Up close and personal with the executive director of Dance Consortium, Ros Robins
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am executive director of Dance Consortium based at Birmingham Hippodrome. The Consortium of 20 large-scale theatres was set up in 2000 to tour the best international contemporary dance across the UK and Ireland. Birmingham Hippodrome takes a lead role in the Consortium.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I have lived in Bournville for 25 years and take the train into the city. I also travel internationally and on a good day I can leave home, travel by train via New Street to Birmingham International and get through security at the airport within the hour.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
Occasionally I drive into work if I am going to see a show and will be coming home late but always regret it. I welcome the creation of the cycle lanes and proposed congestion charge. I would never risk cycling down Bristol Road – but with the lanes in place maybe I will try it!
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
I was a student at Birmingham University in the late 70s but left the city after graduating. I returned 13 years later for an interview and couldn’t believe my eyes. It had become a modern, ambitious European city – I loved it! I’ve been fortunate to have lived and worked here when there has been great support for cultural organisations.
The Hippodrome is opening up its front of house areas during the day and the new cafe on the second floor serves a great cup of coffee.
I am a big fan of Grand Central and New Street Station and the restaurants and cafes housed under the glass roof. I particularly like Pho and Leon.
If I have a day working at home then I have various walking (and very occasionally jogging) routes. There are so many great parks and canals in the city.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
Brindleyplace, particularly the pools and fountains and the beautiful Ikon building. The planners did a great job combining offices, restaurants and cafes with beautiful recreational areas. Digbeth still has lots of potential and it’s been great to see art galleries and performance spaces created in the factories and warehouses around the Custard Factory. Rico Libre Tapas is one of my favourite restaurants.
It’s usually the foyer of an arts building before the show so the Hippodrome, the Rep or Midlands Arts Centre for a vodka and tonic please…
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I am particularly excited by what has been happening outside of the city centre. The developments in Stirchley have been great to see with new bars, cafes and restaurants opening along Pershore Road – I love Alicia’s Bakehouse, Wildcat, the P Cafe, JoJo Wood and now we have our own fudge shop… all very exciting!