performed at The Galleries, Washington.

Shoppers on Wearside were treated to a special performance from leading ballet dancers.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet is set to return to the Sunderland Empire next month to perform Coppelia.

Ahead of the production, shoppers at the Galleries Shopping Centre, Washington had a unique opportunity to find out more about life behind the scenes.

The free event, organised by the Creative Learning team at Sunderland Empire, was an opportunity for people to meet professional ballet dancers, learn about their training and find out what goes on behind the scenes to put a show together.

The event also showcased the work created by students from Sunderland College Creative Arts and the Sunderland Empire Creative Learning ‘Movers’ group (a dance group for adults aged 65 and over) who had participated in workshops with a Birmingham Royal Ballet dance artist and musician throughout the week.

Simon Tucker, interim centre manager at the Galleries Shopping Centre, said: “We were absolutely delighted to host Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Galleries and give our visitors the chance to see such skill and artistry in this setting.

“The outreach work they are doing with local groups is fantastic.”

Coppelia tells the tale of an eccentric toymaker, who causes quite a stir when he tries to bring his greatest creation, a doll, to life.

Sheree Rymer, Curriculum Manager, Creative Arts at Sunderland College, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet. It allows our students to have access to professionals that they may not normally have access to, which in turn raises their aspirations to succeed in their dance career.”

Tickets for the ballet, which runs from April 5-7, are available at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022 or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland.