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October 2013 newsletter

SINCE OUR LAST NEWSLETTER we have had two very successful meetings. At September’s, we were delighted to welcome two of the newer members of the Royal Ballet, Mayara Magri and Nicol Edmonds. They gave us an entertaining description of their very different experiences in training and their career so far. Born in Brazil, Mayara joined The Royal Ballet last season, after one year at the Royal Ballet School, which she entered following success at the Prix de Lausanne, where she won a Scholarship and the Audience Prize. Nicol is from Devon where he attended a normal school before going to Elmhurst School for Dance at the age of 16. When he graduated he spent two years with Finnish National Ballet before joining the Royal. His highlights in Helsinki included dancing Benvolio, which we look forward to seeing in London. As well as talking about their careers, Mayara and Nicol spoke about the Royal Ballet tours to Monte Carlo and Japan.

At our October meeting, it was a pleasure to welcome Ballet Mistress Samantha Raine. Somehow Samantha had managed to get away without talking to us during her dancing career, so she talked about this, before giving a very detailed account of her current role and about her choreography. We were very grateful to Samantha for coming to talk during a hectic time in the Company and despite having glandular fever. (She was no longer contagious.)

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.

Future meetings
At our next meeting on Tuesday 12 November we welcome Royal Ballet Principal Thiago Soares. Always a popular guest of the Association, Thiago needs no introduction. Born in Brazil, he joined the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theatre Ballet in 1998, before joining the Royal in 2002, where he was promoted to Principal in 2006. Noted for his interpretations of dramatic roles, such as Crown Prince Rudolf, Lescaut and Onegin, he was named Outstanding Male Artist (Classical) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards in 2004. Over the last year, he and his wife Marianela Nuñez, have been the subjects of a film, All I Am, about which he will be able to tell us more. It contains six specially choreographed pieces by Liam Scarlett. He recently received an award given by the Press at the Brazilian Embassy alongside two other eminent Brazilians. This meeting will be preceded by our AGM (see later in this newsletter). Therefore, if you are not attending the AGM, please arrive after 7.15pm.

At our second meeting in the month on Wednesday 27 November we welcome two of the younger members of the Company, Artists Claudia Dean and Tierney Heap, as our guests. From Australia, Claudia was one of our Royal Ballet School Award winners in 2010 and talked to us during the following season. She joined the Company in 2011. Tierney, from Rawtensall in Lancashire, studied at Bury Grammar School before joining the Royal Ballet School. She graduated in 2012, having won a bronze medal and the Adeline Genée Competition in 2011. Shortly before this meeting, Claudia will have made her debut as The Chosen One in Kenneth MacMillan’s Rite of Spring. Those of you who follow Claudia or Tierney on Facebook or Twitter will know that we can expect an extremely lively and entertaining evening. Please note that as this meeting is on a Wednesday it will be preceded by one of Bloomsbury’s Free Concerts at 6.00pm. If you do not wish to attend the concert, please do not arrive before 6.55pm. However, you are welcome to go to the concert. In which case you should arrive by 6.00pm.

Provisional dates for the rest of next season are: Wednesday 11 December, Wednesday 29 January, Wednesday 12 February, Wednesday 5 March, Wednesday 26 March, Wednesday 2 April, Thursday 24 April, Wednesday 7 May, Thursday 22 May, Wednesday 4 June. Although all dates are subject to change, please put these dates in your diaries. 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 6.45pm unless otherwise stated. Entrance is £4 for members, £3 for concessions, £8 for guests.

As members will have heard, Canadian Matthew Golding joins the Royal Ballet as a Principal in February 2014 with his first performance in Sleeping Beauty with Natalia Osipova on 27 March. Matthew trained at Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Universal Ballet academy in Washington before winning a scholarship at Prix de Lausanne to the Royal Ballet School. He joined ABT in 2003 and Dutch National Ballet in 2009. He danced as a guest with the Royal and ENB last season. We warmly welcome him to the Company.

A few weeks ago Royal Ballet’s Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon and his partner Ross Rayburn got married. We sent them our congratulations on Facebook. Christopher replied, “What a lovely sentiment from The Ballet Association. Many thanks from Christopher and Ross, we are really thrilled!”

The Bolshoi Ballet 2013-14 Season in cinemas nationwide
Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is one of the world's oldest and most renowned ballet companies, and its classical repertoire continues to be revisited by prestigious contemporary choreographers and dancers at the pinnacle of their art. Following the big success of past seasons, the Bolshoi Ballet will once again screen in cinemas from October. The 2013-14 season includes six productions, four of which will be broadcast live from Moscow.To find your nearest cinema and book tickets, please follow this link.

