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ENB Choreographics 2013

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Just a reminder that ENB is presenting an evening of new works to specially commissioned scores from students at the Royal College of Music at The Place on Friday and Saturday evening (3-4 May).  Tickets cost £12 (£8 concessions). Seems an excellent opportunity to see some established and up-and-coming talent within the company at a bargain price!   The full line-up is:


Choreographer: Stina Quagebeur
Composer: Laurence Osborn
Cast: Nathan Young, Senri Kou, Crystal Costa, Adella Ramirez and Jia Zhang 


Choreographer: Makoto Nakamura
Composer: Gerardo Gozzi
Cast: Anais Chalendard, Juan Rodriguez and Junor Souza


Choreographer: Fabian Reimair
Composer: Raquel Garcia Tomas
Cast: Ken Saruhashi, Erina Takahashi, Nancy Osbaldeston, Jung ah Choi, Laurent Liotardo and Joshua McSherry-Gray 


Choreographer: Tamarin Stott
Composer: Ryan Cockerham
Cast: Barry Drummond, Shevelle Dynott, Désirée Ballantyne and Araminta Wraith


Choreographer: Anton Lukovkin
Composer: Andrew Baldwin
Costume: Cristiano Casimiro
Cast: Bridgett Zehr, Alison McWhinney, James Forbat, Anjuli Hudson, Zhanat Atymtayev, Ksenia Ovsyanick and Teo Dubreuil


(box office - 0207 121 1100 or via the company's website)

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I saw this last night. Interestingly, there were quite a few children there, although my own daughter had declined an invitation to attend. As someone who never sits in the stalls, it was great to be so close to the dancers who were only a few feet away from my seat a few rows back. A lot of the people sitting around me seemed to be Spanish.


It was a very worthwhile initiative, although I, personally, find it hard to evaluate how good the work was as it was fairly abstract, and contemporary in style, and I have not seen much contemporary ballet/dance. Choreographing to a newly commissioned score is very challenging, although one of the dancers (Fabian Reimar) seemed to have choreographed the steps first and then asked the composer to provide a score to match his choreography. As he admitted, the problem with this approach is that it is hard to make changes later. I was pleased to see that there was some, albeit limited, pointe work. I feel that it is very important that new work does not become "barefoot" work. One criticism which I have (although the composers would no doubt disagree with me) is that the scores were all a bit similar (at least to me). They were all rather abstract and I would have liked to have heard at least one score which was more "classical"/recognisably tuneful in style. It is important that the narrative ballet choreographers of the future are nurtured, which is obviously more difficult as young choreographers are only going to get the opportunity to make short pieces which are almost inevitably going to be abstract.


There were different combinations of dancers for each piece, beginning with an impressive all female duet created by a student from ENBS. I don't know which student was which but one of them had a really magnetic stage presence. I can't say which piece I liked best as they all had interesting elements. Possibly the most classical in style and recognisable as a sort of narrative was Stina's piece for four women and one man in which Nathan Young had to partner three or possibly all of the women with quite a lot of tricky lifts - no mean feat.


Unfortunately, the cast sheet was very inaccurate which was a shame for some of the dancers whose names did not appear at all.


Anyway, well done to ENB for this initiative. It would be interesting to know how many in the audience were regulars at The Place.

Edited by aileen
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Sadly I missed the last piece as I had to catch a train but perhaps some of the pictures might give the idea.


 Nathan Young, Crystal Costa, Adela Ramirez and Jia Zhang in Domna choreographed by Stina Quagebeur




 Ashley Scott and Emmeline Janson in Hooked - Choreographed by Emmeline Janson - English National Ballet School 
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I went on Friday night and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.As aileen remarked all the pieces had interesting elements but I particularly enjoyed Stina's piece.Very nice choreography with Nathan Young and Adele Ramirez in fine form.

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I agree with Aileen ,it was a shame that there was not one piece (either musically or choreographically) in the classical or neo classical idiom.The ENBS duet was very interesting indeed one of the young ladies had a very strong presence.For me the best was last , Fabian Reymar no touching pas de deux had a sense of mystery and in the previous piece  I did like Xenia Ovsyanik (always a treat to watch) she and her partner created lovely shapes and seemed to have a good rapport.

Lets hope Restor does not object that there were a lot of Spanish people in the audience!!!

ENB must do more of these evenings.

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I went to the Saturday evening performance and was delighted to see a packed house with a lot of teenagers and some younger children and, by the comments around me, a number of people who had not seen the company before.  For me, the outstanding piece was “Hooked” by ENBS student Emmeline Jansen which won her the School’s choreographic competition.  Unusually (for ballet), this was a duet for two girls who sometimes mirrored each other and sometimes partnered each other.  It was danced barefoot in the beautiful, flowing skirts beloved of Martha Graham and this enhanced the already sophisticated, swirling choreography danced by Jansen herself and Ashley Scott.  Unlike the choreographers from ENB who had been paired with student composers from the Royal College of Music, Jansen chose her own music and used snatches of “The Paschal Spiral” but mainly danced to silence and the dancers’ own breathing, showing how rhythmically in tune the two girls were.  It was a piece I would be happy to watch again, as were most of the pieces produced by the ENB dancers, three of whom were choreographing for the first time.

Stina Quagebeur is the most experienced of the ENB choreographers and her work, “Domna” was certainly the most accomplished, using a Philip Larkin poem as its starting point.  The music score provided by Laurence Osborn was rather angst-ridden but Quagebeur came up with extremely watchable, classically based choreography for Nathan Young and four predatory females, including the increasingly sophisticated Jia Zhang who is fast cornering the market in Femmes Fatales!

Tamarin Stott created the quirkiest and most entertaining piece of the evening to an upbeat score by Ryan Cockerham which was a sound loop of repeated musical phrases interspersed with comments from the dancers and the choreographer. The title “Work in Progress”, reflected the fact that a dancer’s work is never done and the audience was given the rare opportunity to see what happens on stage before the curtain rises:  four dancers, each in their own world, repeating various movements and occasionally coming together to work out bits of pas de deux.   The piece that dazzled me was “[co][hes][ion]" by first-time choreographer Fabian Reimair which also had the most attractive, rhythmically interesting, music score by Raquel Garcia Tomas. Reimair’s concept was about “touch and (non) contact manipulation” and he succeeded admirably in showing this, particularly in the first pas de deux for Erina Takahashi and Ken Saruhashi in which he seemed to manipulate her in various stages of levitation, a truly original and ingenious duet. Jung ah Choi and Joshua McSherry-Gray had a lively pas de deux, the most classically based of the evening, and then Nancy Osbaldesdon started in an almost impossible position, appearing to hover over her partner Laurent Liotardo, held for a breathtaking length of time before dissolving into another intriguing pas de deux.  Whoever was responsible for (not) proof-reading the programme should be shot as the cast list for Reimair’s piece was a complete mess, listing dancers from the previous piece and none of his.  There was also no credit given to whoever was responsible for the costumes, lighting or stage management.  Apart from that, it was an excellent evening for the bargain ticket price of £12 and all credit to ENB for opening this up to the general public for the first time and in a venue new to them.

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