Birmingham Royal Ballet First Soloist & former bbodance Scholar, Brandon Lawrence becomes Patron of bbodance
Photo: Brandon Lawrence & BRB Principal, Royal Academy of Dance alumna, Céline Gittens, performing in Peter Wright's The Nutcracker © Dave Morgan/ DanceTabs
Birmingham Royal Ballet First Soloist, Brandon Lawrence, who is nominated under two categories at the upcoming National Dance Awards — Outstanding Male Classical Performance and the Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer — has today announced his support of the organisation that trained him, CDMT member, bbodance — formerly known as the British Ballet Organization — by becoming its latest Patron.
The Bradford-born dancer, recently acclaimed for his debut in Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardée, was trained by bbodance teacher Andie Nydza and was one of the organisation's elite students, a bbodance Scholar, prior to being accepted into The Royal Ballet School. For him, the announcement reinforces his continued commitment to bbodance.
For bbodance, the return of its exceptional student is the culmination of a very strong year, as the international dance awarding organisation, mainly based in the United Kingdom and Australasia, continues to attract the attention and support of leading names in the dance industry due to high-quality syllabi (most recently, Musical Theatre & Contemporary Dance), flexible examinations, and teacher training applicable to all genres.
Recent bbodance Patrons include the former Artistic Director of the UK’s leading contemporary dance company, Rambert, Mark Baldwin OBE, the Australasian Judge of the UK's favourite dance show, Strictly Come Dancing, Craig Revel Horwood, and the Artistic Director of the elite Birmingham ballet school, Elmhurst, Robert Parker. A long-time supporter of bbodance, Mr Parker strengthens the organisation's ties with Birmingham, where its main events for students and teachers are held.
"I’m extremely proud to become a Patron of bbodance. The organisation has given me numerous opportunities to learn and develop the skills that I needed to become the dancer I am today. I look forward to supporting bbodance just as it has supported me for many years. [BRB Artistic Director, David Bintley CBE] said this is a great honour for someone so young; I’m very touched by this recognition," Mr Lawrence said.
"We're thrilled that Brandon has agreed to be a Patron," stated bbodance CEO, Robin Bloor. "Brandon trained with a bbodance teacher from the age of 8; my predecessor, John Travis, had the foresight in 2005 to recognise his talent and urge him to audition for our elite programme, the bbodance Scholars. It's fantastic to see one of our star pupils making such an impact. I know Brandon is particularly proud of his bbodance heritage and is a fantastic role model; because of this, he will certainly help our mission to inspire excellence in dance and strengthen our ties with our second home, Birmingham."
Founded in 1930 by Edouard Espinosa and Eve Kelland, bbodance is an international dance awarding organisation with a large membership in the UK and Australasia. bbodance provides Ofqual-recognised syllabi in Classical Ballet, Modern, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Tap and, since Dance Days 2018, Contemporary Dance. bbodance also provides comprehensive dance teacher training for Levels 4 to 6, as well as an annual suite of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and student training events.
About Brandon Lawrence
Born in Bradford, Brandon Lawrence started training at age 8 at Nydza School of Dance; due to his exceptional performance, he was accepted into the organisation's elite group of students, the bbodance Scholars. After attending the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, Brandon auditioned for The Royal Ballet School, where he trained until age 19, when he was offered a contract by Birmingham Royal Ballet Artistic Director, David Bintley CBE. According to an interview, Brandon was keen to accept this offer due to BRB's reputation for being an ideal place to grow as a dancer. Brandon was promoted to Soloist in 2016 and First Soloist in 2018, and is best known for roles in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, Peter Wright's Swan Lake, and David Bintley’s The Prince of the Pagodas. Brandon is also involved in BRB's Ballet? What’s That? educational events that aim to introduce people to the art form. In 2017, Brandon performed at Buckingham Palace for HRH The Prince of Wales.
article generously submitted by bbodance