Friday, 4 September 2015

Chantry Dance's Vincent - Rarely have I been more excited by a New Ballet

Chantry Dance in Company Class
Photo Gita Mistry
(c) 2015 Gita Mistry, all rights reserved 

The rate at which Chantry Dance Company has grown and developed is remarkable. The story goes that it was started because the Chinese Calligraphy Association and Ministry of Culture could not comprehend the concept of freelancing when they collaborated with Paul Chantry and Rae Piper in the Calligraphy Concert. Now Chantry Dance are about to embark on their second nationwide tour having worked at the Royal Opera House and the Rome Opera Theatre and having established their very own school since the last tour (see If only I were young again - Chantry School of Contemporary and Balletic Arts 27 July 2015).

Yesterday Gita and I visited Chantry Dance at their rehearsal studios in Grantham to watch their company class and a dress rehearsal of their latest ballet Vincent - A Stranger to Himself.  Rarely have I been more excited by a new work and I except none of the works of much bigger and better established companies in saying this. Chantry Dance have some fine young dancers: David Beer and their latest recruits Rebecca Scanlon and Sorrel De Paula Hanika. Last year's Happy Prince was good but Vincent is so much more ambitious Vincent is danced by Chantry and his principal love by Piper. Beer in black represents death, madness and evil. The corps - Scanlon, Hanika and several of the company's associates intervene as ghastly masked spectres, as colours and eventually his inspiration as the bearers of his best known works. The score includes Satie's Gymnopédies which Chantry uses with no less skill than Ashton did in Monotones.

If you have not been to Grantham you really should.  Sir Isaac Newton studied at The King's School and Lady Thatcher was born at the intersection of the inner ring road and the main road to the A1. The town has a fine parish church with a magnificent tower and a chained library. Just down the road from the church is The Beehive pub with a living and no doubt stinging inn sign. Gita and I visited all those places.

Vincent and Eine Kleine Nacht Musik are touring Grantham, Stamford, Birmingham, Worcester, Halifax and London this month. Grantham is already sold out and they got a great preview from London Ballet Circle in respect of their visit to Elmhurst where Scanlon trained.  You can book on-line at any of the venues through Duology - Chantry Dance releases new details of its Autumn tour 21 Aug 2015.

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