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  1. I have particular reason to be grateful to the Northern Ballet School in Manchester because I attend class in its studios with KNT at least once a week. Two of my favourite teachers in Leeds trained at that school as well as all my teachers in Manchester. The school hosts The Dancehouse theatre which is one of our city's institutions and the Manchester City Ballet which remains for the moment the only resident classical company in our city. The school has two focuses, namely classical ballet and musical theatre, At the end of each year the school stages a show for its talented students called "A Showcase of Dance". I saw the show last Friday and tweeted that it was not just a good students' show but a good show by any standards. The evening consisted of 20 separate pieces arranged in 3 acts which lasted nearly three hours. Even though it was a very long show and there were a lot of very young children in the audience the performers kept us riveted. Rarely have I sensed such excitement and enthusiasm. My favourite bits were a large extract from the second act of Giselle which had been slightly rearranged by the students' choreographer, Anton Alexandrov to allow his almost entirely female cast to shine. Myrtha (danced by Sayaka Sugimoto) and her acolytes Zulm (Meagan Hoare) and Mona (Sally Hind) had almost as much dancing as Giselle (Yukiho Kasai) and a great deal more than Albrecht danced by Carlos Felipe Oliviera. There was also a lot for the corps to do including the awkward bit where the dancers have to progress across the stage in formation in arabesque. Alexandrov did however give his boys a chance to show what what they could do in Lonely Town to Bernstein's music which was performed in the last act. The one female role was danced by Darcey Ferguson. Other ballets included Lisa Rowlands's A Thousand Good Nights to the music of Abel Korzeniowski and .Anthea Garrett's Final Dance. I had attended last year's how and had enjoyed it very much. This year's was even better. If anyone is interested I have written a fuller review in my blog,
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