Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Maybe we do have a Junior Company in England after all

I have written quite a lot about the Dutch National Ballet Junior Company and why I think it is a good idea. In Ernst Meisner’s Work with the Dutch National Ballet 2 Dec 2014, Ernst Meisner, Artistic Co-ordinator of the Junior Company explains how it came into being. He gave more details on his work with the company in The Junior Company 3 Dec 2014.

I last saw the Junior Company in Ballet Bubbles on 14 Feb 2016. Before the show Ernst gave a little talk about the company and he stressed that it provides opportunities not just for outstanding young dancers but promising stage and costume designers, lighting engineers and technical staff too.   I wrote a little more about those opportunities in Opportunities Not Just for Dancers 26 May 2016.

I was reminded of Ernst speech and his earlier interviews when I checked out the website of the New English Ballet Theatre. The reason I did that is that the London Ballet Circle has been invited to attend the company's choreographic lab Taking Chances at the Rambert Studios on 15 Oct 2016. On checking through the website I noticed that Ernst is one of its choreographers as indeed is Wayne Eagling who was the Dutch National Ballet's Artistic Director before he returned to London to direct the English National Ballet.

On the About page I listened to the above video and read under "Who we are":
"We are a modern ballet company with a mission to present exciting new work to the widest possible audience. We are committed to the continual reinvention of classical ballet and giving artists the creative space to explore its boundaries. What makes us different is how we work with talented young people from a variety of disciplines. We have a company of exceptional dancers, but we also seek out choreographers, musicians, designers and visual artists. As a new company, we have the creative freedom to drive ballet forward, showcasing the strength, athleticism and agility of the next generation."
 I was even more fascinated by "Who inspires us":
"We have bold ambitions as a company, drawing inspiration from the likes of Sergei Diaghilev and George Balanchine. A pioneer in every sense, Diaghilev founded the Ballet Russes, a company which brought together the best young Russian dancers of the day, including Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky. Determined to create groundbreaking work, Diaghilev also commissioned some of the most famous composers of the 20th century, from Stravinsky and Ravel to Strauss and Prokofiev. This spirit of collaboration also extended to artists and he worked with Picasso and Matisse among others.
We set out to emulate Diaghilev’s all-embracing approach to the creation of new work, building a company in the style of the Ballet Russes for the 21st century."
That inspires me too.  I shall be at the choreographic lab on 15 Oct 2016 and I shall follow the company with great interest.

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