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Press Release: Birmingham Royal Ballet Welcomes Three New Board Members

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27 May 2021

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The board and team of Birmingham Royal Ballet today announces the appointment of three new Board members: (left to right) Marverine Cole, Shineenah Ingram and Christine Ondimu.




Chair of the Board David Normington said: ‘These brilliant new appointments complete the work we have been doing over the last two years to rebuild the skills and knowledge of the Birmingham Royal Ballet board to support the transformation of this great ballet company. Marverine, Christine and Shireenah further strengthen our links with business and media; increase our understanding of how the creative arts can change young lives; and bring us closer to the diverse communities of Birmingham. We are all looking forward to working with them.’


A radio and television presenter and news reporter from Birmingham, Marverine Cole is currently the Director of the BA (Hons) Journalism course at Birmingham City University and also part of the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, an independent body working to achieve accurate representation of all sections of society across contemporary UK media.


Marverine said  ‘It is a real honour to join BRB. I remember the buzz that was around when they first arrived in Birmingham in 1990, and how that made me feel even more proud to be Brummie. As a lover of the arts, theatre and classical music, I have also enjoyed several BRB shows over the years, and knowing there are more incredible ideas to come from director, Carlos Acosta, makes it all the more exciting to be joining BRB.’


Originally from Birmingham, Shireenah Ingram is an Actor, Presenter and Songwriter who began her performance career in 2012. After several years living in London, and working abroad, in 2019 she launched her video Podcast ‘ShireenACT’s CHAT’ on YouTube. She would host interviews and discussions with fellow actors and performers about their journeys and experiences in the industry thus far. Shireenah founded her own company ‘Red Lens’ in 2021 which offers Acting classes to increase personal performance confidence.  Shireenah’s relationship with BRB began as the youngest participant in and star of Channel 4’s Ballet Hoo, Ballet Changed My Life and now she comes full circle to take her place as the youngest member on the Board.


Shireenah said: “Me and BRB are both 30 years old, work in the creative sector and were born in Birmingham, if that’s not alignment then I don’t know what is. I am very excited to become a Board member for the first time - not only to enrich my life further but championing diversity in my home town, makes me proud. It’s a privilege to entertain and motivate others through my artform, so work closely with Birmingham Royal Ballet is an ideal fit for me. I look forward to this new chapter.”


Christine Ondimu is an experienced Banking professional who is passionate workplace inclusion. She sits in various committees and was Co-chair of the HSBC UK Compliance Diversity and Inclusion Network. Christine is a qualified Lawyer working as a Diversity & Inclusion Manager at HSBC UK Network leading 6000+ colleagues on D&I. 


Her Career spans the Financial services sector where she has worked in four countries – United States of America, South Africa, Kenya and now United Kingdom. In 2019 Christine was named Mentor/Sponsor of the Year, was a Rising Star Award winner and TOP 10 BAME Future leader - all honours bestowed by different reputable external entities.


Additionally, Christine has spoken at various forums including at the House of Commons, at attraction events to students at Oxford and Imperial universities and schools on the importance of Diversity in an organization.


Christine said: ‘I am both proud and honoured to be on the Board of Directors for the Birmingham Royal Ballet Dance Company, one of the major ballet companies in the UK.’







Birmingham Royal Ballet


Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s leading touring ballet company performing a range of traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as ground-breaking new works with the aim of encouraging choreographers of the future.


The company’s Director from January 2020 is the internationally renowned Carlos Acosta.


Birmingham Royal Ballet performs at Birmingham Hippodrome for approximately ten weeks of the year and the remainder of the year tours throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. On average, the company performs 175 shows a year nationally and internationally.


The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra, it is also Britain's busiest ballet orchestra. The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and other leading ballet companies, including performances with: The Royal Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Kirov, Norwegian Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and La Scala Ballet.

Full list of members of the board of Birmingham Royal Ballet here

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