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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Michael Waldman, the award-winning series producer from Diverse Productions, has over the years been responsible for some of the finest programmes about the arts on British TV. He has produced the landmark series, The House, about the Royal Opera House, as well as the memorable shows about searching for new talent in the worlds of opera and musical theatre, Operatunity and Musicality.
But Michael is quick to draw a distinction between the last two and Ballet Hoo! 'The aim is not to create ballet stars,' he asserts. 'If during the course of the project some individuals find the process of learning ballet exciting and gain benefits from the training, then great. But the whole project is based on the idea of us creating something that will affect in a very positive way the lives of 200 young people from difficult backgrounds.
'Of course, ballet is at the centre of it, but the end result isn't meant to be only about ballet. It's about helping people to change their lives. In that, itís totally different from both Operatunity and Musicality.'
The other TV programme which Ballet Hoo! in no way resembles is Pop Idol. 'If anyone is here only because they want to be famous, they wonít last the course,' Michael declares. 'The very rigorous procedure here would soon exhaust that. There is no star-making process. If people say one of their life goals is to be on telly, that would be deeply uninteresting, would falsify the project and we certainly wouldn't feature them in the finished programme.'
While bringing the youngsters to the arts - many, for the very first time - Michael is also hoping 'to introduce them to the concept of self-discipline. I hate the phrase "transforming lives", but nobody can become a professional performing artist just because they want to. It requires an immense commitment, and if our young people can pick that up, it would be wonderful.'