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August/September 2012 newsletter

WE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE ALL had a good summer and enjoyed the Olympics. Those of you who lasted until the end of the Olympics’ Closing Ceremony will have seen Darcey Bussell descend into the Arena, where she was partnered by Gary Avis, Jonathan Cope, Nehemiah Kish, and Edward Watson. It was interesting to hear the BBC commentators suggest they were surrounded by 300 ballerinas of the Royal Ballet. It might be a little crowded in the Opera House! The 300 came from many companies, schools, etc. and were organised by former Royal Ballet dancer Cindy Jourdain. The choreography was by Christopher Wheeldon and Alastair Marriott. Some of you may also have heard Darcey on the Steve Wright Show on Radio 2 talking about her new enterprises.  

By the time you receive this newsletter, we will be about to have our first meeting of the new season, or just have had it if your post is slow. We hope you enjoy this and other meetings this season. We have a very interesting programme planned for you.

Those of you who receive your newsletter by email will have received an apology from our Chairman. His old e-mail account Dbcapstan@aol was hacked. Anyone on that address book, which included BA members, Royal Ballet dancers and anyone else that had written to him on that address may have received a begging letter, suggesting he was stranded needing money in Spain. We hope no-one fell for this increasingly common type of fraud and apologise to anyone who received the messages.

Future meetings
As announced in the last newsletter, we have a very exciting start to the new season on Wednesday 5 September when we are delighted to welcome Principal dancer Marianela Nuñez as our guest. Marianela, who needs no introduction, last spoke to us nearly four years ago. The last few years have been very busy, including her marriage to fellow Principal Thiago Soares. The end of the season has seen her performances in Prince of the Pagodas, Ballo della regina, Birthday Offering and Diana and Actaeon. Whilst concentrating on the last four years, if time permits, we will briefly look back at her earlier experiences in Argentina, the Royal Ballet School and the Company. She may also say a little about the film All I Am, in which she stars with Thiago and which is being released in 2013. We can expect a very entertaining evening, so rush back from your holidays!

At our second meeting in the month, on Thursday 20 September, we are very privileged to welcome as our guest, Olga Evreinoff, Guest Teacher with The Royal Ballet. After graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy, St Petersburg, she danced in Prague and Oslo, and was a guest artist with the National Ballet of Canada under Erik Bruhn. As a teacher and coach she has worked worldwide with major ballet companies and closely with Nureyev and Baryshnikov, amongst many others. Since 1989 she has staged Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère throughout the world and will be staging it again on the Royal Ballet later in the season. We can expect a very fascinating evening.

At our first meeting of the next month on Thursday 4 October we have a very exciting double bill with guests Laura Morera, Principal, and Ricardo Cervera, First Soloist, of the Royal Ballet. They need no introduction to members. Although Laura spoke to us in 2007 just after her promotion to Principal, it is ten years since Ricardo last attended a meeting, again just after he was promoted, but both have regularly attended Annual Dinners. Both were born in Spain and trained at the Royal Ballet School. Ricardo joined the Company in 1993 and Laura two seasons later. Both have an extensive repertoire and have created roles in many works. They will speak about the many ballets they have performed together, but also about their other roles. We can expect a very entertaining evening from two very lively and popular speakers.  

Provisional dates for the rest of the season are: Friday 19 October, Tuesday 20 November, Friday 7 December, Thursday 10 January, Friday 18 January, Wednesday 6 February, Thursday 14 February, Wednesday 6 March, Wednesday 13 March, Wednesday 20 March, Friday 22 March, Thursday 4 April, Thursday 18 April, Thursday 16 May, Friday 31 May, Friday 7 June, Wednesday 19 June. All dates are subject to change. We have removed Thursday 28 February, Wednesday 10 April, Thursday 23 May, Friday 14 June from the list given in the last newsletter at the request of the Church. 

Annual General Meeting
Our Annual General Meeting will be held at 6.45pm on Tuesday 20 November. Details of this and the speaker(s) on that evening will be announced in the October newsletter.

Royal Ballet School
As reported in the last newsletter, our Chairman attended the Royal Ballet School’s Graduation Ceremony on 15 July to present the Association’s awards to three students, Annette Buvoli, Yaoqian Shang and Marcelino Sambé.

Since then, we have heard from the Director, Gailene Stock. She writes:

I would be grateful if you could extend our grateful thanks to all the members for their continued contribution towards the training of our young dancers. It means a lot to them to be supported in this way and I hope they will have the opportunity to come and give another talk in the new academic year to let everyone know how they are progressing.

Our thanks also to the Association for the contribution made to the School with the London Ballet Circle for the visit in May, another much appreciated gesture of support. I am pleased to confirm that we have already pencilled in a date for a similar visit next year on Wednesday 24 April 2013.

The Director’s Appeal Birmingham Royal Ballet
Many of you will have received a letter from David Bintley regarding this season’s Director’s Appeal to help Birmingham Royal Ballet create their next ballet, Aladdin. As last season, the Association has donated £450 towards this appeal. This entitles us to two tickets for BRB rehearsals. If you would like to be considered to represent the Association at one of these rehearsals, with a guest, please apply to the Chairman at the address at the bottom of the newsletter by post or email, indicating which rehearsals you are interested in. We will hold a draw for each rehearsal.

Dates of the first two rehearsals (subject to confirmation by BRB) are: Opposites Attract (Lyric Pieces, Take Five, Grosse Fugue) on Tuesday 25 September, Swan Lake  on Monday 1 October. Rehearsals start at 7pm and are preceded by refreshments from 6pm.

Visit to Museum of London – Anna Pavlova
We have organised a visit on Friday 12th October at 2.30pm to see some of the items owned by Anna Pavlova held in storage by the Museum of London. These include a tutu used for the Dying Swan solo. The costume historian, Caroline Hamilton, will show us the items. Caroline worked on the recent Pavlova book with Jane Pritchard and helped the Museum catalogue the Pavlova items.  The visit will cost £7.50 and will last about 1 1/2 hours. There are 12 places for the outing, however, if there are more people interested than that, a second tour can be arranged.

It is the time of year when we ask you to renew your membership. Please print out and return the attached renewal form to Sylvia Tyler, Membership Secretary, 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 the Association after the start of April 2012, your membership covers this coming season. Your membership card will have indicated this. If you currently receive your newsletters by post but have an email address, please consider receiving them by email in future. If you would prefer to pay by electronic transfer, please indicate on the form and Sylvia will get in touch with you.

CHAIRMAN: David Bain
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