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  1. 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.
  2. First, good news for Londoners. Although this programme has been sold out for weeks at ROH, Yolanda Yorke-Edgell told me yesterday that she is hoping that an extra performance will be offered on 16 May. She is hoping that the ROH website will include it at the end of this week. The ROH website says there will be one interval but last night there were two. This very talented and innovative company performed in Leeds last night as part of a tour before arriving at the ROH in mid May. The first piece, Playground, one of MacMillan's dark works, will interest those of you who have indicated a wish to see My Brothers, My Sisters again. Many of us will find the choreography interesting but the content disturbing (what MacMillan wanted, of course). However, to see dancers of the calibre of Romany Pajdak, Jonathan Goddard and Dane Hurst supported by other excellent dancers, makes the experience worthwhile if harrowing. The second piece by a choreographer new to me, Sophia Stoller was a short contemporary dance for two female and two male dancers (including Dane Hurst). The third dance, Communion, was specially created by the 94 year old Robert Cohan for the company. It starts slowly with repetitive, almost minimalist, movements but eventually a complex series of solos (notably for Dane Hurst, dancing with infinite fluidity, also Jonathan Goddard) and small group dances. Much of it seems to refer to ritual and community (as the title suggests). A most interesting work. Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the final piece, Imprint, by Yolanda herself, for 6 dancers to a mixture of music excerpts, including the currently ubiquitous Max Richter remix of Vivaldi.
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