Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Ballet Central returns to Leeds

Leeds Arts Neighbourhood
Author Kenneth Allen
Source Wikipedia
Creative Commons Licence

Christopher Marney, Hannah Bateman, Kenneth Tindall, Rachael Gillespie, Dominic North, Sarah Kundi, Paul Chantry and many more of my favourite dancers and choreographers trained at Central School of Ballet. One of the reasons why that school has produced so many fine dancers and dance makers is that it provides its students with an opportunity to learn every aspect of performance through its touring company Ballet Central. According to Christopher Hampson, Central graduates can normally be spotted in the studio within a few minutes because of their professionalism and understanding of how theatre works. Sir Matthew Bourne describes them as "a valuable asset to any company".

Ballet Central consists of the school's final year students: Angela Centomini, Sophie Cottrill, Tara Cox, Augusta De Marchis, Brittanie Dillon, Eleanor Ferguson, Sophie Hull, Emily Hulme, Kanon Kihara, Iori Matsuura, Amy McEntee, Moeno Oba, Rowan Parker, Charlotte Peers, Ciara Sampson, Eloise Shepherd Taylor, Reiko Tan, Saskia Twiss, Henrietta Wolf, Emma Zeppetella, Megumi Zushi, Ruaridh Bisset, Eric Caterer-Cave, Adam Davies, James Dunn, Álvaro Feliz Olmedo, Yusuke Kuroda, Cameron Lee-Allen, Liam Lindsay, Jonathan MacDonald, Craig McFarlane, Matthew Morrell, Stephen Murray, Jaume Ruiz Xifra and Rahién Testa. Their artistic director is Christopher Marney, their musical director is Philip Feeney and their rehearsal coach is Carole Gable (see Staff Biographies on Central's website).

As part of their degree course, those students will travel some 10,000 miles around the country from Penzance in the South West to Ayr in Scotland performing in towns and cities along the way to a total audience of 5,000. Their 2017 schedule was published yesterday and one of their venues is the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre at Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre's studios in Leeds. They will visit us on 28 April 2017 at 19:30.  Save for a visit to Whitehaven on 13 May that will be the only chance to see them in the North.

This year the company will perform part of Sir Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling. Indigo Children by Liam Scarlett, a new version of the ballroom scene from Romeo and Juliet by Jenna Lee, a scene from Dracula by Michael Pink, a specially created work by Christopher Bruce and excerpts from Petipa’s La Bayadere and The Nutcracker.  I hope to see them on the 28 April and will review their performance shortly afterwards.  

Here is what I said about Ballet Central in their previous tours (Central Forward 25 March 2013, Dazzled 3 May 2015 and Images of War: Ballet Central's "War Letters" and other Works 29 April 2016). I hope to be in the audience on  the 28 April when the company returns to Leeds.

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