Ballet Hoo! index
Countdown to the performance
Programme 1 summary
Programme 2 summary
Programme 3 summary
Programme 4 summary
Meet the BRB team
Meet the participants
What the project has meant to me
A day in the life...
The story of the ballet
How you can get involved with dance
Press and media coverage of the project
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Marion Tait, BRB's Ballet Mistress, has a special affinity with MacMillan’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The great choreographer asked her to play the female lead when he restaged the ballet for Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1992, when Marion was 42. In recent times, she has taken the part of the Nurse.
Marion, who has been one of the key figures in the ballet training of the youngsters, enthuses that 'I love the MacMillan
production. It just has such complexity and depth to it. Kenneth came to me and simply said "I want you to do Juliet", and I was delighted. I was very lucky to do it when I was older because I had greater insight.'
She has found Ballet Hoo! a truly inspiring project to work on. 'It's nothing to do with their dancing ability, but the fact that we're getting through to these people and that they've realised they have a friend in us. They're surprised and I'm surprised because I've
never worked with people from this background before, but I really like them!'
The youngsters have also made terrific strides in their dancing. 'It seems to be breaking through into their psyche,' Marion confirms. 'When one of them suddenly cracks a difficult step, I find that thrilling and uplifting.
'They’ve also learnt to work with others. At the beginning, they were forever having screaming matches with one another. Now they are a lot calmer - they can feel when tempers are building and know they must talk to someone about it. They really appreciate the value of teamwork.'
Marion closes by saying that she too has learnt many new things along the way. 'It’s not meant to sound condescending, but I now find myself really warming to people who before this project I might have crossed the road to avoid. In the past, I might have been scared of some of these youngsters. But Ballet Hoo! has taught me not to judge a book by the cover. It's never too late to learn such a profound life lesson.'