On 27th May 2021, it was a delight to welcome as our guest Royal Ballet First Soloist Yuhui Choe who had just returned from maternity leave after the birth of her daughter Myriam. Yuhui spoke about the slow process of returning to full fitness following a Caesarean section.
She then talked about the 2019-20 season, which had started with her performances as Lescaut’s Mistress with Marcelino Sambé and Valentino Zucchetti. After Raymonda and The Sleeping Beauty, where she danced the Bluebird and the Golden Vine solo, a highlight of the season was being coached by Merle Park as Swanilda in Coppelia with Luca Acri. She adored working with Philip Mosley, her Dr Coppelius, who had been her Widow Simone in Fille.
After speaking about lockdown, Yuhui spoke about working with Natalia Makarova, first as Princess Florine in her first season as an Artist in the Company and then as both Nikiya and Gamzatti. Natasha had expressed surprise when Kevin cast Yuhui as Gamzatti with Zenaida Yanowsky as Nikiya, and Yuhui had been determined to show that Kevin was right to cast her. These performances as Gamzatti were at the same time as she danced Alice.
A great time. After talking about her training and earlier years in the Company, Yuhui updated us on her husband, Nehemiah Kish’s activities since retirement. He has completed a Masters in Arts and Culture Policy and is currently working at ENB School assisting with a piece by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa for the School performances. Yuhui gave us a fascinating and entertaining evening.
On 16th June 2021, it was a great pleasure to have the Royal Ballet’s Meaghan Grace Hinkis as our guest, a few weeks after her promotion to First Soloist. She also spoke about dancing Lescaut’s Mistress, as well as Dorabella in Enigma Variations and recently, this season, making her debut in a Principal role in Within the Golden Hour and in performing in Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering.
Speaking about the last couple of seasons, it was fascinating to hear how the Gala performances at Athelhampton came about and the logistics of putting the shows together. Some people have already booked to see the galas she is arranging for this September 2021.
Meaghan then went on to discuss some of the many roles she has performed since joining the Company in 2011, including roles in Liam Scarlett’s works, such as Justine in his Frankenstein. She then looked back to her training and time with the ABT Studio Company and ABT and how her move to The Royal had occurred.
Meaghan provided us with another entertaining evening and we were delighted to congratulate her on her recent promotion.