Around 40 members joined our annual visit to Birmingham in February and had an excellent time despite changes that had to be made to the programme. Because of covid regulations for the studios, we were unable to watch class or interview a dancer. However, our President Carlos Acosta, Director of BRB, and Dominic Antonucci, Assistant Director, arranged for us to watch a working rehearsal of Carlos’ new Don Quixoteon the Thursday evening with Yaoqian Shang and Max Maslen as Kitri and Basilio. First Soloist Yaoqian is a former winner of the Association’s Royal Ballet School Awards twice. On the Friday we watched the opening night performance with Momoko Hirata and Mathias Dingman. We have sent a donation to BRB to thank them for the rehearsal. Everyone greatly enjoyed the two performances.
Unfortunately, our trip to Elmhurst Ballet School also had to be cancelled. Our President Robert Parker contacted us on the Monday to say that they had just received a message from the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate that they were to be inspected on the Tuesday to Friday. On the Friday a small group met for lunch and a much larger group for a pre-performance dinner at the Milanorestaurant. Both groups thoroughly enjoyed their meals and the IBIS hotel also looked after us very well. Members managed to do some sightseeing despite the storm on the Friday, which delayed some of our home bound trains on the Saturday. We look forward to arranging further visits to Birmingham for next season.