Thursday 23 March 2017

A Spark of Excellence

Alabama Seymour
(c) 2917 Fieldgrazer Productions
Reproduced with kind permission of Fielfgrazer Productions

In The Importance of Performance 20 March 2017, I wrote that one of the rewards of watching shows by companies like Duchy Ballet well outside the big cities is that you sometimes spot a star in the making. The first time I saw Xander Parish was at the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School gala at the Grand Opera House in York on 29 Oct 2007 (see Charles Hutchinson's Review: A Summer Gala of Dance and Song, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday 31 July 2007 The Press). I saw many fine young dancers that night but he stood out from the rest.

There have been other times when a young dancer has stood out in the same way.  The last occasion was on Saturday when I saw The Sleeping Beauty by Duchy Ballet at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro on Saturday (see Cornwall's Coup: Duchy Ballet's Sleeping Beauty 19 March 2017). Many dancers impressed me that evening but the young woman who danced the Lilac Fairy stood out from the rest. I wrote: "I think I saw a spark of excellence in the lilac fairy on Saturday."

I was, therefore, delighted but not surprised to receive a press release from Charlie Fripp, the company's press officer, entitled Cornish Girl wins place at a prestigious ballet school which announced that the artist who had danced the Lilac Fairy had been accepted for training by the Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance. That "Cornish girl" was Alabama Seymour as I had guessed from the photo in the programme.

The press release stated that Ms Seymour comes from Chacewater which is a small village just outside Truro. She is studying dance at Truro College and has trained at Capitol School of Dance with Sian Strasberg.  Kay Jones, who is Principal at Capitol and Artistic Director of Duchy Ballet said:
“Alabama is one of the many talented dancers who have come through Duchy Ballet and gone on to dance as a career and we’re so excited to be able to offer so many dancers here in Cornwall the opportunity to dance on a stage like the Hall for Cornwall.”
Ms Seymour acknowledged the value of that experience:
"It is a real honour to win a place at Rambert School. Duchy Ballet has been an amazing start to my career and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had with the company and I am looking forward to the thrill of performing in front of more than two thousand people at the Hall for Cornwall.”
Having seen her on stage I congratulate Ms Seymour for an excellent performance on Saturday and wish her well at the Rambert and beyond.  As I noted in The Importance of Performance, I don't want to embarrass her or tempt fate but I don't think I have been the last of her.

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