Thursday, 26 May 2016


It is just over two years since Mel and I attended Chantry Dance's Dream Dance workshop and their performance of Sandman at the Drill Hall at Lincoln but the company seems to get stronger and stronger each time I hear from them. Yesterday they announced that the Council for Dance and Education Training had recognized the Chantry School of Contemporary and Balletic Arts with its certificate of good professional practice. Not bad progress for s school which was launched less than a year ago (see If only I were young again - Chantry School of Contemporary and Balletic Arts 27 July 2015). It says a lot for the prestige of an institution if it can attract to a small town in the East Midlands on a Sunday afternoon some of the biggest names in the performing arts as it did on 17 April 2016 (see What's in a Name 26 April 2016).

With such a meteoric rise it is not surprising that the company's newest work will be on rocketry. The title of the work is Ulysses Unbound. As the company celebrated the 160th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde with the Happy Prince two years ago (see The Happy Prince in Halifax 23 Nov 2014) I had supposed that Ulysses Unbound might have something to do with another Irish literary giant but I couldn't have been more wrong. According to the company's website:
"The last astronaut has left a dying earth in search of a new home. In a thrilling cascade of stunning characters, costumes and imagery, he witnesses the birth of a new star and finds himself on an alien world, populated by very alien creatures!
This extraordinary ballet combines an exciting original soundtrack with contemporary ballet danced by an exceptional international cast. Through the fascinating choreography the dancers interpret cosmic events, from the evolution of a star to the formation of a deadly black hole."
The choreography for this new ballet is by Paul Chantry and Rae Piper to a score by Tim Mountain who wrote the music for Chasing the Eclipse which I reviewed in Gravity Fields - Chasing the Eclipse 28 Sept 2014.

Chasing the Eclipse was launched at the Gravity Fields science festival in 2014 and Ulysses Unbound will be launched during this year's festival at the Guidhall Arts Centre on 21 Sept 2016. It will then go on tour around England stopping at Stamford, Birmingham, Worcester and London. Science and the arts are said to be opposites but they needn't and shouldn't be. One of the reasons why I admire Sharon Watson's TearFall so much is that the piece combines science with s lot of humanity (see my reviews The Phoenix Soars Over London 13 Nov 2016 and Phoenix in Huddersfield 27 Nov 2015). The programme for this year's Gravity Fields festival between 21 and 24 Sept 2016 promises all sorts of interesting talks, performances and other events.

Sadly I have to be in Geneva for a WIPO meeting at  CERN  of all places  between the 22 and 24 Sept 2016 but I do hope to see something of this festival. I also hope that as many of my readers as possible will hop into their cars, board a train or even a plane to see this beautiful little town and this fine company.

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