Saturday, 26 March 2016

A Good Month for Chantry Dance

Chantry Dance at Move It 2016   Standard YouTube Licence

Move It 2016 was billed as "The UK's Biggest Dance Event ...... with 22,000 dancers - three days - performances, classes, career advice, celebrities, interviews and shopping!"  I visited the show on Sunday and described it in MOVE IT 2016 24 March 2016. One of the events that took place the previous day was a performance on the main stage by Chantry School of Contemporary and Balletic Arts. To share that stage with the likes of Darcey Bussell, Elena Glurdjidze and BalletBoyz is a singular distinction and one that reflects the growing reputation of the School.

Even more significant in my book is the patronage that the School has received from Sarah Kundi (see the Patrons page). I have been following her ever since she was at Northern Ballet and it was she who led me to Ballet Black (see Why Ballet Black is special 20 May 2013) and MurleyDance (see  Something to brighten up your Friday - MurleyDance is coming to the North 8 Nov 2013). I was almost heartbroken when I feared that we would have to travel to Madrid to see her again (see Bye Bye and All the Best 10 June 2014) and overjoyed when I learned that she was staying after all (see
Saved for the Nation 17 July 2014). The last time I saw her was as Lady Capulet in English National Ballet's Romeo and Juliet in Manchester where she was magnificent (see Manchester's Favourite Ballet Company 29 Nov 2015). Kundi is one of three young British women dancers who move my spirit in a very special way (the others if you are interested are Birmingham's Ruth Brill and Northern's Rachael Gillespie). As I have said, before when Kundi dances I float.

Kundi is not the only fine dancer to be a patron of the Chantry School. Dominic North is another. He, like Kundi, trained with Paul Chantry at Central School of Ballet. North will attend a special studio naming ceremony on 17 April 2016 at DancePointe in Grantham where Chantry Dance are based. The great ballerina, Deborah Bull, who is now Director of Cultural Partnerships at King's College, London, and Robert Parker, Artistic Director of Elmhurst who also flies aeroplanes, will be there too. I last saw Parker on stage at the Hippodrome at the double bill to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sadler's Well Royal Ballet's move to Birmingham and the 20th anniversary of David Bintley's appointment as that company's Artistic Director (see In Praise of Bintley 21 June 2015).

One of the reasons why the Chantry School attracts such support is that it is attached to the Chantry Dance Company. Last autumn the company toured England with its Duology double bill which I caught at Halifax (see my review Duology 29 Sept 2015). One of the works that comprised that programme was Vincent - a stranger to himself which Paul Chantry created. The company's other contribution to MOVE IT 2016 was a class based on that piece.  That took place at the LSC studio by the double decker London bus on Friday and it must have been a wonderful experience for everyone who took part.

The company is planning another Autumn tour of the Midlands and London this Autumn featuring two new works Ulysses Unbound and The Stacked Deck. Sadly they will not make it to the North this time but perhaps we can tempt them to Leeds or Manchester for a workshop or other event one of these days.

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