Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Isabelle Brouwers in Kibera

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Over 4 years have elapsed since I first wrote about Mike Wamaya's ballet class in Kibera (see What can be achieved by a good teacher 3 March 2013). The world took an interest in that class towards the end of last year when The Guardian featured it on its Facebook page and other news outlets followed suit (see Recognition for the Kibera Ballet Class 9 Jan 2017).

Shortly after that feature appeared, dancers and companies in Britain offered help.  Birmingham Royal Ballet sent pointe shoes to the class (see Thank you Birmingham Royal Ballet 17 Jan 2017). Yesterday, after being reminded of its blog by Feedspot (see We hate to blow our own trumpet but .... 28 March 2017) I read that Isabelle Brouwers of English National Ballet had actually been to Kibera and given a class there (see Isabelle Brouwers teaches ballet to Kenyan children in Kibera slum 8 Feb 2017 ENB Blog).

I have always had a lot of affection for English National Ballet ever since I attended their Christmas performances of The Nutcracker at the Festival Hall. I have a high regard for that company and their artistic director, Tamara Rojo, not only for their work on stage but also for their work for the community, and in particular, their classes for patients with Parkinson's disease (see ENB's Big Give to Dance for Parkinson's 25 Nov 2016). It came as no surprise to read:
"Backed up by my ever supporting parents, and my wonderful colleagues and Artistic Director Tamara Rojo at the English National Ballet, who helped me gather an incredible amount of dancewear and shoe donations, I was all set for what I knew would be one of the most eye opening and life changing events of my life!"
The article on Brouwers's visit is a very good read and I commend it to my own readers.

I also commend the triple bill of ballets by Pina Bausch, William Forsythe and Hans van Manen at Sadler's Wells this week which I wish I could get to see.  If any of my readers wants to offer me a review I will be very pleased to publish it.

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