We were delighted to announce at our Annual Dinner in September 2021 that Carlos Acosta, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, has agreed to become a President of the Association. And, following brief discussions with Carlos and our President Robert Parker, we have arranged our annual visit to Birmingham on February 2022 for the premiere of Carlos’ new production of Don Quixote.
It was an enormous pleasure to return to The Chesterfield, Mayfair, for our Annual Dinner on September 2021. We are very grateful to all the dancers and other guests who attended. They were: Kevin O’Hare, Director, The Royal Ballet, and Patron of The Ballet Association; Carlos Acosta, Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet: Dame Monica Mason, former Director, The Royal Ballet; Jeanetta Laurence, former Associate Director, The Royal Ballet; Alex Beard, Chief Executive, The Royal Opera House; Robert Parker, Artistic Director, Elmhurst Ballet School; Zhan Atymtayev, Teacher, The Royal Ballet School; Christopher Saunders, Rehearsal Director and Principal Character Artist; Gary Avis, Senior Ballet Master and Principal Character Artist; Principals Fumi Kaneko, Vadim Muntagirov, Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambé; Principal Character Artist Christina Arestis, First Soloist James Hay; Artists Bomin Kim, Harrison Lee, Sae Maeda, Katharina Nikelski, Aiden O’Brien, Sumina Sasaki and Ginevra Zambon.
You will be saddened to hear of the death of one of our oldest members, Frances Cowen. Often at both the Opera House and Sadler’s Wells, Frances, who had been a home economics teacher, was a regular at Association events, including our dinners and trips to Birmingham. She will be greatly missed.
You will also have been saddened to hear of the death of Philip Chatfield in July 2021 at the age of 93. He joined what became The Royal Ballet in 1943 and danced Principal roles until he, and his wife Rowena Jackson, retired from the Company in 1959 and moved to New Zealand, Rowena’s home country, where they became directors of National Ballet School and Ballet Company respectively. Later they moved to Australia’s Gold Coast where they taught at the Ransley Ballet School.