Tuesday, 12 May 2015
My Home and Bintley's
I arrived home from London in the early hours of the morning, I had gone to London specifically to hear David Bintley. He spoke to the London Ballet Circle yesterday evening. I would have wanted to hear him had he been born in Tierra del Fuego or Stewart Island as I admire his work so much but, as it happens, he comes from Honley in the Holme Valley which is almost the next village from mine.
We have a rich musical tradition in this part of Yorkshire with silver bands, brass bands, choirs, the annual contemporary music festival and above all The Choral. Here they are singing Hallelujah from Handel's Messiah. At one time every pub in every village held a sing at Harvest time. Sings usually ended with a rousing chorus of Pratty Flowers which us sometimes called the Holmfirth anthem. Though sings are rarely held nowadays you can see from the film there are still folk who remember the words of that song.
Ever since I first learned that Bintley came from this area I had imagined that he would be influenced by that tradition so I asked him. I can't tell you what he said because I have been asked not to do so but a summary of his talk will be available in due course on the London Ballet Circle website. As the Circle says on its Facebook page: "We had a lovely, very interesting and informative evening with David Bintley!" The Ballet Circle thanked everybody for coming but I would not have missed that talk for the world.
Lots of other good talks and visits are planned as you can see from the Events page of the Circle's website. I am coming down again to hear Ernst Meisner whom I featured at the end of last year and Li Conxin, artistic director of the Queensland Ballet. Membership of the London Ballet Circle costs only £12 a year and it helps to support young dancers and students. This year we are sending a dancer from London to Amsterdam to attend a workshop with the Dutch National Ballet. So it is very worthwhile becoming a member.