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Birmingham Royal Ballet launch Wherefore ART Thou? project

Wherefore Art Thou Artists With Carlos Acosta © Man Yee Lee

Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to announce that five artists have been selected to join the Wherefore ART Thou? project celebrating the Company’s premiere of Radio and Juliet at Birmingham Hippodrome this autumn.

The five recently graduated artists and post-graduate arts students from Birmingham City University and De Montfort University, Leicester, have been commissioned to create four pieces of artwork taking inspiration from Edward Clug’s Radio and Juliet, a 21st-century reimagining of the story of Romeo and Juliet danced to the music of Radiohead.

The five artists selected for the Wherefore ART Thou? project are: 

  • Sarah J. Harper, Illustrative Fibre Artist, Birmingham City University
  • Isabelle Homer, Textile Artist, Birmingham City University
  • Tegan Robinson-Morris, Interactive Installations, Birmingham City University
  • Leona McDonough-Smith and Kallirroi Vratti, Contemporary Dance Artists, De Montfort University

As part of the project artists will receive creative professional development, including mentorship from multi-award-winning experiential art duo Davy and Kristin McGuire, and exclusive access to a series of masterclasses, interviews and rehearsals. 

The installations cover a wide range of disciplines including architecture, 3D sphere fibre and yarn art, dance for film and 2D embroidered artworks using costume design. 

The artworks will be on public display from Monday 4 October in venues around Birmingham City Centre, including Symphony Hall, Library of Birmingham, Bullring & Grand Central, and Birmingham Hippodrome.

Pearl Chesterman, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director of Learning, Engagement, Access & Participation: ‘We are excited to be announcing the Wherefore ART Thou? project and expanding our reach and connection by working with Birmingham City University and De Montfort University to offer opportunities for creative art students. We hope that the artworks will stimulate new conversations and interest in ballet and the Company. Our thanks to the venues who are hosting the artworks from 4 to 17 October, and Kristin and Davy McGuire for their support.’

Carlos Acosta's new season introduces Edward Clug's Radio and Juliet, a modern reimagining of Romeo and Juliet, to Birmingham Royal Ballet's repertory as part of a double bill entitled Carlos Curates. A reinvention of the classic story set to the music of Radiohead, featuring tracks from Kid A, Amnesiac and OK Computer. This version explores what could have happened if Juliet decided not to take her own life, and is an exhilarating, emotional rollercoaster that has toured the world to widespread acclaim since its premiere in 2005.

The Wherefore Art Thou? exhibition is free and open to the general public Monday 4 October – Sunday 17 October 2021. 

To find out more about the artists and their project click here.

Image: Wherefore ART Thou artists with Carlos Acosta, Photo: Man Yee Lee