Thursday, 29 September 2016

Ernst Meisner's New Recruits

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Every year the Dutch National Ballet scours the world for twelve of its most promising young dancers and invites them to Amsterdam for an intensive programme of training and performances. The artistic coordinator of that programme is Ernst Meisner who is well known to, and well liked by, British audiences (see Meet Ernst Meisner and his talented young dancers 6 Dec 2014). Many of his dancers have been recruited into the Dutch National Ballet and other leading companies and their careers have taken off like rockets. Michaela DePrince, for example, joined the Junior Company in 2013 and is already a grand sujet. Cristiano Principato joined the programme a year later and has contributed work to New Moves (see Palagio  4 June 2016).

Ernst has now recruited new dancers for the Junior Company which includes Hannah Williams who was born in Ashford. Hannah trained in the United States and the Netherlands which no doubt explains her transatlantic accent but that will not prevent ballet goers in the country from wishing her, and all the other members of the Junior Company, all the best.

Every year the company tours the Netherlands and occasionally one or two theatres abroad. Before the Linbury closed for renovation they danced two shows here each year.  I am desperately racking my brains trying to find the best way of tempting them back. The first opportunity to see the new dancers will be at the Meervaart Theatre in Amsterdam in Juniors Go Dutch on 18 and 19 Feb 2017. Tickets start at 15 euros and the theatre is only 23 minutes from Schiphol airport by the 69 bus. There are cheap and convenient flights from Southend, Manchester and just about every other corner of the UK. Despite the post-Brexit nose dive of sterling Amsterdam is still a lot cheaper than London and there is plenty to do apart from watching ballet when you get there (see Three Days in Amsterdam 12 Sept 2016).

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