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On Tuesday I hope to be in  the audience for the opening gala of the Dutch National Ballet at the Stopera in Amsterdam. I had to work all day and well into the night yesterday which meant that I missed the opening night of 1984 which was an enormous sacrifice for me but if Tuesday is anything like this video it will have been worthwhile. 



The company's website suggests that it will be a great evening,


"Nearly two hundred dancers, including the dancers of the Junior Company and pupils from the National Ballet Academy will make their appearance. And after the performance, it’s party time!"


Here are some of the delights in store:


"This year, the festive programme will consist of new creations, famous pas de deux, work by the Netherlands’ greatest choreographer Hans van Manen and highlights from the repertoire. Artistic director Ted Brandsen will make a selection from the company’s varied repertoire, which will include some ‘appetisers’ that give a taste of special ballets in the coming season. The complete ensemble will perform in a Grand Défilé alongside the youngest dance talents of the Netherlands: the pupils of the National Ballet Academy."


There should be quite a substantial British contingent.  DonQ Fan will be there for a start as well as the immediate past president of the London Ballet Circle.


After Ernst Meisner had addressed the London Ballet Circle a gentleman who introduced himself as a friend of Meisner presented himself to me and suggested that we might form a British branch of the Friends of the Dutch National Ballet along the lines of the American Friends of Covent Garden. I think it is a great idea and have written about it more than once in my blog. If anyone is interested I would love to hear from them.


Finally, for the last two years the Junior Company have performed at The Linbury. That auditorium will be closed for a while next year so I hope it will be possible for them to dance somewhere else.  I suggested the Stanley and Audrey Burtin Theatre in Leeds and Meisner did not rule it out, If they did come here Team Terpsichore would spoil them to bits.

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On Tuesday I attended the opening gala the Dutch National Ballet's season in Amsterdam. It was the best night that I have ever spent at the ballet. I have been to some great performances including some great galas in my time but this was the one that I enjoyed the most.


The event took place at the Stopera (or Music Theatre) of Amsterdam. That building is impressive by day but becomes magical when floodlit by night. On Tuesday it was even more impressive because almost everyone was in evening dress.  


The evening began with the grand defile of the ballet students, Junior Company and each rank of the National Ballet. All the stars were there including Matthew Golding, Igone de Jongh, Casey Herd and Anna Tsygankova.  After the Grand Defile the company's artistic director Ted Brandsen took to the stage and welcomed the audience in Dutch and English. He introduced Alexandra Radius in whose honour a prize for the company's most outstanding dancer had been awarded. This year it was awarded to Maia Makhateli.


The evening started with Van Dantzig's Voorbij Gegaan which he had choreographed for Radius and her husband Han Ebelaar. On Tuesday it was danced by de Jongh and Herd. They were followed by extracts from La Bayadere, Juanjo Arques's Rewind, David Dawson's On the Nature of Daylight and Golding and Tsygankova in the pas de deux of Siegfried and Odile from Swan Lake.


During the interval when all manner of drinks and tasty nibbles were served I met Helen McDonough from this forum and Alison Potts from the London Ballet Circle.


After the interval there was Ernst Meisner's Narnia which was my personal favourite followed by extracts from Le Corsaire, Neumeier's La Dame aux Camerlias. the Diamonds pas de deux from Jewels and Wheeldon's Concerto Concordia from Cool Britannia.


After the show there was a party with a disco. I actually danced at the Amsterdam Music Theatre. How many others can say that?  There were a lot of people so I couldn't find everybody I wanted to meet but I did see Ted Brandsen and Juanjo Arques whom I had previously met in February and Michaela DePrince who is one of my favourite dancers.


If anyone is interested I have published a longer and more detailed article in my blog.

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