Birmingham Hippodrome was one of the first theatres to be involved with producing a Curtain Raiser and played a key part in the scheme’s early development. Our first ever Curtain Raiser was in 2010 and coincided with Matthew Bourne’s production of Swan Lake.
Each year, a new set of local dancers and choreographers work alongside two members of the New Adventures company to create a five minute piece based on the theme of the show that is currently touring. Matthew Bourne hand-picks the choreographer and dancer from the touring company based on their experience with the production.
The unique element of Birmingham Hippodrome’s involvement which sets it aside from other regional theatres’ Curtain Raisers, is the incorporation of budding choreographers’ ideas into the making of the finished piece, a masterpiece created and danced by the young people of the West Midlands.
Thomas Pages is one of our Curtain Raiser Alumni from 2014, who since taking part in the project has gone on to create his own dance company.
What does being a Curtain Raiser Alumni mean to you?
Being a Curtain Raiser Alumni means that you’re part of a wider community, not just with the cast you shared your year with, but for all those involved. It means you are part of something that helps build and shape the dance community for the next generation.
What were your fondest memories of being involved?
My fondest memory was when my partner, Ben Powney, and I got the chance to sit down with Jonathan Ollivier who gave us advice on what do next with dance. He encouraged us both to audition for dance schools, something that I hadn’t previously considered…drama schools was always the dream. Five years later I now have my career in the dance world as a choreographer, and a huge part of my experience with the Curtain Raiser shaped my pathway.
What are you doing now…?
I am now a choreographer with my own company (Thomas Page Dances) creating work exploring socio-political ideas in movement. One of my earlier works included Jack William Parry who is now dancing as a Swan in the current tour! Currently I’m creating as a FreeSpace Artists of Studio Wayne McGregor and am part of the Open Borders 2019 Project with The Place Theatre, London.