Saturday, 28 February 2015

London Ballet Circle's Guests

Ernst Meisner
Photo Robin DePuy
(c) Dutch National Ballet 2014
Reproduced with kind permission of the Dutch 
National Ballet

One event that I am not going to miss come hell or high water or even a brief to the Court of Justice of the European Union is the visit by Ernst Meisner of the Dutch National Ballet to the London Ballet Circle at The Dining Room, 1st Floor, Civil Service Club, 13-15 Great Scotland Yard, SW1 on 20 July 2015 at 19:30.

I have written a lot about Ernst and earlier this month I had the pleasure of meeting him in Amsterdam; but here is some more information about him, some of which I didn't know:
"After winning the Eurovision competition (no, not the song contest!) Ernst gained a place at The Royal Ballet Upper School then joined the company in 2000. After 10 happy years with The Royal Ballet dancing soloist roles Ernst put together a gala show for Kent County Council in Dartford, an experience he much enjoyed. He later got the chance to participate in the Rural Retreat for future leaders and got the opportunity to shadow Ted Brandsen, artistic director of Dutch National Ballet. Ernst left Covent Garden in 2010 and danced several seasons with Dutch National Ballet and when the company decided, two years ago, to set up a Junior Company, Ernst was appointed its Artistic Co-ordinator. He now choreographs works not just for the Junior Company but also for the main company.
Ernst, who also teaches at the Amsterdam International Summer School, has been inspired by LBC's work with student dancers and has very generously given us a two week scholarship to the Amsterdam International Summer School to award to a talented young dancer. We record our gratitude to Ernst and his colleagues for their kindness and greatly look forward to our evening with him and to hearing more about his work and life in dance."
I admire Ernst Meisner most for his choreography. Embers which was danced by Thomas van Damme and Nancy Burer on 6 Feb 2015 is a real gem (see The Dutch National Ballet Junior Company's best Performance yet 6 Feb 2015). There is a video of the pas de deux in Amsterdam Central Station which is beautiful until someone announces a train departure over the tannoy or perhaps a late departure of an incoming service, leaves on the line, the wrong sort of snow or even a cow on the line in the closing seconds of the ballet just as they would at Waterloo. Ernst's Junior Company are dancing at the Linbury in June. Don't miss them!

Another must see event will be the talk by David Bintley, artistic director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, who comes from Huddersfield.  I'm coming all the way from Huddersfield to see Mr Bintley too.  It was after all his company's Miracle in the Gorbals which was my favourite ballet in 2014 (see My Personal Ballet Highlights of 2014 28 Dec 2014) and it has some of my favourite dancers. He is speaking at the same venue on 11 May 2015 at 19:30.

There are also talks by Li-Cunxin on 2 Aug 2015 and Sir Peter Wright on 13 April 2015 at the same time and in the same place.

Two trips I would love to make if I lived in London are to Chelmsford Ballet's rehearsal of Pineapple Poll and Carnival of the Animals at CYGAMS HQ Recreation Ground, Meteor Way, Chelmsford CM1 2RL on 8 March 2015 between 10:15 and 12:30 and to Central School of Ballet at 10 Herbal Hill, Clerkenwell Road, EC1 on 19 May 2015, 13.45 for 14:00. Central is where Kenneth Tindall and Chris Marney trained as well as Paul Chantry and Sarah Kundi so it is very special for me.

But the best reason for supporting London Ballet Circle is the help that it gives young dancers and I can do no better than quote the treasurer:
"The Circle has made four visits to various ballet schools for both rehearsals and performances, and also the annual visit to the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, a visit to the ROH workshop at Purfleet and one to Ballet Rambert. It has made donations to the schools for general purposes and has also provided scholarships for two students to attend The Yorkshire Ballet Summer School and one to attend the Ballet Cymru Summer School. The Circle also continues to award the De Valois and Broderick Prizes to students of The Royal Ballet School. This year was the first year the Sir Peter Wright Prize was awarded to a student at Elmhurst School.

The total of all the above mentioned was £6155.00, scholarships amounting to £2930.00 and donations, following members’ visits, to £3225.00 (English National Ballet School, Rambert, Central School of Ballet, Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, Ballet Cymru, Dance Teachers’ Benevolent Fund following the visit to the ROH workshop at Purfleet)."
The Circle's beneficiaries have included Xander Parish and his sister Demelza, two of Yorkshire's finest, so it is not just a London institution.

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