Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Chantry Dance goes North

Sale, Greater Manchester
Photo Alan Halfpenny
Creative Commons Licence
Source Wikipedia

When I first mentioned Chantry Dance Company's new full-length ballet in The Sandman Cometh - Chantry Dance's New Full Length Ballet 20 Nov 2016 I wrote:
"They have not yet published their venues but I hope that they will make at least one stop in the North next year. We were sorry not to see them in our region this year. They were missed."
When Chantry Dance did announce their list of venues they were all in the Midlands and South East (see The Sandman Tour 27 Jan 2017.

Yesterday the company announced that it would add the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale and the Victoria Theatre in Halifax to its list (see the "What's On" page on the company's website). The Waterside is a particularly good venue as it is close to the Metrolink station and a multi-storey car park in one of the more pleasant suburbs of Greater Manchester. I attended two performances of Ballet Black's Dogs Don't Do Ballet last May and found it an excellent venue for dance (see As Fresh as Ever: Ballet Black's Dogs Don't Do Ballet in Sale 7 May 2016 and I never tire of Dogs Don't Do Ballet 8 May 2016). Halifax is a town in which Chantry Dance has performed in the past though at a different venue. It is, incidentally, also the first place where Northern Ballet set up when it left Manchester.

Chantry Dance is more than just a dance company.  It also runs a number of educational and outreach programmes as well as the Chantry School of Contemporary and Balletic Arts in Grantham. It was through one of those programmes that I first made the acquaintance of Paul Chantry, Rae Piper and Gail Gordon who are the prime movers of the company as well as Mel Wong who subsequently contributed several interesting articles to this publication (see Chantry Dance Company's Sandman and Dream Dance 10 May 2014). Because of that work I tweeted:
They replied:
"YCC" stands for Young Choreographers Celebration which is described in detail on the company's website. A few years ago I looked into the possibility of bringing Chantry Dance to Manchester or Leeds for a day workshop and actually went so far as to find a venue but the costs and risks were daunting. However, if the company does offer some sort of workshop, class or other event in Manchester or Yorkshire I will publish details of it.

This company that can fill a venue in London as well as small towns in the East Midlands. It has a choreographer who trained at Christopher Gable's Central School of Ballet where two of my very favourite young British choreographers, Christopher Marney and Kenneth Tindall, and many of my favourite dancers such as Hannah Bateman, Rachael Gillespie, Dominic North and Sarah Kundi also studied. It has coached one of the finalists in the Youth America Grand Prix (a competition that boosted the career of Michaela DePrince). It is certainly worth seeing.

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