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January 2013 newsletter

AT OUR LAST MEETING OF 2012, we were delighted to welcome Meaghan Grace Hinkis. Meaghan spoke about her training, and her time in ABT2 and ABT, as well as her opportunities since joining the Royal. She also spoke about her experiences in competitions and provided us with a very entertaining evening. We were very grateful to Meaghan for agreeing to talk on this evening at relatively short notice, particularly as it was the night before her first performance as Clara this season. We look forward to following her career in the Company.

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, please send an A5 stamped, addressed envelope to Geoffrey Griffiths, BA Committee, 5 Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 0HB. A significant number of reports have been posted on the website recently.

Future meetings
We have two meetings in January. On Thursday 10 January we have our annual meeting with teachers and students from the Royal Ballet School. We are delighted to announce that Graduate Year teacher Nicola Tranah will be our guest alongside 2012 Ballet Association Award winners Annette Buvoli, Marcelino Sambé, and Yaoqian Shang. A well-loved former First Soloist with the Royal Ballet, Niccy taught at White Lodge before moving to the Upper School. Niccy will speak about her career, both in the Company and in the School. As a dancer she had a wide repertoire, as well as creating many roles, including one of the sisters in Kenneth MacMillan’s Winter Dreams. Annette was in the First Year Upper School when she won our award, but moved into the graduate third year this season. From America, Annette’s experiences will be very different from those of Marcelino and Shang. Marcelino from Portugul and Shang from China were our guests last year, as both have won our award two years running, but have much more to tell us about their training. Since arranging this meeting, Marcelino, along with fellow Royal Ballet School student Anna Rose O’Sullivan have received contracts from the Royal Ballet and joined the Company at the start of December. We can expect a very lively and interesting meeting.

At our second meeting of the month on Friday 18 January, we are delighted to welcome former Royal Ballet Principal Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet. Unfortunately Tamara had to drop out of our meeting in December. Tamara has been a regular guest of the Association and always provides us with an entertaining and thought provoking evening. She has a very varied repertoire and appears as a guest artist around the world. Later this season she will appear as a guest with the Royal, renewing her partnership with Sergei Polunin in Marguerite and Armand. Having recently announced her first programmes for English National Ballet, we can expect to hear a little about these, her move to becoming an artistic director and her roles since she last spoke to the Association. The evening will also give us an opportunity to present her with a leaving present from the Association.
At our meeting on Wednesday 6 February we are very pleased to welcome First Soloist Alexander Campbell as our guest. Born in Sydney, he trained at the Academy there before joining the Royal Ballet School. In 2003 he was awarded a Silver Medal at the Adeline Genée Awards and was a finalist at the Prix de Lausanne. He joined BRB in 2005, was promoted to First Soloist in 2009 and danced a very broad repertoire including Romeo, Mercutio, Petrushka, Franz and the Prince in Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and Cinderella. He also created roles in Michael Corder’s Le Baiser de la fée and David Bintley’s E=mc². He joined the Royal Ballet in 2011 and was promoted to First Soloist in 2012. His roles have included Bluebird, Hans-Peter/Nutcracker, Mercutio, Mad Hatter, Jack in Sweet Violets, Fool in Pagodas, Gurn, and recently the First movement couple in MacMillan’s Concerto. We can expect another fascinating evening.

Provisional dates for the rest of the season are: Wednesday 6 March, Wednesday 20 March, Thursday 18 April, Friday 31 May, Friday 7 June. All dates are subject to change. We have removed Wednesday 13 March, Friday 22 March, Thursday 4 April from the list given in the last newsletter as they clash with other events. As a result, we may have to add some alternative dates later. 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. If you walk past the opticians you will see the church. Doors open at 6.45 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Entrance is £4 for members, £3 for concessions, £8 for guests.

Now Is All There Is – Bodies in Motion This is a photographic exhibition which will be at The Gallery at The Hospital Club, 24 Endell St, Covent Garden on 25 January 10-4 and 26 & 27 January 10-6. Entry is free. 34 images of Royal Ballet dancers are uniquely stylised by Olivia Pomp. Dancers photographed over the last two years and shown in the exhibition include Lauren Cuthbertson, Melissa Hamilton, Marianela Nunez, Nehemiah Kish, Steven McRae, Thiago Soares, Johannes Stepanek, Eric Underwood, Edward Watson and Zenaida Yanowsky.

Former Royal Ballet Principal Sergei Polunin will star in Peter Schaufuss’ production of Midnight Express, based on the book by Billy Hayes at the London Coliseum in 9-14 April 2013.

On Saturday 26 January, Birmingham Royal Ballet will perform in An Evening of Music and Dance, hosted by Deborah Bull at Symphony Hall.

The Director’s Appeal Birmingham Royal Ballet
As announced in the last newsletter, 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 rest of rehearsals this season are: Aladdin – Thursday 14 February, 7pm; Giselle – Tuesday 18 June, 7pm. Each is preceded by light refreshments from 6pm.

Visit to Elmhurst School for Dance / Birmingham Royal Ballet – 19-20 June 2013
Our annual visit to Birmingham is always very popular. If you are interested in attending, please complete the form attached to the last newsletter. On the first day we will attend BRB class, have lunch together, have an interview of a BRB dancer and watch a performance of Giselle. On the Thursday, following breakfast, we will arrange transportation from the hotel to Elmhurst School for Dance, where Association members will receive a warm welcome. Our President Robert Parker will be our host for the day. Following registration and reception, members will enjoy a day in the school watching classes and rehearsals together with the presentation of the Association’s Annual Award to a student during lunch. The day will conclude at approximately 3.30 pm. Further information can be obtained from Brian Don on 020 8368 4419 or Chris Scott on

Annual Dinner 2013
Our Annual Dinner will be on Monday 20th May. Once again, it will take place at the Rubens Hotel in Buckingham Palace Road. Dinner is at 8pm. A private bar is available from 7. The cost this year will be £39, the same as it was last year. One again, this year’s dinner will be a very special occasion as it celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Association as well as our Patron Kevin O’Hare’s first season as Director of The Royal Ballet. Consequently, we expect a heavy demand for tickets, so early application is advised. As in recent years, the dinner will be open to members only in the first instance. If there are still vacancies at the end of March, we will open it up to members’ guests. There will be about 145 places for members and 35 for an exciting array of dancers of all ranks, Company management, etc. We will not be announcing the guest list until the end of April. You will then have an opportunity to let us know which dancers you would like to sit near.

Please print out and complete the linked form and send it with your cheque and a stamped addressed envelope to Melanie Shipton, The Ballet Association, 7 Dutch Gardens, Kingston, Surrey, KT2 7TT. Please note, if you fail to send a stamped addressed envelope you may lose your place if we are over-subscribed.

CHAIRMAN: David Bain, 23 Capstan Square, Stewart Street, London E14 3EU
Tel: 020 7515 1254 Mobile: 07855 823921     
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