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New ballet production takes to the stage

Nadia Abdulla, Director of PearlProductions

Nadia Abdulla, Director of PearlProductions

Press release issued: 11 May 2012

An emotional account of surviving meningitis has helped launch an ambitious new ballet production, starring past and present Bristol University students. Onor Crummay, 23, was struck down by the deadly disease during her first term studying History in 2008.

Onor Crummay, 23, was struck down by the deadly disease during her first term studying History in 2008.

She’s gone on to make a good recovery and now forms part of a new production company called PearlProductions, which is staging a ballet show called SYMBA to raise money for two charities – Meningitis UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Onor’s recollections formed part of the launch night at The Square Club, Bristol, which also featured dance performances, singing and music as a taster for the full-scale production which takes place in November.

Nadia Abdulla, 22 and founder of PearlProductions, chose to raise money for Macmillian Cancer Support because 10 members of her family have suffered with cancer.

Nadia, who studied Maths and Physics, said: “The support you receive from friends, family and the charities is what brings you through difficult times, now is our chance to give something back. Everyone is bringing their talents together to make a difference.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with how the launch event went and am so happy everyone involved and attending had a fantastic time.”

Onor opted to raise money for Meningitis UK, which is a Bristol-based charity dedicated to finding a vaccine for all forms of the disease.

Audience members heard about the fear she felt as she was rushed to hospital after collapsing in a book shop, having previously been ill with flu-like symptoms.

Despite suffering neurological damage, Onor was able to return to her studies in October 2009 as a registered disabled student.

The aspiring history teacher, who is originally from Cornwall, has now nearly finished her degree and is due to study a PGCE teaching qualification next year.

PearlProductions is a new events team formed by graduates and undergraduates at the University, featuring a team of 62 composers, ballerinas, a choir, a production team, graphic designers, costume and make-up artists.

SYMBA will new ballet, will tell a story of morals, love and trialing times. It features striking and original choreography, danced by over 30 ballerinas to an original orchestral and choral score, composed by five masters students at the University of Bristol. The musical director is Matthew Pearson, a PhD student in the Department of Music.

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