|Star Studded Gala in aid of the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, Sadler's Wells, 29 Sept 2013|
This elegant monogram stands for Yorkshire Ballet Summer School. It is a 2 week residential summer school at the York St John University where students between the ages of 9 and 19 and their teachers can learn from some of the best dancers in the world. To appreciate the value of this school just take a moment to watch this video. The enthusiasm of those students is infectious. As I am sure that at least some of you will want to support this worthwhile cause here is a link to the Summer School's support page.
Every so often a gala of dance and song is held to raise funds for the Summer School. In previous years it has been held at the York Grand Opera House and my late spouse and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary there in 2007. It was a great show as you can see from the review in The Press. This year the gala was held at Sadler's Wells and I followed it to London. I have just returned after driving through the night. Hence the title "More Things that I do for my Art".
However, my journey was by no means the longest. Sergei Polunin had woken up at 05:00 to take a flight from Moscow to perform at the show and according to Sir Derek Jacobi who compèred the show with Sir Anthony Dowell a taxi was waiting to whisk him back to the airport for his return flight. Scottish Ballet's Sophie Martin and Christopher Harrison had come from Glasgow. And I had seen Birmingham Royal Ballet's Samara Downs dance Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty the night before in Salford (see "The Sleeping Beauty - a Review and why the Ballet is important" 29 Sept 2013). The difference was that they danced - powerfully in Polunin's case - whereas I had only to watch, clap until my palms stung, cheer until I was hoarse and, of course., drive to and from Luton Parkway,
The show was, to use the language of the Guide Rouge "vaut le voyage". Many of the stars I saw in York in 2007, such as Wayne Sleep, Samantha Bond and of course Sir Anthony and Sir Derek were there but there was plenty of new material:
- Birmingham Royal Ballet's Brandon Lawrence whom you saw in the film.
- Kenneth Tindall's "Bitter Earth" danced by Northern Ballet's Tobias Batley, Jessica Morgan and Nicola Gervasi;
- the Royal Ballet's Elizabeth Harrod whom you also saw in the film who danced "You" choreographed by the Summer School director Marguerite Porter;
- English National Ballet's Lauretta Summerscales and Fernando Bufalá in the pas de deux from Le Corsaire;
- the all male company BalletBoyz who danced Serpent from The Talent spectacularly;
- Rambert's Dane Hurst who danced "Inala" to music by Ladysmith Black Mambazo;
- Lawrence and Downs in Kenneth Macmillan's "Solitaire";
- the Royal Ballet's Stephen McRae dancing "I got Rhythm" to his own choreography;
- Harrison and Martin dance the pas de deux from Christopher Hampson's "Perpetuum Mobile"; and of course