On 10th February 2021, it was a great pleasure to welcome our President Marion Tait. Marion started by thanking the Association for our gift marking her retirement as Assistant Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet. A keen gardener, she will use the money to buy more labour-saving equipment and will think of us every time she’s in her garden.
Marion gave us a very lively and entertaining evening looking back over her illustrious career with the Touring Company, Ballet for All, the New Group, Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, as well as speaking about her training. She spoke about her various directors, John Field, Sir Peter Wright and Sir David Bintley, as well as working with different choreographers including Sir Kenneth MacMillan.Marion talked about her transition to becoming a Ballet Mistress, Assistant Director and briefly Acting Director and of working with Desmond Kelly on Ballet Hoo.
Although she has stepped down from her role as Assistant Director, Marion will continue to work with the Company and we are delighted that she has agreed to remain as one of our presidents.
On 10th March 2021, it was a great pleasure to welcome First Soloist Beatriz Stix-Brunell as our guest. Beatriz provided us with a fascinating evening, speaking in detail about her roles last season, including Lescaut’s Mistress, the Lilac Fairy and other roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Concerto, Enigma Variations, Raymonda, Swan Lake and in Pam Tanowitz’s Everyone Keeps Me in the Linbury Theatre as part of the Merce Cunningham Centenary programme.
Beatriz had also been one of three Royal Ballet dancers to perform solos in the Cunningham celebration at the Barbican Theatre. Just before lockdown, Beatriz had performed the role of Jacqueline du Pré in Cathy Marston’s The Cellist and she spoke in detail about the creation of this work. Beatriz then talked about her entertaining social media posts on Instagram before briefly commenting on roles the previous season including the Dante Project, Mercedes, Sugar Plum Fairy and, her highlight, her debut as Juliet with Ryoichi Hirano.
Our Chairman wishes to apologise that his internet cut out briefly twice during the meeting, but Beatriz just carried on speaking until he returned!