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Tring Park Graduation Show 2014 (Encore Dance Tour)


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Lilian Baylis Theatre Sadler's Wells

 

This performance took place 23rd May 2014 and was a really enjoyable night.  Tring certainly have some very talented young adults and the highlights for me are to follow:

 

Act 1 opened with ‘Be Mine’ a choreographed piece by Drew McOnie, up and coming choreographer and of BBC’s: So You Think You Can Dance.  Judy Garland’s stunning voice rang melodically around the theatre and the beautifully toned bodies of the Tring dancers were in view on stage.  The choreography fit with Judy’s voice like a ‘hand in a glove’, it was a mixture of Jerome Robbins with a hint of Fosse, so uplifting and enjoyable.  I felt that I had been transported to an updated MGM musical and it left you wanting more.  The dancers executed the choreography to perfection and the enjoyment of performing the work was clear to see.  I now would like to see a full musical choreographed by Mr McOnie, who is obviously heading for big things.

 

The second piece was the amazing ‘Le Corsaire’ Pas de Deux.  This was choreographed by Petipa and rehearsed by ex-Royal Ballet principal and well respected ENB Répétiteur and teacher, Antony Dowson.  It was performed by: Jem Trim and Amelia O’Hara and the emotion and technique demonstrated in this piece was to perfection.  Conrad appeared with his usual athleticism and then the fragile petite frame of Medora floated across the stage encapsulated by the music of Adolph Adam.  Her beautiful long arms showed every little movement to perfection and whatever ‘it is’ that makes you not want to take your eyes of a dancer, she definitely has it.  A very strong dancer, she concluded by easily performing 32 fouettés en tournant, to the audiences’ great delight and then both Conrad and Medora showed their abilities to conclude the piece.  The appreciation of the performance was definitely audible.  This had been an outstanding piece and it was clear to see that we had just been let in to view a special moment.

 

The first piece in Act 2 was ‘Symphonically Suite’ choreographed by BTUK’s Artistic Director Christopher Moore.  It was a lyrical ballet work inspired by classical compositions and was composed by Robin Gibb (Bee Gees).  It was a lovely picturesque work that flowed and moved beautifully to the soft tones of the music.  It was performed by nine dancers and the girls wore lovely pastel flowing dresses that added to the work.  The technique was not always tested in this piece, but it still worked as a lovely moving production that showed off the multitalented abilities of the dancers to move from Jazz/contemporary work to lyric ballet.  Mr. Moore seems to have a traditional artistic vision, if this piece is to showcase his work.  However that isn’t a negative, as ballet doesn’t always need to be exhilarating, sometimes less is more.    

   

The last piece was ‘The Game Has Changed’ choreographed by: David Wood, well known commercial choreographer.  This was a high intense futuristic piece performed to the music of Daft Punk and included dancers from ALL the company.  The costumes were aligned to Starlight Express or, We Will Rock You and complemented the piece very well.  This was a very athletic work and at one point David cleverly used a gymnastic pyramid to showcase his performers’ abilities.  Dancers were thrown in the air and appeared from large groups on stage, with complex movements that showcased their strength and flexibility.  A very exciting piece that would perfectly complement a high level pop production.  I’m not sure whether the show should have ended with this piece, but I understand why it did, as all the cast were on stage for the finale.

 

I have seen graduation shows and tours from other schools such as Central and this production, which wasn’t always ballet, was in my opinion a superior one.  Well done to everyone involved, you should be very proud of your production and of the talent you displayed last night, this showcased Tring to its finest.        

 

 

 

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Certainly some very powerful pieces. A personal favourite was the strong contemporary finale to Act 1 by Jodie Blemmings. This is a piece worthy of a professional company and has been performed strongly by the versatile Tribg Park dancers throughout the tour.

There are also some excellent up and coming choreographers. Alfie Smith's piece ' detention in music room three' was both Osse and amusing. A name to watch for the future I think. He has won choreographic awards with NYB too.

I saw both casts on different occasions and came away each time enthral led by the calibre of the show, the professionalism if the dancers and the enjoyment of the audience.

Definitely one for the calendar next yeR :)

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