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Project information

Curtain Raiser - Youth Dance Explosion!

Will you help us expand our Curtain Raiser Youth Dance programme? We will give over 200
young dancers and choreographers aged 9+ in Birmingham & the West Midlands the chance to develop their skills. They will perform in front of real audiences - you! - on our main stage and at our outdoor festivals

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust

Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust logo
  • Need


    The West Midlands has a wealth of youth dance talent and there are lots of youth dance groups. But it’s very rare that young dancers get the chance to work with professional choreographers and perform on a stage like the Hippodrome - in front of 1800 people! A ‘Curtain Raiser’ is a short dance piece, often before ‘curtain up!’ By expanding this programme, we will give young people from all backgrounds the chance to develop performance skills and self-confidence through inspirational experiences


    With your help we will expand our Curtain Raiser opportunities to deliver five projects in 2018, engaging 200+ young people with a love for dance. Younger children aged 9-11 will work get the chance to take their first steps into dance, and young adults aged 16+ will work with professional dance companies to develop their own choreography and dancing skills. Both age ranges will get to perform their dance work in front of audiences on our theatre stages, and at platforms at our outdoor festivals

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Expand our Youth Dance Curtain Raiser Programme


    » Work with new artistic companies to deliver five Curtain Raiser projects - from Matthew Bourne to Motionhouse, and contemporary dance to Hip Hop!
    » We will work with our Hippodrome Education Network of 10 schools in disadvantaged areas of the city to reach primary school aged children aged 9-11
    » We will build upon and expand our relationship with key secondary schools and FE colleges in the WM region to reach young people aged 16+.
    » Provide performance opportunities to ensure their talents are seen by a broad audience (including families & peers!) on our theatre stages & festival

    What success will look like

    We will have expanded the Curtain Raiser Programme from delivering just one project a year to five project opportunities in 2018.

    Aim 2

    Provide dance development opportunities for youth dancers


    » We will support young choreographers and young dancers to develop their skills, through a supportive creative training programme
    » We will offer taster workshops/auditions for both those aged 9-11 and those aged 16+, with professional and experienced dance artists
    » Young dancers will work with world class dance companies, choreographers & artists and perform in new and exciting platforms through our festivals
    » Every child and young person will get to see a professional dance production at the Hippodrome, inspiring their future aspirations

    What success will look like

    We will reach over 200+ young dancers aged 9+ and support young choreographers to develop their skills

    Aim 3

    Reach new and diverse young dancers


    » Work with new partners, including ACE Dance & Music - a black dance company, and schools in deprived areas of the city to reach dancers aged 9-11
    » Offer different kinds of performance platforms, including at our B-Side Hip Hop festival and Chinese New Year Festival
    » Offer contemporary and hip hop dance styles, inviting a first step into dance for children 9-11 and building on existing dance talent for those 16+

    What success will look like

    We will offer opportunities to diverse young dancers and choreographers, through our established partnerships, education networks and artistic partners.

  • Impact


    We will have reached 200+ young people with high quality dance experiences. A first taste in dance performance for those aged 9-11, and for those aged 16+, experience in dance training and performance, supporting personal development and career aspirations. We will mentor and support young people during the project and signpost next steps such future dance training programmes, and internships & future projects with the Hippodrome. We will have strengthened relationships with schools & colleges


    Lack of Young People
    - We believe our track record in delivering 8 successful Curtain Raiser projects to date with Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, and our relationships with schools and colleges will ensure our success

    Lack of Funding
    -We have a strong track record in securing funds from donors, trusts and corporate supporters and have delivered previous Big Give fundraising projects

    Capacity to deliver
    - We have put aside funds to invest and staff time to manage the project as it expands


    - Major Donors will be invited to rehearsals, performances and VIP events, meeting project participants
    - All donors will be updated regularly via email about key developments and outcomes
    - Our Comms team will support Press, PR and social media activity to our hundreds of thousands of followers

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £35,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £13,000 Artists Fees Artist fees - Professional Dance Artist Fees @ £200 per day - approx 13 days per 16+ aged range
      £1,500 Artists expenses and materials materials and expenses for artists for sessions with 16+
      £7,500 Artists Fees Artists Fees and Materials for 9-11 age group (£1,500 per group of 20 children)
      £7,500 Rehearsal and Room HIre Room hire for rehearsal space - @ £300 per day for 5 days per Curtain Raiser
      £1,500 Production costs Production costs - music/costume
      £3,000 Show tickets Hippodrome show tickets- x1 £15 show ticket x 200 young people
      £1,000 Travel Contribution to Travel Costs for Young People to attend rehearsals

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Contribution from Colleges & Schools £3,000 Guaranteed
    Trusts & Foundations £8,000 Conditional
    Hippodrome Cash Contribution £5,000 Guaranteed
    Corporate Sponsorship - Tilney Best Invest £4,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The project will take place at Birmingham Hippodrome but benefit young people from across the WM region.

    The young people will be drawn from a range of Schools, Colleges and Arts Organisations:
    -Stratford College
    -Walsall College
    -Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA)
    -BMET College
    -ACE Dance and Music
    -Motionhouse Dance Theatre
    -Open sessions at the Hippodrome

    We will work closely with our 10 Hippodrome Education Network schools (primary & secondary) from disadvantaged areas of Birmingham


    100+ young people aged 9-11 will take their first steps into dance performance. They will perform in our foyers, on our smaller theatre stage and our festival platforms. 100+ dancers aged 16+ will perform at a combination of our Main Stage and Festival programme, developing choreography and performance skills, at a pre-professional level. Every young person will also get to see a professional dance show at the theatre. The project will raise self-confidence, dance ability and aspirations

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are a nationally respected leading arts organisation with a passion for providing opportunities for young people, of all ages and backgrounds. We have strong links to dance professionals and the partners necessary for delivering a successful project. Having successfully delivered eight previous curtain raiser projects with Matthew Bourne, we are now well placed to expand the programme to more dance companies and performance platforms, and to offer more opportunities for young people.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Graham Callister

    Graham is our Director of Creative Programmes and oversees our Learning projects. He is a highly experienced Director across the arts sector.

    Clare Palethorpe

    Clare is one of our freelance dance artists who have helped deliver our previous Curtain Raiser projects. She is a highly experienced dance artist.

    Liz Leck

    Liz is our experienced Creative Learning Manager, she has successful delivered eight previous curtain raiser projects with Matthew Bourne's company

    Samina Beckford

    Samina is our Creative Learning Officer and an experienced freelance dance artist and has worked nationally and internationally

Behind the Scenes of a Curtain Raiser


£200 pays for a day of tuition by a professional dance artist - benefiting all our young dancers