|Deborah Bull with Dominic North and Robert Parker|
(c) 2016 Chantry Dance Company: all rights reserved
Reproduction licensed by the company
As I said in "My Trip to Hungary" 21 April 2016, I met Mel at Chantry Dance's workshop in Lincoln in May 2014. Ironically, on the very day that I had arranged to visit her in Hungary Chantry Dance held an event at DancePointe Studios in Grantham which attracted four of the people that I most admire in dance.
- Deborah Bull, Assistant Principal of King's College in the University of London;
- Robert Parker, Artistic Director of Elmhurst School for Dance and civil aviation pilot;
- Dominic North, one of Sir Matthew Bourne's leading dancers; and
- Sarah Kundi of English National Ballet.
The occasion was the naming of three of the studios at Dance Pointe as the "Deborah Bull Studio", "Robert Parker Studio" and "Dominic North Studio" by each of those distinguished visitors respectively. Sarah Kundi attended the event in her capacity as a patron of the Chantry School of Contemporary and Balletic Arts.
As a Friend of the Chantry Dance Company I had been invited to the event and I dithered for several days between abandoning my trip to Hungary notwithstanding my prepayment of fares, accommodation and theatre tickets. It was only my regard for Sir Peter Wright and my friendship with Mel that tipped the balance.
As I did not attend the event I quote from the Company's press release:
"The event saw students from DancePointe and Chantry School perform a showcase for the three guests of honour and an invited audience of solo and group routines in the different styles of dance they study which included contemporary ballet and acro-dance. Afterwards the guests were introduced to the audience and they presented name-plaques and signed pictures that are now displayed at the studios. The students were evidently delighted to be able to dance in front their dance heroes, with many asking for photographs and autographs afterwards. One student even had her pointe shoes signed by the three VIPs! Mr Parker said of Chantry and DancePointe that 'the level of energy and passion they bring to all of the wonderful work they do is so encouraging for the young people'. Mr North said he was 'absolutely thrilled' to have a studio named after him and Ms Bull said 'I so admire the work that Chantry Dance and DancePointe are doing here, making a real difference to young people – you see it on their faces when we saw them perform today – they were fantastic!”Videos of extracts from the speeches by Deborah Bull, Robert Parker and Dominic North are available on YouTube.
Deborah Bull and Robert Parker are carving glittering careers for themselves off the stage but Dominic North and Sarah Kundi still delight us regularly with their performances. I had the pleasure of meeting Dominic North after he danced with Rae Piper in Chasing the Eclipse at the Gravity Fields science festival (see Gravity Fields - Chasing the Eclipse 28 Sept 2014) but I have never met Sarah Kundi even though I have followed her since she was with Northern Ballet and have written a lot about her. She has recently been interviewed by Desiblitz on her career and culture (see Sarah Kundi ~ An Enchanting British Asian Ballet Dancer Desiblitz).
In its press release the Company notes that the event was highly significant not just for Chantry School and DancePointe but for dance in Lincolnshire in general
"as dance students in the region will undoubtedly find it highly motivating to have received support from such respected and high profile dance celebrities."Grantham, a beautiful little market town with its magnificent parish church and live beehive pub sign, has already produced one of the world's greatest scientists and (whether you like her politics or not) one of the most influential British Prime Ministers since Robert Peel and now has every chance of producing a succession of great dancers.