Our Very Own Ballet

Terry Etheridge

One of the companies that inspired us to set up Powerhouse Ballet is Duchy Ballet in Cornwall (see Salute to Duchy Ballet 17 April 2018). Its resident choreographer is Terry Etheridge whose career is rightly described as "illustrious" on Duchy Ballet's "Biographies" page. He was one of the original dancers in Northern Dance Theatre, the company that became Northern Ballet, a soloist with Festival Ballet which is now English National Ballet, artistic director of the Hong Kong Ballet and so on.

Shortly after I had announced that we had been offered a slot at Move It, the annual dance show at The Dancehouse theatre in Manchester (see Something to Work For 31 July 2018), Terry offered to create a ballet for that show. It was not the first time he had mentioned that possibility.  He did so shortly after our first company class saying every company needs its very own choreography.  What made Terry's offer so attractive is that he is used to working with dancers just like us and he achieves wonders for them.  Just look at this clip from Stepping out to Gershwin, one of Duchy Ballet's early shows which Terry created for Duchy Ballet.

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As Marion Pettet, chair of Chelmsford Ballet which is the other company that inspired us, put it, "What a coup!"

But we had to move quickly.  Terry is very busy.  He has just returned from Hong Kong and he will be off to New Zealand shortly. Since he has been in the UK he has judged The Dance School of the YearAnd we are busy too.  August is a holiday month when many of us take our summer holidays.  The Dutch National Ballet gala, which several members of our company will attend, takes place the first week of September.  An extra special company class in Liverpool at which the distinguished Dutch teacher, Yvonne Charlton will teach us some of her repertoire, takes place on 22 Sept.  The law term opens on 1 Oct for which I need the weekend to prepare.   I will be flying out to Geneva for an important meeting on the 8 Oct. The only weekend on which we could arrange a visit by Terry was the 15 and 16 Sept 2018.

Terry will fly up from Cornwall on the morning of 15 Sept.  I will meet his flight and drive him straight over to Dance Studio Leeds where he will give us a 90 minute class between 15:30 and 17:00.  However good or experienced you are, don't expect that class to be easy.   That class is your audition and Terry will select our best dancers from that class.

The dancers Terry selects will be invited back to Dance Studio Leeds at 09:00 the next day to learn the piece.  It will be a very short piece as we have only a very short slot at the Dancehouse but it will take all day. This is your chance to see how a ballet is created.  How a dance pro works.  But don't think that Sunday, 16 Sept is the end of the story. One of the professionals in  attendance will be our ballet mistress whose job it is to rehearse and coach over the coming weeks until the show is perfect.  You will also have appointments with our talented costume designer, Amelia Sierevogel, who will create something wonderful for you.

I anticipate that the weekend of the 15 and 16 Sept will not suit everybody and to those who will miss the audition I send my apologies.  As I said above, that weekend is our only opportunity to fly Terry up from Cornwall.  If you can't make the audition or if you are not selected, don't be discouraged.  This will not be our only show and there will be lots of other good things to which you can look forward such as a workshop with Ballet Cymru, a repertoire class with Yvonne Charlton and company classes with Mark Hindle in Liverpool on 22 Sept, Jane Tucker in Leeds on 27 Oct, Karen Sant in Manchester on 1 Dec and Fiona Noonan in Leeds on 26 Jan.

Places at this audition are flying off the shelves like a new mobile phone so don't leave it too long to book your place. Click the "Register" button to secure your place now,


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