Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Standard YouTube Licence

"Mesmerizing!" Not my adjective but that of Leon London, a member of the audience who watched Giovanni Princic and Melissa Chapski dance at the Natalia Kremen Foundation gala on Sunday night and kindly commented on my preview of that event.  Ernst Meisner's Embers is one of my favourite ballets and if you watch the film you will see why. Short ballets can be as great as full-length ones (viz Fokine's Dying Swan per Wikipedia) and I think this masterpiece by one of the best choreographers I know will become a classic too. The dancers in the film are the ones who danced on Sunday night.

Another work that impressed Leon was the British premiere of a duet from La Scala Ballet's Progetto Handel which was performed for the first time in Milan on 20 May 2017. As you can see from La Scala's website this is a full-length work created by Mauro Bigonzetti to some beautiful music by George Frederick Handel. The website contains a detailed description of the ballet if you click on the "Synopsis" tab.

Leon thought that the gala was "superbly produced" with grand imperial showpieces interspersed with contemporary and some brilliant performances by the students of Natalia Kremen Ballet School.  Having seen some pictures that have been posted to Facebook by Graham Watts, I think one of those grand imperial pieces must have been the pas de deux from The Nutcracker danced by Yorkshire's very own Brandon Lawrence and Delia Mathews of the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Leon described the ballet as "a gem" but lamented that it was not fully attended with some 75% of the seats sold.  I feared that might happen which is why I did my best to promote the event on Sunday. Had I learned of it sooner I would have been there for a start and so might a lot of my readers. I only found out about it when I did because I follow Giovanni and Melissa on Facebook and Melissa posted a note about the show to her timeline.  If those in charge of the school ever contemplate a similar gala, I invite them to notify me well in advance so that I can drum up some support. Dance education is very dear to my heart.

Possibly because we are lucky enough to have as our capital one of the world's two ᾁ++ Weldstädte (see the table in Weltstadt in Wikipedia) those who live in that city tend to forget that there is culture outside. As I gently reminded dear, dear Cassa yesterday in Ballet Black's Tour 20 June 2017 conurbations like Greater Manchester, the West Midlands. West Yorkshire, Greater Glasgow, the Bristol-Cardiff corridor and Merseyside are as populous and as economically significant as most of the EU's capitals. Some of the institutions of those city regions, such as the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet and the Halle Orchestra, are world class. We travel to London for shows like this one that are worth seeing and causes like Ms Kremen's ballet school that are worth supporting.

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