Chantry Dance Company's 'DRACULA - Welcome to D's' (trailer) from Chantry Dance Company on Vimeo.
Four years ago almost to the day Mel Wong and I drove to Lincoln where we took part in Chantry Dance Company's Sandman and Dream Dance. It was a memorable day for me because it was the first time that I had danced in public and on film and it gave me the chutzpah to put my name down for Northern Ballet Academy's end of year show (see The Time of My Life 26 June 2014). It was also the first time I met Mel. I remember how our conversation took off like a rocket from the moment she entered my car and continued in that way throughout the day.
In those days the Chantry Dance Company was a very small and a very new operation. It has grown over the years staging its first full length ballet last year and offering three year diploma courses in ballet and contemporary dance as well as well as associate programmes, workshops, intensives and outreach events through its School of Contemporary and Balletic Arts. Dominic North, Clemmie Sveaas and Sarah Kundi are now patrons of that school.
Last year, Rae Piper and Paul Chantry of Chantry Dance built up their audience by visiting in advance several of the venues at which they were to perform and giving a talk with demonstrations about an aspect of the show that they were about to dance. I covered their visit to Halifax in More than "Dancing Bananas": Chantry Dance's Demystification of Contemporary Dance 30 June 2017 as well as their show (see The Sandman in Halifax 28 June 2017).
This year Paul Chantry and Rae Piper are creating a new work around Bram Stoker's Dracula. For some reason or other Dracula attracts choreographers like wasps to a honey pot. I have seen and reviewed David Nixon's for Northern Ballet (see Dracula 14 Sep 2014) and an extract from Michael Pink and Christoper Gable's which was performed by Ballet Central last year (see Triumphant 1 May 2017). I am also aware of Mark Bruce's Dracula and Ben Stevenson's for Houston Ballet (see the 1987 - 2003 Archive Page on the company's website) and I believe there are many more. It is not a topic that would attract me were I a choreographer as the story gives me the creeps but that is no doubt the creator's intention. Chantry Dance are performing their new work it in Grantham, Halifax, Worcester, Sale, Stamford, Andover, Lincoln, Horsham and Greenwhich between 21 Sept and 14 Oct 2018.
The company are preparing the ground as they did last year with a talk entitled Day in the Life of a Dancer. The strap line is "How do they do that" which is a question that Chantry and Piper propose to answer while giving some insight into a dancer's say:
"Learn what it takes to become a dancer, how they maintain fitness, strength and flexibility, and how they rehearse. Rae and Paul are among the UK’s finest dancers and West End choreographers whose work includes David Walliams’ OLIVIER NOMINATED GANGSTA GRANNY."They will be at The Waterside in Sale on 27 June and The Victoria in Halifax on 6 July 2018. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. Chantry and Piper will also visit Stamford, Horsham, Andover and Grantham.
I will mention the talk and the show to anyone who turns up to Powerhouse Ballet's first class at Huddersfield on 26 May 2018.