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  1. I loved this show! What a super concept to mix different dance styles and performers together, all under the umbrella of being unique, new or unseen in London, and to do it in an unfamiliar venue. Each piece was introduced personally by Jamiel Laurence to explain its uniqueness, and therefore why it had been included in the programme. It was a privilege to be in the audience of these young entrepreneurial dancers (the evening was a joint effort of Jamiel Laurence and Henry Dowden both looking businesslike in suits) bringing a new concept of dance programme to Canary Wharf and to dance audiences. I feel more inclined to look up some of the dancers/companies that I did not know so well now … to widen my experience. I believe that was the point 👏 The programme was in two halves, each half beginning with a Chopin piano solo performed ably by Viktor Erik Emanuel. The dancing was topped and tailed with classical ballet, beginning with the Medora solo from Le Corsaire performed by Ivana Bueno. We were told she had not performed this anywhere before, had offered to learn the solo to perform it here and had been helped by Shiori Kase. She was superb in this demanding variation. She has a lightness of performance that usually comes only after multiple shows. The ending piece was the full Don Quixote pdd. I believe this was the only piece not to have something new or unique about it … and of course it’s a great crowd pleaser to end on. Katja Khaniukova had flown in that morning having performed in Kyiv the night before and was hugely engaging, partnered by Francesco Gabriele Frola on fire 🔥 The other ‘ballet’ on the programme was the Act II pdd from David Dawson’s version of Swan Lake for Scottish Ballet. A first, because it has not been seen in London, and a first occasion for Barnaby Bishop to perform this pdd. And last, as we were also told, as he is leaving Scottish Ballet. He partnered the beautiful Constance Devernay who has wonderful dynamics and movement quality. Probably my highlight of the evening. The contemporary pieces were all new, except a Robert Cohan solo. And all were different in style and intensity, and included a piece by Hannah Rudd originally choreographed for one of the Royal Ballet Draft Works programmes that got COVID cancelled. Jeffrey Cirio’s movement and focus in his own choreography was extraordinary. He performed to a combination of Chopin played live and a new music composition by Fabian Reimar. It was a nice touch to be personally welcomed by Jamiel as we entered the theatre, and, the bar service was great! There were a fair amount of ENB dancers in the audience supporting their dancers which is always good to see. Heartwarming applause from the appreciative audience. Here’s a brief overview of the event from Graham Watts (he says longer review to follow) https://www.instagram.com/p/CVZ4XHJAKt2/?utm_medium=copy_link Curtain call videos from Ballet Nights own Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tv/CVZ6ISnAIeZ/?utm_medium=copy_link The programme https://www.instagram.com/p/CVDpV4KoI6X/?utm_medium=copy_link Regarding Practicalities … - Having psyched myself up for the journey to Canary Wharf with which I was unfamiliar, it turned out to be a non-event. The Jubilee Line takes you into the heart of the business area, at speed from Waterloo. Then it’s a short walk of 5 minutes or so to the Lanterns Theatre across the waterways with the reflections from the lights in the tall buildings around twinkling in the water. Rather beautiful. - the stage itself was huge. The audience of 300 or so (I think) was spread in seven rows up steps along the wide front of the stage. I felt that the seating is not sufficiently raked, but as there are so few rows, it was no hardship to dodge heads. The lucky VIPs in the front row had their feet right up against the dance floor. - including a half hour interval, the show was over around 9.30pm and I was home near Earls Court by 10.15pm
  2. I’m sharing information about this interesting gala taking place on 23 October 2021 in a venue new to me, the Lanterns Studio Theatre in London E14. It is curated by dancer Henry Dowden, of English National Ballet, and is the first of what he hopes will be a series of performances mixing the old with the new. For those who missed Francesco Gabriele Frola’s spectacular Acteon in Ivan Putrov’s gala last week, this is the chance to see him in another gala favourite, the pas de deux from “Don Quixote”, partnering his ENB colleague, Katja Khaniukova, whose performance of this at the 2017 Emerging Dancer Awards, with the 2016 winner Cesar Corrales, brought the house down. ENB’s Jeffrey Cirio and his sister Lia (principal with Boston Ballet) have an experimental group called the Cirio Collective which comes together each summer in the USA to produce new work but I believe this is the first time his choreography will be seen in the UK. He has created a solo to music by Chopin which will be played live by Viktor Erik Emanuel. Luke Ahmet will dance a solo from “Communion” in tribute to the late Robert Cohan, and Constance Devernay and Barnaby Rook Bishop will perform the Act II pas de deux from David Dawson's "Swan Lake". The evening will also feature new choreography from Daniel Davidson, Kennedy Muntanga Ft, Olivia Grassot and Hannah Rudd. Seating is unreserved but we are assured that there are excellent sightlines from all seats (priced at £45, or £60 for the front row). I hope people will consider supporting this enterprising new venture. Unfortunately I have been unable to upload on here the flyer I received but I believe it can be found by logging onto the ticket website. Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/BalletNights and I found the booking process very straightforward.
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