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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 16:23 GMT
Ballet school is 'dream come true'
Artist's impression of the new Elmhurst School
The school will cost 12m and open in 2004
A world-class ballet school is to open in Birmingham at a cost of 12m.

The Surrey-based Elmhurst School for Dance is moving from Surrey - its home for the last 80 years - to Birmingham, and a five-acre site off the Bristol Road.

The main advantage will be the link up between the new school and the Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB), reputedly one of the world's top five ballet companies.

David Bintley, director of the BRB, said the new school, planned for September 2004, was "a dream come true".

Artistic director David Bintley: "A dream come true"

The "state-of-the-art" complex will include a 350-seat studio theatre, eight large dance studios, an exercise centre, and accommodation for the young dancers who will live and train in Birmingham.

Mr Bintley, an internationally acclaimed choreographer, will be artistic advisor to the new school.

"We will be lending our expertise, our talents, our experience to train these kids.

"They will be on our doorstep, they will have their noses pressed up against our studio windows.

"We'll be their heros, their idols, they will want to be like us."

The relocation of the school has the backing of the government which has admitted a lack of provision for the training of professional dancers.

Mr Bintley said: "In the final year the students will work with the company.

"The children will be involved with the company watching performances and watching rehearsals.

"It's a dream come true for us, and really is a great day for Birmingham."

John McNamara, Principal of the Elmhurst School, said: "This relationship will be of huge benefit to both parties and of great significance to dance and dance education both in the UK and worldwide."

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See also:

15 Jun 01 | Arts
David Bintley: Body in motion
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