The Firebird Project

In 2013/14 the Philharmonia has been working in partnership with Richmond Music Trust, Hounslow Music Service and The Royal Ballet School on a cross-arts music and dance initiative, The Firebird Project.

The Firebird Project: Documentary

Taking inspiration from Stravinsky’s popular Firebird ballet music, the project involved secondary and primary children across the two boroughs in a celebration of music and dance. Staff and students from The Royal Ballet School and musicians from the Philharmonia worked with young people from Hounslow and Richmond schools towards a joint performance in May 2014 and a large scale primary school performance event in each borough in June 2014. This film provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into how this partnership project was created and premiered at the Royal Festival Hall on 22 May 2014.

This very special project brought together dancers from The Royal Ballet School and pupils from Feltham Community College and Richmond Park Academy who fused very different dance backgrounds and styles to create original choreography to excerpts from The Firebird. A combined youth orchestra from Hounslow and Richmond was specially formed for the project, who worked alongside Philharmonia musicians, with David Corkhill conducting, to professionally record a rehearsal track and accompany the dancers in performance. The project was filmed by the Philharmonia's award-winning Digital Department, and a film screening of the documentary and dance piece accompanied by the musicians' recording took place in the Royal Festival Hall on 22 May 2014.

Christopher Cull, Chief Executive of Richmond Music Trust stated: “This is a fantastic opportunity for children across the two boroughs to be inspired by top professional musicians and ballet dancers and to develop their understanding of the connections between the two art forms.  We are planning to create an exciting and unique experience for a large number of children.”

The Firebird project is funded by the Mayor's Music Fund.