Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Comings and Goings

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Both Birmingham Royal Ballet and Northern Ballet have published press releases on arrivals and departures and promotions within the company. Birmingham's was published on Monday and is headed End of Season Announcements. Northern's was published yesterday and is headed Dancer promotions and joiners for 2016/17.

I should like to congratulate everyone in both companies who has been promoted. All are well merited. As readers know I try not to have favourites but there are some artists who delight me particularly in both companies.

Of those who have been promoted in Birmingham I am especially glad to see the elevation of Celine Gittens to Principal. Her performance as Swanilde in Coppelia at the Lowry on the 5 March 2015 was Sensational.  Another of my favourites is Delia Matthews who is now a First Soloist. I was at the Opera House in York when she was injured in Les Rendezvous. I almost felt her pain (see Birmingham Royal Ballet in York 21 May 2015). I was so sad. But she made a great recovery and danced beautifully in Romeo and Juliet as Rosaline (see A Good Outcome from an Unhappy Event - Singleton's Fine Performance 6 March 2016) and in The Taming of the Shrew just a few days ago. Yet another promotion that delights me is Brandon Lawrence who is now a soloist. A Bradford man he soars in every role - particularly when he dances in Yorkshire.  As I said last year
"if I have to single out anyone it has to be Brandon Lawrence, a Bradford lad who clearly relished his return to God's own county. He danced proudly and magisterially. There was no doubt that he was glad to be back on home turf."
 Finally, I am delighted by Valentin Olovyannikov's promotion. He was a great cleric and innkeeper in The Taming of the Shrew.

I was delighted by all the promotions in Leeds but particularly by Rachael Gillespie's. Abigail Prudames's and Kevin Poeung's.  Rachael excel's in everything but one role that she danced particularly well was as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan (see Not too sure about Fairies but I certainly believe in Rachael Gillespie 21 Dec 2014). My favourite performance by Kevin Poeung was as Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream at West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2013 (see Realizing Another Dream 15 Sept 2013). I think my favourite performance by Abigail was in Jane Eyre which I saw in Richmond a month ago.

There is one advancement that I long to see, especially as two of Northern Ballet's premier or principal dancers are on leave of absence. No names no pack drill but her dancing is
and she is
to watch. Though Janet McNulty and Mel Wong might argue otherwise I am probably that dancer's number one fan.

Sad to be see departures and leave of absence from both companies and I wish all leavers well. However, my sadness at Luke Schaufuss's departure is mitigated by the fact that I can still see him in Scotland. He was great in La Sylphide last year (see A dream realized: the Queensland Ballet in London 12 Aug 2015). Finally, a big hello to all the joiners to both companies. I shall look forward to watching them dance. No doubt some will become big stars.

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