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AGM 2004

Draft Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Ballet Association
14 October 2004, 6.30pm, at the Swedenborg Hall, London.

The Chairman, David Bain, welcomed everyone

1. Apologies
There were no apologies for absence.

2. Minutes
The minutes of the 2003 annual general meeting were taken as read and adopted.

3. Matters Arising
It was noted that photographs of the 2004 annual dinner would be filed on the website shortly.

4. Chairman’s Report
The Chairman had tabled his report for 2003/2004, but he drew attention to the salient points.

Both the Royal Ballet Companies had finished the year with successful tours of America.

The Ballet Association had celebrated its 30th year. However, the death of Vivien Mathews at the end of July had been a sad blow to her many friends. Vivien had served on the Committee of The Ballet Association for 26 years.

The Association had been delighted earlier in the year, when Sir Anthony Dowell had agreed to be known as our Founder Patron and Jay Jolley had agreed to become one of our Presidents, so providing us with contact with the Royal Ballet School.

The Chairman had, on behalf of the Association, submitted written evidence to the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) for their committee enquiry into Arts development: dance. The committee published its report in June, referring throughout to our evidence and quoting us directly in their press release, one of only two dance organisations to be so honoured.

The Vic-Wells Association had continued to invite Association members to attend some rehearsals at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Unfortunately they sometimes only notified us 2 or 3 days in advance, so it was difficult to inform members in the timescale available, but e-mails were sent to those with internet contact.

During 2003/04, our membership had grown healthily to 396 (our highest ever) and already 280 had renewed for 2004/05.

We had welcomed an interesting roster of guest speakers during the year, Cathy Marston, Monica Mason, David Makhateli, Thiago Soares, Caroline Duprot and Cindy Jourdain, Johan Kobborg, Zenaida Yanowsky, Miyako Yoshida and Kevin O’Hare, Isabel McMeekan and Genesia Rosato. Some written reports of meetings were overdue, but it was hoped that we would catch up the backlog shortly.

We reached near capacity for our 30th Anniversary Dinner at the Rubens Hotel. Sadly, our Patron, Monica Mason, was unable to attend at the last moment for family reasons. Jeanetta Laurence stepped into Monica’s shoes for the speeches and invited Marianela Nunez to make a presentation to our Membership Secretary, Joan Seaman, to mark her thirty years on the committee. We were especially delighted, this year, to welcome our President, Desmond Kelly, from BRB. This was the first dinner for many years that Desmond and his wife, Denise, had been able to attend.

The increase in our membership and in attendance at meetings had contributed greatly to our financial health. This had enabled us to keep the cost of the dinner fairly low. We were also able to make a donation towards the cost of costumes for Ernst Meisner’s ballet Choices for First Drafts.

The Chairman thanked Melanie Shipton, the Treasurer, and Peter Mahrer, the Auditor. He also thanked the other members of the committee, Liz Bouttell, Geoffrey Griffiths, Rachel Holland, Kenneth Leadbeater, Joan Seaman and Sylvia Tyler, for their work during the year.

The Chairman also thanked the membership for their continuing support of the Association. He made reference to members who were seriously ill and who were recently deceased.

This year, 2004/05, would see the Royal Ballet’s Ashton 100 celebrations, to be followed by the Bournonville bi-centenary in 2005/06. The year would also provide an interesting series of speakers for the Association, with plans for Ludovic Ondiviela, Michael Stojko and James Wilkie on 4 November, Marianela Nunez on 13 December and Darcey Bussell on 26 January.

David Bain told the meeting that it was a privilege being Chairman of The Ballet Association and he thanked those who had made positive comments about the Association during the year.

Kenneth Leadbeater paid tribute to the leadership and hard work provided by David Bain in his role as Chairman and the meeting made appropriate acknowledgement.

5. Financial Report
The Financial Statements had been tabled and were put to the meeting and adopted nem con. No questions were raised.

6. Election of Committee

There was a vacancy on the committee, following the death of Vivien Mathews. The remaining eight members of the committee had expressed a willingness to continue in office. Two further nominations had been received from Belinda Taylor and Mandy Kent. The meeting resolved that, rather than holding an election, they would appoint Belinda Taylor and request the Committee to co-opt Mandy Kent in accordance with their delegated powers.

Accordingly David Bain, Liz Bouttell, Geoffrey Griffiths, Rachel Holland, Kenneth Leadbeater, Joan Seaman, Melanie Shipton, Belinda Taylor and Sylvia Tyler were elected unopposed and the Committee were requested formally to co-opt Mandy Kent.

The Committee would elect the Chairman and Deputy Chairman at its next meeting.

8. Any Other Business

The meeting closed at 7.17 pm.

Reported by Kenneth Leadbeater ©The Ballet Association 2004.