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  1. On the 28 June 2016 young dancers from the Dutch National Ballet, La Scala, the Vienna State Ballet and the Jas Art Ballet will perform in a benefit gala at the Silvio Pellico Theatre in Trecate near Novara in North West Italy to raise funds for the Italian charity Casa Alessia to carry out reconstruction work at Bujumbura in Burundi. The gala will start with a solo called Tempo which the talented young Italian dancer and choreographer, Cristiano Principato, has created for himself. It will continue with extracts from Swan Lake, Coppelia, The Pharaoh's Daughter and The Sleeping Beauty as well several new works including Palladio which Principato has choreographed for the Dutch National Ballet. The performance will end with Ernst Meisner's Embers which readers may remember from last year's performance by the Junior Company at Covent Garden. It is one of the most beautiful short ballets that I have ever seen. The charity was founded in memory of a young Italian woman called Alessia Mairati who died in a plane crash on her gap year in Ecuador. She had been shocked by the poverty that she seen in Latin America and vowed to do something about it on her return. Alas she was killed before she could fulfil her promise but her father set up the foundation to do the sort of work that she would have done had she lived. Principato's family was very close to Alessia's and they were affected by her death more than most. Every year a concert is held in Novara to raise money for the charity. Principato had always wanted to take part but was not allowed to do so until after he had left ballet school. Now that he has established himself in the Dutch National Ballet he has been able to arrange this show. His father has not seen him dance for many years because owing to an illness that prevented him from travelling long distances so this will be his first opportunity to see what his son can do. I am sure Mr Principato senior will be a very proud man indeed. Admission to the show is free but a collection will be taken and members of the audience will be exhorted to give generously. All the dancers are giving their time for free so every penny (or rather cent) raised will go to the charity. However, anyone wishing to attend is asked to call the number at the bottom of the above poster before the 24 June. Alternatively they can contact me and I will tell Cristiano Principato.
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