Sunday, 20 July 2014

We still have some of the best dancers in Yorkshire

In IP Yorkshire, one of my other blogs, I was bemoaning Yorkshire's indifferent performance in the number of patent and trade mark applications and almost bottom of the list in registered design applications (see Jane Lambert "Well at least a Yorkshireman invented Cats' Eyes" 20 July 2014 IP Yorks). We are doing rather better in cricket which is just as well for they say that when Yorkshire's cricket is strong England is strong. But it is in ballet where Yorkshire folk are really doing well.

One of our best is Xander Parish who is with the Maryinsky Ballet in St Petersburg. Here he is dancing in the second act of Giselle.  His company is coming to London soon and I have booked to see him dance the title role in Romeo and Juliet on 29 July 2014.  I last saw him and his sister Demelza Parish at the Grand Opera House in York on my silver wedding anniversary on 30 July 2007 which was one of the most memorable performances of my life (see "Review: A Summer Gala of Dance and Song, Grand Opera House, York" 31 July 2007 The Press). This is a particularly precious memory because it was just before my late spouse began to show signs of fatigue that were eventually diagnosed as motor neurone disease.

As if seeing Parish on the stage again was not treat enough we all have the opportunity of meeting him at the Civil Service Club on 13-15 Great Scotland Yard at 19:30 on Monday 4 Aug 2014 for he is to be the guest of London Ballet Circle. In a reminder sent to all London Ballet Circle members Audrey Allen wrote:
"A reminder, if one is needed, that we are greatly looking forward to welcoming Xander on 4 August. Many of our members remember him and his sister, Demelza, as young students taking part in the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars, now Summer Schools, and they were awarded a special bursary in 2005 at The Royal Ballet School’s Annual Prize-Giving ceremony to honour the memory of our former Patron and President, Dame Alicia Markova. Since the Mariinsky’s London season was announced Xander has received a great deal of media attention and there have been a number of very interesting articles on his career since joining the prestigious Russian company."
This event, like most London Ballet Circle events, is open to the public.  Visitors pay £8 at the door. Members of the Circle are admitted for £5.  As the annual sub is only £12 it is well worth joining even if you live nowhere near London.   As Audrey Allen mentioned the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School  I should add that it started yesterday at Askham Bryan College and continues until the 1 Aug 2014. As you can see from the Events page members of the Circle are allowed to attend part of the programme for a modest charge.

Another exceptionally promising young Yorkshire dancer with Russian connections is Tala Lee Turton of Barnsley. Ms Turton is at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and she will be only the ninth Briton to train there. When I attended the Tenth Anniversary Gala at Northern Ballet last month I sat next to Laraine Penson for afternoon tea (see "Coming Down to Earth Gently" 30 June 2014). Over sandwiches and scones I told her about the compliment that Christopher Marney had paid to our dancers when he spoke to the London Ballet Circle. Ms Penson thought those talks were a great idea and offered to host something similar at Quarry Hill. On Friday I asked Ms Turton whether she would like to be guest of honour at one of those talks when she is next in Yorkshire and I am delighted to report that she would.

So while we may not be doing as well as we should in patents, trade marks and registered designs our county is doing very well at the two things for which I have a passion, namely ballet and cricket. And that's quite good enough for me.

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