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Hatch House 2019 The Covent Garden Dance Company

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The Tenth Anniversary of Ballet Under The Stars at Hatch House in Wiltshire UK 


I attended on Sunday 28th July , the final night of three performances given by The Covent Garden Dance Company arranged by director Matt Brady. The location alone deserves five stars, set amidst the rolling hills and valleys of Wiltshire, with beautiful views across the fields and woods. We had perfect weather and a warm welcome including very ‘gin’erous G&T’s and an outside lounge of comfy white sofas where one could chat to friends .


The performance was presented as three ‘courses’ to compliment and co-ordinate with our sumptuous dinner. So after consuming our starter we watched the ‘entree’ commencing with

Summertime ( m Gershwin/ ch George Williamson) danced with languid elegance by Ksenia Ovsyanick ( Principal Staatsballett Berlin) and Zdenek Konvalina ( guest Principal ) Then came Summa ( m A Part/ ch Safronkine) the first of three pieces choreographed by Vitali Safronkine .( guest Principal and choreographer) The music was a sonorous accompaniment to the abstract pas de trois danced by Safronkine , Iker Murillo ( guest Principal) and Maria Munoz Sabater ( corps, Compania nacional de Danza Spain ) It was pleasant and flowing, leading us into a much more spicy dish: Qualia pdd ( ch McGregor/ m Scanner) with Mara Galeazzi ( guest Principal ex RB) and Gabriele Corrado ( soloist La Scala Italy) . This intense duet, full of strange original movements and unusual lifts reminds me of an alien mating ritual, it’s abstract and weirdly satisfying . I loved it. Finally the Act 3 Shades pdd from La Bayadere ( ch Petipa/ m Minkus) performed by Xander Parish ( Principal Mariinsky Ballet)  and Maria Khoreva ( First Soloist  Mariinsky Ballet) .Khoreva , slender and delicate with immaculate technique brought pure class to this pdd, with lovely partnering from Xander. 


So ,altogether a very satisfying first course  that whetted our appetites for the main ‘ plat principal’

To begin this course a second work by Safronkine ‘La Silhouette ‘ ( m Sollima) was danced by Safronkine and Maria Munoz Sabater. Again this was an abstract ballet , a little bland but well danced. However the next pdd was much more to my taste ,

Concerto ( ch Macmillan / m Shostakovich )  Elegantly danced by Lauren Cuthbertson ( Principal RB ) and her partner Nicol Edmonds ( Soloist RB) against a darkening sky, the amber glow of the lighting on their orange costumes, together with the flowing circular arm movements and andante music was like watching a perfect sunset.

Next we were offered a short work ‘The Lightness of Being’ ( m. P Glass) choreographed and danced by Ksenia Ovsyanick and her partner Zdenek Konvalina

followed by ‘Closure’ ( ch Nunes/ m Schubert) a more contemporary duet danced by Parish and Khoreva . To end this course we had the beautiful Balcony pdd ( c MacMillan m Prokofiev) danced with passion by Mara Galeazzi and Gabriele Corrado. The latter flew across the small stage, giving great energy to Romeo’s youthful vigour and display of love. I was very impressed by Corrado and he was well matched by lovely Mara Galeazzi who is a superb dance actress and who can still make me believe she is 14 year old Juliet, in the first throes of love. Mara dedicated this piece to her dear friend , the late Stephen Hutchings, which was very touching . 


For dessert we had two abstract ballets ‘Reminiscence’ by Vitali Safronkine ( m Arnalds) danced by Safronkine, Murillo and Munoz Sabater , and Multiplicity/Forms of Silence and Emptyness ( c Duato m Bach ) danced by Ovsyanick and Konvalina.

Then ‘ Something Different ‘ which added a little spice to this course. It was fabulous to welcome back Steven McRae to the stage tapping his own choreography to music by Benny Goodman and I hope he will soon be fit enough to return to the Royal Opera House stage. 

A creamy and dreamy pdd The White Swan adagio ( m Tchaikovsky c Petipa) danced beautifully by Lauren Cuthbertson and Nicol Edmonds was the penultimate dish , and finally a bit of fun to finish: Ballet 101 danced by Xander Parish, which received great applause from the appreciative audience.

In summary the food was delicious and the dancing divine. I and my friends were well satisfied by this visual and gastronomical feast. 

The night continued with cocktails and music in the outdoor lounge area when it was so wonderful to see and chat with Mara , to meet Gabriele Corrado , Xander Parish , Maria Khoreva and Steven McRae. 

The whole experience of a Gala in the verdant countryside was incredible and I’ll look forward to a further feast next year ! 

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Wonderful summary of a beautiful night, I am sure. I love Ksenya, she is very elegant yet can be very edgy when it comes to contemporary pieces. As for "101" (ch by Eric Gauthier, if I may add), I saw this in June here in Berlin and loved the humor😀. I love this dancer/choreographer. Happy to see that you had a great night❤❤

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