Postponed from 2020, we are delighted to announce that our Annual Dinner 2021 will be held on 8th September 2021 at The Chesterfield, Mayfair, subject to social distancing rules being relaxed.
Our meeting with Royal Ballet Principal Federico Bonelli was originally scheduled for 21st April 2021, but had to be postponed to 19th August 2021. The brief profile of him can be seen on the previous blog posted on 19th March 2021.
You will be delighted to hear that at 21.07 on the 20th May 2021 Itziar Mendizabal gave birth to a son, Julen Sebastian Banks Mendizabal weighing 2.94 kg.
Congratulations to our President Jay Jolley who was awarded an honorary OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021.
Since our last newsletter we have been saddened to hear of the deaths of former Royal Ballet dancers Violetta Elvin on 27th May 2021 aged 96 and Lucette Aldous on 6th June 2021 aged 82, as well as New York City’s Jacques D’Amboise on 2nd May 2021 aged 86 and La Scala’s Carla Fracci on 27th May 2021 aged 84. A very sad few weeks for dance.
We are delighted to hear that The Royal Ballet’s Gyrotonic Instructor Jane Paris’ book Pilates and Conditioning for Dancers has been published by The Crowood Press. It is available at £18.99 from the Opera House Shop.
Those of you who fancy a trip to Somerset may wish to visit Yeo Valley on July 2021 where some of the Royal Ballet are performing.
The Coliseum has announced that the 2021 Ballet Icons Gala will be on Friday 26th November 2021.
Once again, the Ballet Association has sponsored the award for Best Classical Choreography. We are delighted to announce that it was won by Cathy Marston for The Cellist (The Royal Ballet). The awards were filmed this year 2021 to fit with Covid regulations.
It is hoped that our Chairman will have the opportunity to hand the trophy to Cathy when she is next in the UK. This is the second time that Cathy has won this since the Association started its sponsorship of the award. You will also have been delighted to hear that Cathy has been appointed Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer of Zurich Ballet from the start of the 2023-24 season, succeeding Christian Spuck.
Other award winners from the Royal Ballet Companies were: Best Male Dancer - Cesar Morales, BRB; Outstanding Male Classical Performance - Marcelino Sambé in The Cellist; Outstanding Female Classical Performance - Lauren Cuthbertson in The Cellist (There was a tie for this award); Outstanding Creative Contribution - John MacFarlane for his designs including those for The Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake; Best Independent Company - was won by Carlos Acosta’s AcostaDanza; De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement - was won by choreographer and former Royal Ballet dancer Ronald Hynd.
Carlos Acosta has announced promotions and those joining or leaving Birmingham Royal Ballet. Yu Kurihara has been promoted from Artist to Soloist and Artists Haoliang Feng, Gus Payne and Rachele Pizzillo are promoted to First Artist.
Joining the Company as Artists are Eric Pinto-Cata from the Royal Ballet School, Amelia Thompson from Elmhurst Ballet School, Enrique Bejarano who trained at the National Ballet of Cuba School and Academie de Danse de Princess Grace, and Regan Hutsell from Festival Ballet Providence. Javier Rojas from Acosta Danza joined as an Artist in January 2021.
Carlos also paid tribute to three lonstanding members of the Company who are leaving or retiring from dancing. Benesh Choreologist and Répétiteur Denis Bonner joined as a dancer in 1976, whilst Ballet Master Wolfgang Stollwitzer joined as a Principal in 1996 from Stuttgart Ballet and became a ballet master in 2008. Soloist Tom Rogers retires from dancing after 17 years with the Company, but will continue working with BRB in a new role as Digital Creative Producer.