Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1,030 Excellent

About Terpsichore

  • Rank
  • Birthday 14/02/1949

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • Skype

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location:
  • Interests
    In addition to ballet I am interested in books, arts, public affairs, economics, science and technology and cricket.

Recent Profile Visitors

2,379 profile views
  1. Terpsichore

    NBS Manchester - Christmas at the Dance House.

    I saw the show do and I have reviewed it in Terpsichore. I also enjoyed the show, I was going to mention it in the Performances forum but you beat me to it.
  2. Subscribers and visitors to this website will recall that I was very impressed with Ballet Cymru's performance of Ballet Cymru's Dylan Thomas programme at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds last Wednesday. Yesterday I attended their performance of those works at the Pontio Centre (Bangor University's arts and innovation centre) and was even more impressed. I think there are two reasons for that. The first is that Cerys Matthews and Arun Ghosh were on stage in the first ballet. The second is that they had a particularly appreciative and responsive audience which included several friends from Powerhouse Ballet who had attended our workshop or Ballet Cymru's company class. I have seen many good shows this year including the Dutch National Ballet's Don Quixote and Giselle, the Royal Ballet's Winter Tale, Swan Lake and Bernstein triple bill, Birmingham Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet, ENB's La Sylphide, Swan Lake and Manon, Scottish Ballet's Highland Fling, Phoenix's Windrush and Ballet Black's double bill but yesterday's show was one of the highlights of my year. I should say a word about the venue. I had heard a lot about the Centre when I attended the Anglesey Business Show in October. It was a major investment and was not without its critics. It is a fine modern building just below the main university buildings. Some excellent shows were advertised. There is ample parking just across the road and it is a stone's throw from the mainline railway station with direct trains to London and other major cities. It should do a lot for the economy and cultural life of Northwest Wales.
  3. I watched Ballet Cymru's "Dylan Thomas – A Child’s Christmas, Poems and Tiger Eggs " in Leeds last night and I think it is their best show yet. I have been one of their fans ever since I saw their Romeo a Juliet in 2013 and I was particularly impressed with its revival as well as their Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, TIR and Stuck in the Mud. I have not yet had time to review them in my blog - partly because I shall have to conjure up some fresh superlatives - but I can give an outline report of the show right now. Although it is styled as one ballet I think it would be fairer to describe it as a double bill. The first part consisted of readings by Cerys Matthews of some of Dylan Thomas's poems including "Do not go gentle into that good night". That prompted a head to head comparison with Christopher Bruce's work for Scottish Ballet which I reviewed in Terpsichore on 6 Oct 2014. I liked Bruce's work very much but I much prefer Darius James and Amy Doughty's. Those poems were interpreted beautifully by all but I was particularly impressed by Krystal Lowe and Beth Meadway. On Wednesday, Powerhouse Ballet (the amateur company that I am setting up in Yorkshire and the Northwest) hosted a workshop for Ballet Cymru at Yorkshire Dance as I mentioned in the "Doing Dance" section of this website yesterday. The score that we were invited to interpret was the poem that opened and closed the first act. The opening was a solo and the close as a group work. It was great to see it all on stage. The second act was very different. It began with a video of primary schoolchildren talking about Christmas and in the case of one child, Eid. The well known and well-loved sequences of the Child's Christmas were performed. I loved the cats' scene, the uncles in front of the fire and the arrangement of "Still the Night". As I tweeted last night, this was a work that showcased all the talents of the individual dancers to best advantage. The only desiranda in Leeds was Matthews herself though we heard a recording of her mellifluous voice. Tomorrow she will be on stage in Bangor and two of us who participated in the workshop will see her there. We shall post a full review in Terpsichore sometime after that. If you can't make Bangor your last opportunities will be Stroud on 4 Dec and Aberystwyth on 11 Dec.
  4. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    Last night's workshop with Ballet Cymru at Yorkshire Dance was a great success. It was one of the most challenging but also one of my most enjoyable experinces in ballet. The reason it was challenging is that we had to use our minds as well as our bodies. For me, and I am sure for others, it was a first experience of choreography. After the workshop, Darius James and his company were our guests for the launch of the Powerhouse Ballet Circle. We have tried to model this activity on the London Ballet Circle except that I did not use notes and kept the questions short and sweet. Darius told us about his childhood in Wales, his early training in Newport and at the Royal Ballet School, his work at Northern Ballet (or Northern Dance Theatre as it was then known)in Hulme where the only smenity was a chop shop that served chips with gravy, the formation of Ballet Cymru, its achievements and plans for the future. Ballet Cymru are performing at the Stan and Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds this evening and at Bango University arts centre on Sturday. If you have not yet seen the company, cancel whatever plans you have for this evening or Sturday and get over to one or other of those theatres. These artists are good. Dame Nonette de Valois was the first president of the London Ballet Circle and was very proud of it. It has done much for dance in London and the South of England and we hope to be equally supportive in the North. Our next guest is likely to be Yoko Ichino who has accepted our invitation in priniple . I shall notify subscribers to this website of the date, time and venue as soon as we have arranged them. Powerhouse Ballet Circle's next event is a 90 minute class and 30 minute pointe class on Saturday at the Dancehouse Studios on Oxford Road in Manchester at 13:30 with Karen Sant of KNT. Karen is an excellent teacher but her classes are never easy. For more details, see our website at www.powerhouseballet.com. I have posted a report on last night's workshop and Powerhouse Ballet Circle launch to my blog.