Sunday 20 October, 4.00 (tbc) Spartacus (Live) 
One of the Bolshoi's masterpieces, this spectacular epic ballet recounts the adventures of the legendary slave who became a gladiator. Amazing choreography and set design to start the season with a bang.

Sunday 17 November Le Corsaire (Recorded) 
Pirates, kidnappings, a shipwreck and a record-breaking 120 dancers on stage; suspense will be at its greatest in this magnificent and exotic tale

Sunday 22 December Sleeping Beauty (Recorded)
The world-famous love story of Sleeping Aurora and her prince is a wonderful ballet which will appeal to the whole family Christmas time. It's the most successful ballet ever shown in cinemas - a real blockbuster!

Sunday 19 January, 3.00 (tbc) Jewels (Live) 
Inspired by the famous jewellers of New York's Fifth Avenue, this triptych is a tribute to women and to the cities of Paris, New York and Saint Petersburg.

Sunday 2 February, 3.00 (tbc) Lost Illusions (Live) 
Based on French writer Honoré de Balzac's novel, Lost Illusions is a tantalising story of passion, ambition and disappointment.

Sunday 30 March, 4.00 (tbc) The Golden Age (Live)
Set in 1920s Europe, The Golden Age is a refreshing satire, an original and delightful ballet with jazz and cabaret parodies.

Love Tomorrow
Love Tomorrow, the feature film starring former Royal Ballet dancer Cindy Jourdain and ENB Principal Arionel Vargas is being released in UK cinemas in November. There is a special premiere showing in the Lillian Bayliss Studio at Sadler’s Wells at 8pm on 6 November. It will be followed by a question and answer session with the actors, writer, etc. Tickets can be obtained from Sadler’s Wells.

Pavlova: Twentieth Century Ballerina
An illustrated Talk by Jane Pritchard and Anya Sainsbury
The Royal Ballet School are hosting this talk which coincides with the release of the second edition of the beautiful illustrated book Pavlova: Twentieth Century Ballerina. The talk on Tuesday 26 November at 6pm at the Royal Ballet School, Floral Street is Free of Charge. Doors open at 5.30pm. Places have been reserved for Ballet Association members. If you would like to attend, please notify our Chairman, David Bain by phone or email by 31 October and your name will be given to the Royal Ballet School to be placed on a list held at the door. This is a repeat of the talk they gave in June at the Chalke Valley History Festival. Anna Pavlova was one of the finest classical ballet dancers. This second edition of the book, which will be on sale during the evening, contains a new chapter on Pavlova in America. All proceeds from book sales are donated to The Royal Ballet School’s Student Scholarship and Bursary Programme.

A reminder! It is the time of year when we ask you to renew your membership. A renewal form was attached to the last newsletter. If you haven’t already done so, please return it to Sylvia Tyler, Membership Secretary, as soon as possible, but not later than the end of October. We are very grateful to those of you who have already renewed. If you joined the Association after the start of April 2013, your membership covers this coming season. Your membership card will have indicated this. If you currently receive your newsletters by post but have an e-mail address, please consider receiving them by e-mail in future. If you would prefer to pay by electronic transfer, please indicate on the form and Sylvia will get in touch with you. Please ensure you include a stamped addressed envelope with the renewal form, so Sylvia can send you your membership card.

Annual General Meeting
The meeting on Tuesday 12 November will be preceded by our AGM. Consequently the evening’s proceedings will commence at 6.45pm and doors will open at 6.15pm. It will be held at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. The AGM will be followed at 7.30pm by our meeting with Thiago Soares.


  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 2012-13 season was David Bain (Chairman and Organising Secretary), Sylvia Tyler (Deputy Chairman and Membership Secretary), Melanie Shipton (Treasurer), Liz Bouttell (Reporting Secretary), Rachel Holland, Geoffrey Griffiths, Chris Scott, Brian Don, Annette Fraser, Chiara Gorodesky and Richard Griffiths. All current members have indicated they wish to continue on the committee.

Association members wishing to nominate candidates for election or wishing to join the committee themselves should write to the Chairman, David Bain, by Thursday 7 November. 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. The Organising Secretary, Reporting Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer and committee members will be elected at the meeting. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman are appointed by the Committee at their first meeting after the AGM.

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