(c) 2017 Chantry Dance Company
Reproduced with kind permission of the company
Move It, which takes place at the Excel Centre between the 10 and 12 March 2017, is billed as the UK's biggest dance event with "over 24,500 dancers – three days – performances, classes, career advice, celebrities, interviews and shopping!!"
I was there last year and described the day in MOVE IT 2016. My verdict on the day was:
"There are worse ways of spending a Sunday afternoon and I did pick up a free copy of The Stage and Dancing Times with a great article by Gavin McCaig in Talking Point which I read over an overpriced burrito but it was not a cheap afternoon out."This may sound like damnation by faint praise but it is not really. There was a lot to see and do. The trouble was that almost everything I had most wanted to see had already happened by the time I arrived. Also, the open ballet class which was the only one that I felt able to do was fully booked.
Clearly, Friday and Saturday are the best days to come to MOVE IT. Friday is out for me because it is a working day and even balletomanes have to eat. I could not make Saturday last year because I was on my way to see the Chelmsford Ballet Company's The Sleeping Beauty. I regret that I won't be there on 11 March this year because that is the day Kenny Tindall's Casanova opens in Leeds.
One of the performances that I missed last year was a piece by Chantry Dance Company and Chantry Dance School. I am a friend of the company and I like its work. A video of its performance appears in A Good Month for Chantry Dance 26 March 2016. The company and school will be there again this year. Rae Piper will conduct a contemporary ballet workshop at 15:45 and members of the school and company will also be on the main stage at some time during that day. We wish them chookas, toi, toi, toi and anything else that does not offend theatrical superstition.
One person that I did get to meet at Move IT last year was Christopher Moore who directs Ballet Theatre UK. I am a big fan of his company for two reasons. First, I take my hat off to them for producing two or three full-length ballets every year and taking them to small town and suburban venues the length and breadth of the kingdom. They provide a first taste of ballet for many people, including a lot of children. I like to think that at least a few of those kids will find their way onto the stage one day. The company has just finished Romeo and Juliet which I reviewed in Ballet Theatre UK's Romei and Juliet 15 Jan 2017 and it has already started another tour with a new production of Giselle. Alice in Wonderland follows Giselle and The Nutcracker will follow Alice. The second reason I like Mr Moore is that he has given work to several graduates of Ballet West and any friend of Ballet West is a friend of mine.
Ballet Theatre UK now has a school and its students were also on stage at MOVE IT last year. You will find a video of their performance on thefamousbelgian's YouTube channel. Wishing them all the best too.