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Company expert works with Cirque du Soleil

An expert from Birmingham Royal Ballet's Jerwood Centre for the prevention and treatment of dance injuries has been invited to work with performers from the Cirque du Soleil this week. The world-renowned Quebec-based performers are in Birmingham for ten days of performances at the National Indoor Arena.

Jennifer Mills, Pilates Body Conditioning Instructor, said on Wednesday: 'Cirque du Soleil asked me to do some Pilates with them before the show on Thursday and Friday. I saw them last year and it's amazing what they do, they perform at the level of Olympic athletes. They're so flexible, and they require immense strength and stability just like our dancers.'

This will also be an opportunity to learn from the troupe, who perform globally.

'I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they manage to maintain their fitness when on tour', Jennifer explains, 'and if there's anything that we can apply here and on the road with our own dancers.'

A former dancer with the Company, she is well aware of touring life, and is able to tailor the dancers' exercise regimes accordingly. 'In some cases I give alternative versions of exercises that can be done in a hotel room!'

Having already welcomed Olympic level gymnasts and athletes into the Company's Jerwood Centre within the Hippodrome complex, Jennifer is looking forward to working with the Cirque du Soleil performers. 'It will be a challenge,' she smiles, 'but hopefully one that I'll meet!'