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Celebration Gala 21 October Linbury

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This event, in aid of the Dance teacher's Benevolent Fund and the Wayne Sleep Foundation took place last night. All the expensive seats (£200/£100) were sold but the back and sides (£50) were, alas, sparsely occupied - such a pity as it was a good cause and an excellent evening of dance.


The programme was introduced by Angela Rippon and 'hosted' by Monica Mason with spoken contributions/tributes to teachers from Anthony Dowell (very touching) and Simon Callow. As is often the case, understandably, on such occasions, there were the usual last minute substitutions - this time involving Lauren Cuthbertson, Yonah Acosta/Shiori Case and Yuhue Choe. But what we saw was a treat all round:


STOMP - Luke Cresswell and Company


BRAHMS (Wayne Sleep) - Emma Maguire and Alexander Campbell


LOOK WEST (Alastair Marriott) - Melissa Hamilton and Gary Avis


LE CORSAIRE PDD (Marius Petipa) - Yoaquin Shang and Esteban Hernandez (Royal Ballet School)


JE NE REGRETTE RIEN (Ben Van Cauwenburgh) - Sarah Lamb


INFRA PDD (Wayne McGregor) - Marianela Nunez and Edward Watson


TWO PIGEONS (Frederick Ashton) - Jenna Roberts and Robert Parker


NOWADAYS AND HOT HONEY RAG (after Bob Fosse) - Summer and Scarlet Strallen


INTERVAL DURING WHICH TWO OF LOTS AUCTIONED WERE: Lot 3 - the chance (provided one was not too large to get into the costume!) to appear onstage with ENB at the Coli in January as a courtier together with 4 tickets for the performance and a programme signed by the cast (which went for £750 i think) and Lot 4 - the opportunity for 2 people to watch a Royal Ballet performance from the wings and have a backstage tour (which went for £1500 I think).


JOY - (Rebecca Wilson) - Rambert School


PIE JESU FROM REQUIEM (Kenneth MacMillan) - Danielle Muir (Royal Ballet School)


CLEOPATRA PDD (David Nixon) - Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley


STRICTLY COME DANCING (2 pieces) - Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite


ASPHODEL MEADOWS PDD (Liam Scarlett) - Leanne Cope and Dawid Trzensimiech


LIMEN PDD (Wayne McGregor) - Sarah Lamb and Eric Underwood


SWAN LAKE ACT 2 PDD (Petipa/Ivanov) - Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares with Henry Roche (Piano), Sergey Levitin (Violin) and Adrian Bradbury (Cello)


THE MIND ON FIRE (George Williamson, new Associate Artist at ENB) - Begona Cao and Zdenek Konvalina


SING, SING, SING (Steven McCrae) - Redman Rance - a current Billy Elliot; Steven McCrae and Wayne Sleep


PUCK'S WORDS FROM A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (recited by Thomas Round - Leane Benjamin's son)


The audience appeared in the main unfamiliar with ballet and, not unexpectedly, the 'Strictly' sequences, Swan Lake and the tap dancing piece Sing, Sing, Sing (Steven McCrae sensational but Wayne Sleep still able to put on a good show) garnered the most applause/cheers.

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I would just like to point out that we're not made of money either. We wanted to go to this gala to support Wayne Sleep largely because he, in turn, had supported (and danced at) a recent gala in aid of an African Charity. We had to wait, however, until it became clear that not all seats were priced at £200/£100 and we chose to go to this charitable event rather than the Gala at the ROH on 30 October. I posted the programme on this site because I thought that people here would be really interested to know about the content and the performers.

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I posted the programme on this site because I thought that people here would be really interested to know about the content and the performers.


I was - thanks for sharing. I'll confess when I heard about it that I thought ALL the tickets were £200, so didn't look much further! I realise it wasn't aimed at the likes of me though - I can just about stretch to £25 at a push - beyond that, I'll admire with nose pressed the window glass....

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Thank you, capybara, for telling us about this Gala. It sounds fabulous, with such a diverse and varied programme. It really is great for those of us, also, who never get to London, to be able to read about these events.

I wish there were photos of it! :)

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  • 1 month later...

Great quote in Mike Dixon's review of this in this month's Dance Europe:

"Robert Parker and Jenna Roberts gave a tender account of... The Two Pigeons, though neither of the birds had a suitable homing sense. Robert Parker is one of the few artists alive who can manage to embody poetic romance with a peripatetic dove on his head."

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