  5. I was also at the Liverpool Empire on Friday night and I thought that the evening was quite special. It was the best "Swan Lake" I have seen this year and that includes Scarlett's at Covent Garden and St Petersburg Ballet Theatre's at the Coliseum with Denis Rodkin as Siegfried. In fact, it was in my estimation one of the best ever. I was also impressed by both Rina Kanehara and Ken Saruhashi but particularly by Kanrhara. Like Capybara I enjoyed the Neapolitan dance. I am sure it must have been created by Ashton for I remember Wayne Sleep dancing it with - I think - Jennifer Penney in the early 1970s. The Royal Ballet no longer seem to do it which I regret so it was good to see it in this production, Everyone - musicians as well as dancers - performed well and I think they were lifted by an appreciative if somewhat noisy audience. This is not the first time that theatre has delivered an outstanding "Swan Lake". I saw David Dawson's equally good but very different productions there some years ago. I am a bit behind with my reviews. I need to write up ENB's Manon, BRB's Fille mal gardee, two performances of Ballet Black and one each of Ballet Theatre UK and Phoenix. But Friday's performance deserved to jump the queue and you will find it in my blog if interested.
  6. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    We are holding our last company class of the year at the Dancehouse Theatre studios in Manchester at 13:30 on 1 Dec 2018 and it should be a good one. It will be taken by Karen Sant who is principal of KNT Danceworks. She is an excellent teacher with very high standards but also abundant patience. Like all our classes until February entry to this class is free and newcomers are always welcome. The class will consist of the usual barre exercises and centre work and there will be an optional 30-minute pointe class for those who want it at the end. Finally, there will be a rehearsal of "Aria" for cast members and reserves. If you are free on Saturday and should like to attend, please register here.
  7. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    We shall host a workshop for adult ballet students to be given by Ballet Cymru at Yorkshire Dance at 3 St Peter's Square, Leeds, LS9 8AH on 28 Nov 2018 between 18:00 and 19:30 at which they will teach us some of the choreography for their latest ballet "A Child's Christmas in Wales". If you have not already signed up for the workshop and would like to come you can register here, Immediately after the workshop, we are throwing a party for the company in Martha's room at Yorkshire Dance between 19:30 and 21:00 at which we shall launch the Powerhouse Ballet Circle which hopes to raise funds for ballet charities in the North and elsewhere by holding talks, arranging visits to companies and ballet schools and similar events much in the way that the London Ballet Circle does in the capital. If you want to attend the reception but not the workshop you can register here. If you cannot attend our launch we hope to welcome you to some of our others. Our next guest is likely to be Yoko Ichino of Northern Ballet who will tell us about her illustrious career and famous training method. As soon as we have fixed a date and time we shall advertise it on our website.
  8. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    We welcomed back Jane Tucker for our October company class in Leeds on Saturday. She had given us our first company class in May when 11 dancers turned up. She got twice that number on Saturday. Attendees travelled in from North Wales in the west, Ripon in the north, Filey and Scarborough in the east and Birmingham in the south. As I said in my report on our website, I am so proud of those dancers. For the first time we held a pointe class which nearly everybody joined. Though there were variations in expertise they all looked confident and poised. After class we held a rehearsal of the ballet that Terry Etheridge has created for us and that is becoming very polished too. We are now about to set up a charitable incorporated organization to run the company and launch a Powerhouse Ballet circle on the lines of the London Ballet circle to enable those who support dance education in the region but do not wish to attend class a chance to participate in our activities. Our next event will be a workshop with Ballet Cymru on 28 Nov followed by a launch of the circle (we may change that name) at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds. Our next company class will be given by Karen Sant of KNT in Manchester on 1 Dec.
  9. I have to say that I enjoyed this year's World Ballet Day. I started watching at about 04:30 when there may still have been a few wilis about on Saddleworth Moor and watched one delightful performance after another almost continuously well until the evening. The highlight for me this year (as it had been last year) was the Dutch National Ballet's rehearsal of La Dame aux Camelias with two remarkable pas de deux - one by Daniel Camargo and Igone de Jongh and the other by James Stout and Anna Tsygankova. The second of those two was danced with remarkable passion. Unfortunately, it clashed with Northern Ballet's performance though I did flip between tabs to catch the odd bit of action in Leeds when not much seemed to be happening in Amsterdam. I am looking forward to seeing the whole contribution on YouTube over the next few days. The only other disappointment was that the sound cut out during Birmingham Royal Ballet's presentation. I could see David Bintley, Ruth Brill and others but could not hear what they had to say. There were some unexpected treats. Just as I was about to leave for my own ballet class in Manchester I spotted the Paris Opera House's ballet's Dame aux Camelias with Mathieu Ganio as Armand. Having seen him on Christmas Day last year in Don Quixote I could not resist watching him again. The result was that I left it too late to set off for the Dancehouse. I liked the Houston Ballet's new Swan Lake. I was very impressed by the Ural Ballet of Ekaterinburg the existence of which I had not previously been aware. It took me weeks to get through last year's offering and I suspect I will spend a long time watching the bits I missed today. Despite the annoying technical problems I think I enjoyed this year's offerings more than those of previous years. I am sorry that others were less satisfied.
  10. Terpsichore

