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Film Made In Association With The Birmingham Royal Ballet In competition At Oxford Film Festival 2017

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The short documentary Balancé directed by Ian Winstanley written and produced by Paul Griffin in association with The Birmingham Royal Ballet will form part of the annual event showcasing strong and inventive filmmaking talent from around the globe.

“Balancé” is a short documentary of a working ballet dancer, Laura Purkiss. She is a soloist with The Birmingham Royal Ballet with a unique difference; she is also Laura Tye; mother of two.

Laura not only affirms the difficulties of balancing everyday family life with the hard work and dedication it takes to dance with a world class ballet company; but also seeks to uncover the social challenges in returning to the work place after child birth.

Laura fell in love with ballet at the age of 8, a reluctant beginner who found it difficult to fit in at first but with family support and natural ability went on to ballet school in London 3 years later and soon after found employment with Birmingham Royal Ballet, where she continues working as a Soloist.

In this time Laura made the tough decision to start a family, a rare thing in the ballet world. Her two children were both delivered by caesarean section. With family support and Birmingham Royal Ballet, Laura has returned to work and to the requisite fitness to continue performing at a top level.

A day in life for Laura is not easy, but she maintains a steadfast approach to her family and career. Laura shines a light on the important things in life and sets an important example to her daughters by revealing what it takes to be a 21st century working mother.

Starring – Laura Tye/Purkiss

Laura was born in Eastleigh, Southampton and began dance classes at the age of 8 at the Parkwood School of Dance under the tutorage of Miss Lynne Wiltshire. At 12 she was awarded a scholarship from Dame Alicia Markova and has received numerous grants from organisations such as The Prince’s Trust.

After finishing secondary school she attended The Royal Ballet School from 1997 to 1999. Upon graduation she was awarded the Musicality in Dance and Performance Award and went on to join Birmingham Royal Ballet as an artist in 1999 where she was promoted to First Artist and then Soloist in 2012.


“Selection at film festivals is always an honor. As filmmakers it’s amazing to get recognition for your creative endeavors.” Ian Winstanley – Director

“We hope that Balancé makes compelling viewing, and that the subject matter is relevant in today’s world. It’s not just aimed at the arts and dance community; the themes are universal, whatever a mother’s profession but the idea that someone can master the responsibilities of a mother and find the time to perfect their skills as a dancer with a major ballet company is an admirable one, and one that has great scope for a touching and life affirming story.”

Paul Griffin – Writer

Birmingham filmmakers Ian Winstanley and Paul Griffin were also recently awarded an official selection for their film Balancé at film festivals in Seoul, Manchester, Sofia – Bulgaria and Hollywood.

Watch the trailer here…


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