|Morley Town Hall|
Photo Steve Partridge
Creative Commons Licence
A Feast of Music and Dance by Older Performers, Saturday, 26 Sept 2015, Morley Town Hall
Last Saturday I danced at Morley Town Hall with members of my over 55 class at Northern Ballet. I wrote about the experience in Growing Old Disgracefully in Morley 28 Sept 2015. Our classmate Inger Huddleston was in the audience and she chatted with us after the show, During our conversation I asked her whether she would care to review our performance for Terpsichore. She kindly agreed to see what she could do.
On the 30 Sept 2015 I received this lovely email from Inger. I think you will agree that she came up trumps.
"Dear Jane,This is one of the most generous reviews that has ever appeared in this blog:
Following your background coverage on Terpsicore blog, I rather hesitate to write a review of Northern Ballet over 55's contribution to the Feast of Music and Dance having been in the early rehearsals, but not having taken part in either performance - the End Of Term Show at Northern Ballet or The Young at Arts showcase.
The technical steps you have already described, in your review of the day at Morley, so my contribution is more personal.
Having started in the 1990s (actually at Yorkshire Dance) very late in life, having done no ballet as a child I know how difficult the first years are, but you have to start somewhere!
I have kept going since then in the Academy classes either Open or over 55, and observing and sketching at open rehearsals as a Friend of Northern Ballet. It's a constant fascination, how choreography constantly changes, no two steps are really the same - whether professional dancers or amateurs - attending company class or amateur classes, dancers have to be prepared for the unpredictable and adapt.
With regard to performances, changes in cast, choreography and staging, lighting and costume, and music, to name but some, everyone must keep all this in mind, with patience and remain very alert!
As I see it, this was one of the greatest challenges for seven lovely, very contrasting classical dancers on this occasion. To be this adaptable seemed quite remarkable. Adapting to "theatre in the round" instead of proscenium, close proximity of audience, different group dynamics and situation was a big ask, for teacher Annemarie and the cast.
Each gave an individual performance, yet the work showed what a wonderfully supportive and inclusive group this is.
The Lullaby by Lulaby music, was interpreted so well, with rests, sways, dreamlike pauses, rocking, through Annemarie Donaghue's brilliant choreography. This would have been a challenge for any professional classical dancer, though there may have been some such in the group. I thought the enjoyment given and received quite wonderful. Lovely smiles (yours in particular) showed confidence and relaxation, surely the purpose of a lullaby.
The audience was very involved, and gave a much appreciative ovation.
I just thought I owed it to you to send something by way of thanks to you and all for a most enjoyable time.
Good Luck, and keep dancing!
"I thought the enjoyment given and received quite wonderful. Lovely smiles (yours in particular) showed confidence and relaxation, surely the purpose of a lullaby. The audience was very involved, and gave a much appreciative ovation."I think Matthew Golding and Anna Tsygankova would have been purring at praise like that. In my case just a little bit too flattering perhaps, But we all did our best and we certainly enjoyed ourselves.
The important point about our class and our show is that it is never too late to dance and no dancer is ever too old to take part in a show.