September 2007 newsletter

AT OUR FIRST MEETING of the new season, we welcomed two of the younger members of the Royal Ballet, Leanne Cope and Paul Kay. At a lively meeting, they entertained us with stories from their careers before talking about The Royal Ballet tour to Mexico and the United States. They also spoke about the summer tour organised by Mara Galeazzi, where they danced and ran workshops in South Africa and Kenya. Hearing their experiences working with children with HIV and Aids was very moving. By the time you receive this newsletter we will have had our second meeting, where we welcome Senior Ballet Stage Manager, Johanna Adams. We are expecting a fascinating evening.

For members unable to attend meetings, a summary is made available on our website, once the report has been checked by the guest speaker. If you do not have access to the internet and would like a copy of a report on any meeting, please send a stamped, addressed envelope to Joan Seaman, our membership secretary, at 56 Turney Road, London SE21 8LU.

Future meetings
On Thursday 20 September at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church we welcome Principal dancer, Laura Morera. It gives us enormous pleasure to welcome Laura so soon after her promotion. She needs no introduction to members. A popular guest at our annual dinners, she has delighted audiences as Tatiana, Kitri, Larisch, Gamzatti, Lescaut’s Mistress, Lise and Swanhilda, amongst many other roles. Born in Madrid, she studied there before joining the Royal Ballet School and, in 1995, the Company.

Our October meeting is on Thursday 4 October, and is also at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. We are delighted to welcome Principal dancer Sarah Lamb as our guest at this meeting. Since joining The Royal Ballet from Boston Ballet in 2004, Sarah has become a favourite of many members. She was promoted to Principal in 2006. She trained in Boston with Madame Tatiana Nicolaevna Legat before joining Boston Ballet in 1998. She has won a variety of awards, including three silver medals at international ballet competitions. Her repertoire in both companies has been extensive. Since joining The Royal it has included Odette/Odile, Sylphide, Aurora, Princess Florine, Lescaut’s Mistress, Sugar Plum Fairy and Lise, as well as many contemporary works.

Meetings, unless otherwise stated, begin at 7.30 p.m. They are usually held at either the Swedenborg Hall or Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. The two venues are a couple of hundred metres apart. Swedenborg Hall is in Barter Street, off Bloomsbury Way (nearest tube Holborn). It seats a maximum of 100 people, so turn up early to be sure of getting in. Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church is at the eastern end of Shaftesbury Avenue, opposite the Shaftesbury Theatre. From Covent Garden you walk up Endell Street and cross over Shaftesbury Avenue. The church is then on your left. (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road) This venue is larger and can accommodate our membership. Doors open at 6.30 p.m. Admission: Members £3, Concessionary Members £2, Guests £7.

Dates for the rest of the season will, as far as possible, be taken from the following: Friday 2 November, Thursday 22 November, Thursday 29 November, Thursday 6 December, Wednesday 2 January, Wednesday 9 January, Friday 1 February, Wednesday 13 February, Thursday 14 February, Thursday 21 February, Friday 29 February, Thursday 6 March, Wednesday 26 March, Friday 4 April, Thursday 17 April, Thursday 24 April, Wednesday 30 April, Thursday 15 May, Friday 30 May, Thursday 5 June, Thursday 19 June, Thursday 3 July. We will obviously not use all these dates, but feel it is better to give those we are considering to minimise occasions where we use a date where members have already booked something else. However, other dates may be needed to fit in with speakers’ commitments.

Annual General Meeting
The meeting on Friday 2 November will be preceded by our AGM. Consequently the evening’s proceedings will commence at 6.45pm. It will be held at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. The AGM will be followed by a guest speaker, tbc, at 7.30pm.

1. Apologies
2. Minutes of previous Annual General Meeting
3. Matters Arising
4. Chairman’s Report
5. Financial Report
6. Election of Committee
7. Any Other Business

At this meeting we shall be electing Honorary Officers and Committee Members. The current Committee is David Bain ( Chairman and Organising Secretary), Sylvia Tyler (Deputy Chairman), Joan Seaman (Membership Secretary), Melanie Shipton (Treasurer), Liz Bouttell (Reporting Secretary), Rachel Holland, Geoffrey Griffiths, Belinda Taylor and Brian Don. Association members wishing to nominate candidates for election should write to the Chairman, David Bain, by Friday 26 October, using a copy of the attached nomination form. No nomination can be received at the AGM. Candidates for election must be proposed and seconded, in writing, by members of the Association. Anyone interested in joining the committee should phone David to discuss what it entails. If we have more than one nomination an election may be held.

It is the time of year when we ask you to renew your membership. Please return the attached renewal form to Joan Seaman, as soon as possible, but not later than the end of October. There has been no rise to membership fees this year. Concessionary members should indicate which concession applies. This information will help us in analysing the profile of our membership. If you joined after the start of May, your membership covers this coming season.

We ended this season with 470 members. This is a significant increase from the previous year. Whilst wonderful news, it does mean that sometimes some members will not be able to get into some events. For this we apologise. This included the Annual Dinner. For this reason, next year’s dinner will be for members only. If you usually bring a guest, you will have to encourage them to become members.