|Photo Gita Mistry|
© 2018 Gita Mistry: all rights reserved
The London Ballet Circle was founded in the year that the company that was to become the Royal Ballet returned to Covent Garden for its legendary performance of The Sleeping Beauty. Dame Ninette de Valois was the Circle's first President. At the 70th anniversary reception I learned that Dame Ninette regarded the Circle as her third great achievement alongside her company and her school.
I first joined the London Ballet Circle when I was an undergraduate. When I went to graduate school in Los Angeles I allowed my membership to lapse. It took nearly 50 years for me to rejoin, But since I rejoined I have made full use of my membership attending talks by Cassa Pancho, Christopher Hampson, Li Cunxin, Ernst Meisner and Javier Torres. The Circle also arranges visits to companies and ballet schools although I have only managed to make it to Ballet Cymru in their new premises in Newport (see Ballet Cymru at Home 5 Oct 2015).
Most importantly the London Ballet Circle raises money for prizes and scholarships for outstanding young students. One of its prize winners was Xander Parish who is now a principal with the Mariinsky. According to its website
"The London Ballet Circle provides financial support to student dancers. Typically, we pay for children to attend dance summer schools such as the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, Dutch National Ballet Summer School or Newport Summer Dance & Wales International Ballet Summer School. We ask school principals to select naturally gifted students who, without the London Ballet Circle's financial support, would be unable to attend such specialist coaching sessions."The Dutch National Ballet Academy, Ballet Cymru's Summer School and Yorkshire Ballet Summer School are three of my favourite causes.
As it is not easy for everybody to get to London I have long thought that we needed a Ballet Circle in the North. The visit by Ballet Cymru to Leeds at the end of November is a very good opportunity to set one one. Powerhouse Ballet is hosting a workshop for Ballet Cymru at Yorkshire Dance between 18:00 and 19:30 on 28 November to which everyone taking regular ballet classes will be welcome. After the workshop there will be a chance for everyone to meet members of Ballet Cymru over a glass of wine
If this meeting proves to be successful we shall hold others with choreographers, dancers, teachers and others from our region and beyond.