Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Gaudeamus Igitur: St Andrews and Cambridge Student Shows

On 30 April and 1 May 2018 at 19:30 the St Andrews Dance Club (which I helped to found) will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a performance at the Byre. The show will feature "11 styles of dance from ballet to hip hop, choreographed by over 20 choreographers, this show is a true celebration of all the club has achieved over the past half century." I mentioned the club in Ballet at University  27 Feb 2017 which included a clip from Striking a Pose. It is good to know that our club has survived and prospered over those years. You cam buy tickets through the Byre's website here.

Last year's article was promoted by a post on BalletcoForum on Cambridge University Ballet Club's Giselle,  As you can see from their trailer the students reached a very high standard and their performance was applauded enthusiastically. This year they will dance Swan Lake at the West Road Concert Hall at 11 West Road, Cambridge  on 2 and 3 March 2018,  According to the Club's website
"over 100 dancers from the Cambridge University Ballet Club are coming together to choreograph and perform this four-part ballet. It will be an unforgettable experience!"
I attempted to learn the cygnets, prince's solo, Hungarian dance and the swans' entry at KNT in Manchester a few years ago (see KNT's Beginners' Adult Ballet Intensive - Swan Lake: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3).  It isn't easy.  Fitting rehearsals into an already busy timetable requires a massive commitment from each and every member of the cast. They have my respect. I shall try to attend, or send a reviewer to attend, one of their shows.

I spent a very pleasant week at Downing College at the IP Summer School last year and I attended an adult ballet class while I was there (see Ballet, Bodywork and Bits in Cambridge 15 Aug 2018). It was one of the hardest classes I have ever taken in my life. I don't know whether any members of the Cambridge University Ballet Club attended that class but the standard in that class was very high indeed.

I wish the students at both universities toi, toi and chookas for their performances as well as every success in their studies and subsequent careers.  I will certainly be in the Byre on 30 April and I will do my best to attend and review one of the shows in West Road.


  1. Hi there - did you manage to get a reviewer along to see Swan Lake? I see that The Tab reviewed it, but I don't think the author really knew much about ballet!

  2. I am so sorry, Alex, but no. I had intended to drive to Cambridge on Friday but the roads were terrible and the trains unreliable. It took me hours to travel the 30 miles from Manchester airport to my home in Holmfirth (just south of Huddersfield) on Thursday afternoon.

    I am very glad that the Tab covered your show.

    Having started a ballet club my own university, I am very keen to support all student ballet activities and particularly shows such as yours at Cambridge.

    I was very disappointed to miss Swan Lake. I will publicise your club's activities and attend future shows.

    If any of your members are in Cambridge in summer I shall give a talk to the IP law summer at Downing and should love to meet some of you,