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I am very sorry to say goodbye to Jeremy Curnier and Lucia Solari who are on their way to Germany's northern ballet at Kiel which is a few miles from the Danish border. I wish them well in their new company. Kiel is a very pleasant little town about the size of Hull. I went there once after driving all the way from Copenhagen to Esbjerg and finding that my hotel restaurant (and all the other restaurants in Esbjerg) were closed at not much later than afternoon teatime. Even though it was an extra hour's drive to Kiel everything was open. There is a history of the ballet company on the Kiel Theatre's website which starts off with the words: "Tanz hat in Kiel lange Tradition" ("There is a long tradition of dance in Kiel") though "long" in this context seems to be over 25 years. They seem to do Swan Lake and The Nutcracker regularly as well as a sprinkling of new work and there is a season for new choreographers.
I am also sorry that I will no longer be able to see Hironao Takahashi though he at least is remaining in the company with a new job as "Assistant Rehearsal Director & Assistant Artistic Director of Short Ballets for Small People". Now he really does have a lange Tradition in dance. I wish him every success in his new role too.
Also leaving are Naomi Bottomer, Isabelle Clough, Jenny Hackwell and Luke Francis. They will be missed too. I can't tell you where they are going or what they are doing but I am sure all my readers will join me in wishing them well in whatever they do and wherever they go.
Happily, Northern Ballet is recruiting new dancers. They include
- Ailen Ramos Betancourt who was a guest artist in Casanova and joins as a Soloist;
- Eneko Amorós Zaragoza (Estonian National Ballet); Thomas Holdsworth (English National Ballet School); Ommaira Kanga Perez (Escuela de Ballet Carmina Ocaña y Pablo Savoye); Heather Lehan (Canada’s National Ballet School) will join the corps; and
- Andrew Tomlinson, Archie James, Carlotta Pini and Mathilde Lambert (no relation) join as apprentices.
Welcome to each and every one of them.
Finally, I am delighted to see that Victoria Sibson is now a First Soloist, Mlindi Kulashe, Ayami Miyata, Kevin Poeung and Abigail Prudames are now Soloists, Sean Bates, Matthew Koon and Matthew Topliss Junior Soloists and Sarah Chun, Riku Ito and Jonathan Hanks are Coryphée. Well done folks!