Friday, 28 July 2017

Best News All Day!

York Grand Opera House
Author RM Calamat
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence
Source Wikipedia 

A lot of anniversaries fall on 29 July. It was my father's birthday. It was the day I was called to the Bar. It was the day I was married.  And it was also the day almost 10 years ago that I first saw two outstanding young students from Hull who turned out to be brother and sister at the Yorkshire Ballet Seminar Gala at the Grand Old Opera House in York.

I am talking, of course, about Xander and Demelza Parish.  I did not blog about dance in those days so I have to rely on Charles Hutchinson's Review: A Summer Gala of Dance and Song, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday 31 July 2007 The Press to remind me who else was there. Samara Downs, Marianela Nunez, Wayne Sleep, Anthony Dowell, Lauren Cuthbertson. Big names! But the two that stick out in my memory are still Xander Parish and his sister Demelza.

"Those two will go far," said my late spouse who was an even bigger ballet fan than I am. "Especially the lad. In 10 years time, he will be topping the bill at Covent Garden".  Today I read Zoe Anderson's review in The Independent:

Swan Lake, Royal Opera House, London, review: Xander Parish reaches stardom

The first British dancer to join the Mariinsky Ballet was promoted to principal after his performance on the opening night of the St Petersburg company's 'Swan Lake'
Well, how about that! 
Sadly, my spouse did not survive long enough for that prophesy come true. Very shortly afterwards symptoms of a disease developed which was later diagnosed as motor neurone or Lou Gehrig's disease and my spouse died in March 2010. But I have lived to see it and while I am not in the least surprised by Xander Parish's elevation I could not possibly be more delighted.
The 29 July used to be a day of joy. After many of the people associated with the good times died it became an anniversary of sadness. And what with missile tests in Korea, the US government practically tearing itself apart, the Russians imposing sanctions, the Chinese building fortresses in the South China Sea not to mention Brexit there's precious little joy about.
But Xander Parish's news made me smile and not for the first time. I once had the pleasure of meeting him at the London Ballet Circle and I hope to do so again at 19:30 on Wednesday 2 Aug at the Civil Service Club at New Scotland Yard next door to the Nigerian embassy, The meeting is open to the public and only costs £5 for members and £8 for the rest. See you there.

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