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September 2010 newsletter

AT OUR FIRST MEETING of the new season, we were delighted to welcome Soloist Kristen McNally, who gave us a very lively and entertaining account of her career. An A-level mathematician at the Royal Ballet Upper School, previously Kristen had attended an ordinary secondary school. One of Kristen’s first roles was as an old lady in Onegin, since when she has performed a variety of character parts as well as dancing roles. Kristen also spoke in detail about her choreography. At our second meeting we were entertained by Artists Leticia Stock and Benjamin Ella, who spoke of their training, their first year in the Company and the tour this summer to Japan and Barcelona. We look forward to following their careers with interest.

Future meetings
Our next meeting will be on Friday 24 September, when we have great pleasure in welcoming First Soloist, Bennet Gartside as our guest. It is seven years since Bennet last talked to the Association. He joined the Company in 1995 after dancing in the school performance of The Two Pigeons. His repertoire is extensive and recently included partnering Tamara Rojo in Liam Scarlett’s Asphodel Meadows and as her Escamillo in Carmen, and partnering Helen Crawford in Erico MontesHallelujah Junction for New Works in the Linbury. Bennet is also involved in the film archive of productions. We look forward to an interesting meeting.

Following our AGM on Monday 11 October, we are very privileged to welcome Principal Johan Kobborg as our guest. Johan needs no introduction, having danced an enormous variety of roles in the repertoires of The Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet, as well as guest performances around the world. He has mounted his production of La Sylphide in many companies, including the Bolshoi, and organised many gala performances. As well as speaking of his career as a dancer, Johan will talk about his choreography, which includes Les Lutins for The Royal Ballet, and his plans for the future. Please note, that if you are not attending the AGM at 6.45, please do not arrive until 7.15.  

Meetings, unless otherwise stated, begin at 7.30 p.m. and are at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church which 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, if you face East. (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road). Doors open at 6.30 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Entrance is £4 for members, £3 for concessions, £8 for guests. 

The provisional dates for the rest of the season are Thursday 18 November, Wednesday 8 December, Friday 7 January, Friday 21 January, Wednesday 2 February, Wednesday 16 February, Friday 4 March, Wednesday 30 March, Thursday 14 April, Wednesday 27 April, Wednesday 11 May, Wednesday 18 May, Friday 3 June. Some dates may change if they clash with Royal Ballet events.

Comings, goings, etc
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of our members, Lizzie Trowbridge. Lizzie was known to many members, and some of us attended her funeral mass at Westminster Cathedral. She was a particular fan of Ivan Putrov and will be greatly missed by those of us who knew her.

Dancers from The Royal Ballet are performing in a gala A Dream for Africa organised by Henry Roche in aid of the Ashanti Development charity on Sunday September 19 at 7.30pm at The Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tickets are £28 from the RCM Box Office 020 7591 4314, Dancers will include Olivia Cowley, Ryoichi Hirano, Emma-Jane Maguire, Romany Pajdak, Leticia Stock, Dawid Trzensimiech and Lara Turk. Works will include Anton Dolin’s revival of Pas de Quatre which is being produced by Jelko Yuresha, with the help of Ursula Hageli.

The Royal Ballet School is hosting a Conference to mark the 10th Anniversary of the death of the Founder of The Royal Ballet School and Companies, Dame Ninette de Valois. Opening at the Upper School on 1-2 April and concluding at White Lodge on Sunday 3 April. Details can be obtained from the RBS website

The BFI, Southbank currently has a season of ballet films From the Ballet Russes coinciding with the Ballet Russes exhibition at the V & A. At our first two meetings of the season, two lucky members won a pair of tickets each as prizes in our raffle donated by the BFI.  

Annual Dinner 2010
As usual, we had photographs taken of the guests on each table, during the evening. These will be available for members to purchase at a future meeting and some are on our website.

If you haven’t already returned the renewal form, which was attached to the last newsletter, to Sylvia Tyler please do so as soon as possible, but not later than the end of October.  

Annual General Meeting
The meeting on Monday 11 October 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 at 7.30pm by our meeting with Johan Kobborg.


  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 Committee for the 2009-10 season was David Bain (Chairman and Organising Secretary), Sylvia Tyler (Deputy Chairman and currently Acting Membership Secretary), Joan Seaman (Membership Secretary), Melanie Shipton (Treasurer), Liz Bouttell (Reporting Secretary), Rachel Holland, Geoffrey Griffiths, Belinda Taylor, Chris Scott, Brian Don, Annette Fraser and Nathalie Dantès.

As previously notified, Joan Seaman stepped down from the committee at the end of August. Belinda Taylor has indicated that she does not wish to stand for re-election, but all other current members have indicated they wish to continue on the committee. Annette and Nathalie were co-opted at the last AGM.

Association members wishing to nominate candidates for election should write to the Chairman, David Bain, by Monday 4 October, using the 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 email David to discuss what it entails. If we have more than one nomination an election will be held.

CHAIRMAN: David Bain