    Training etc. in Amsterdam

    You should make enquiries at The National Ballet Academy at the National Academy of Theatre and Dance, Amsterdam University of the Arts. Here is some info on training for 8 to 10 year olds, For older children there is a preliminary course. Incidentally, Ernst Meisner, who trained at the Royal Ballet School and danced with the Royal Ballet for many years and now runs the Junior Company of the National Ballet, has recently been appointed artistic director of the Academy (see Dutch National Ballet's website), I wish your daughter every success in her studies and you a very pleasant time in Amsterdam.
  11. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    Our next company class takes place at Dance Studio Leeds on Saturday 27 Oct 2018 at 15:00. It will be given by Jane Tucker of Northern Ballet Academy. Jane's classes ate never easy but they are always fun. It was Jane who gave us such a great start in May (see We have a Company 27 May 2018 Powerhouse Ballet website). The studio can take 25 dancers and 20 places were booked in the first few hours. There will be cancellations and no shows so we can still fit in the odd one or two at the barre, All you have to do is clink this link and fill in the simple online registration form which requires only your name and email address. We particularly welcome dancers who have not yet trained with us. Dancers come from all parts of the North and a few from even further afield. Some of our strongest dancers come from North Wales and I am thinking of holding a class or staging a show in that principality. We already have a strong link with Ballet Cymru, Wales national classical ballet company. Our November event with be a workshop with that company when they visit Leeds. At present classes are fee though that will change when we set up the company on a formal basis.
  12. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    Yvonne Charlton with her Don Quixote repertoire class Last Saturday's company class in Liverpool was our best day yet. After 90 minutes company class with Mark Hindle, Yvonne Charlton of Jos Dolstra Dance Institute in the Netherlands taught us a dance from Don Quixote that she had created for her own adult dancers. It was not easy. I can;t say that we got it right. But it was great fun and we all had a jolly good try. We also rehearsed the new ballet that Terry Etheridge has created for us. We now look forward to our next company class in Leeds with Jane Tucker of Northern Ballet Academy.
  13. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    Thank you very much. The date for the show in which we had intended to perform Terry Etheridge's work has been put back to May but we have our company class, masterclass and first rehearsal to look forward to in the great city of Liverpool on Saturday and our workshop with Ballet Cymru on 28 Nov to look forward to. I will keep subscribers to this website posted.
  14. Terpsichore

    Powerhouse Ballet

    Terry Etheridge held an audition for our first ballet on Saturday and selected 8 of our number for his cast. David Plumpton played the piano for us. As we had a few last minute cancellations I took the class. It was an unforgettable experience even though I was not auditioning and it must have been particularly memorable for those who were. Yesterday he crafted a beautiful ballet for which we hope to perform at The Dancehous in Manchester in February. Now the hard work of converting this choreography into a show begins. Our first rehearsal takes place at Liverpool on 22 Jan. Mark Hindle of KNT and Yvonne Charlton of Jos Dolstra Dance Institute will be in the audience and Janet McNulty said that she would consider watching us.
  15. Terpsichore

    Are there any other Cricket Fans here?

    A great end to a great career. Congratulations also to Root on his innings in the 5th test. This has been a vintage season for all sorts of reasons not the least of which has been the success of Surrey. As my father came from Southport in Lancashire and my mother from Bramhope near Leeds I am always conflicted in a roses contest. A conflict that is perpetuated by being born in Manchester and living in Yorkshire. So I support Surrey in the county championship. That is after all the county in which I learned to love and play the game and it has won the county championship no less than 19 times, second only to Yorkshire.