New York based Benjamin Briones Ballet has collaborated with wildlife experts to introduce an innovative concept: Fergus the Turtus, the world’s first full-length conservation ballet.
The vision is to show that the arts can play a key role in bringing conservation issues to a wider audience. At a time when wildlife preservation is so vitally important, Benjamin Briones Ballet will showcase the beauty and plight of the natural world through dance. The first animals to take centre stage are the humble tortoise and turtle. Many tortoise and turtle species are among the most threatened in the world today.
Benjamin Briones Ballet is offering a virtual glimpse into this bold project in the filmed Introduction of Fergus that was first presented virtually in June 2021. Writers, wildlife conservation experts and ballet aficionados have collaborated with the Benjamin Briones team to deliver a choreographed taster of the fairytale ballet based on real conservation issues, with beautiful footage of both ballerinas and animals. This will be followed by an opportunity to meet the dancers and the team the behind the project. This will be the European premiere of a filmed excerpt of Fergus the Turtus.
The target is to raise funds to produce a full-length ballet to open in Summer 2022.
Fergus will begin in New York City as a two-act ballet. Follow-up performances are initially planned in New Mexico and London, as well as Munich.
A modern day balletic fairy tale. From Swan Lake to Turtle Pond – This piece will inspire the whole family and we invite you to read more about it on our website.
Based on the children's book "Fergus the Turtus ", by Sebastian Morley and with support from the Fergus Advisory Committee consisting in leading wildlife experts, Turtle Conservancy , The Pritchard Collection, Hudson River Park , Desert Tortoise Council , Terrapin Nesting Project and European Turtle Alliance, Benjamin Briones Ballet presents an excerpt of a unique collaboration between the arts and conservation bringing awareness to the dance audience of a species close to extinction.
An introductory pilot filmed extract of Fergus has been presented online in June 2021, with generous support of New York Dance Week 's Founder Tasha Norman. If you would like to see this piece, please contact us at [email redacted] and we would be delighted to present this 23 minute piece to you at your convenience with pleasure.
Dancing in beautiful hand made costumes painted by artist Rene Maynez to Filipe Perez Santiago ’s dynamic score, the audience will be introduced to the complex world of turtle survival. Poaching, pollution and habitat loss are just some of the issues these vulnerable animals are faced with.
With a special guest appearance by former Royal Ballet Soloist, Fernando Montano , dancing Henry the Sulcata Tortoise, the fantastic adventures of Fergus will help create awareness that turtles and tortoises are some of the most endangered animals on the planet.
We require a budget for:
1. Payment of the dancers
2. Theatre hire and Rehearsal space
3. Staging/Lighting/Stage Hands
4. Music Score
HELP US TO BRING WILDLIFE CONSERVATION TO THE STAGE IN SUMMER 2022 THROUGH DANCE AND DONATE. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS.
BENJAMIN BRIONES BALLET
"I am so thrilled to read that my dear friend Chiara Gorodesky has inspired a unique dance adventure supported by a team of conservationists to epitomise her love of tortoises, terrapins and turtles.
Benjamin Briones is choreographing a tale of love, courage and survival to tell the story of Fergus the Turtus that will enchant big and small.
Turtles and tortoises are are among the most threatened groups of animals and are in desperate need of conservation help. They play vital roles in a healthy ecosystem face habitat loss, unsustainable consumptive exploitation for food and medicinal products, and are victims of international pet trade.
The adventure begins on 12 June. A trailer for the film is here." Graham Watts, OBE