Now The Hard Work Begins

David Plumpton and Terry Etheridge

Despite all sorts of last minute hitches and complications Saturday's audition with Terry Etheridge started on time and went according to plan.  The distinguished accompanist, David Plumpton, played for us even though we could offer him only an electronic piano which did not sound as good as a conventional one.

Terry gave us a very challenging barre and then invited us to perform extracts of his choreography.   I had not intended to take part in the audition because the audition had been fully booked but I managed to find room at the barre as we had several last minute cancellations.   Taking part in that class was an unforgettable experience for me even though I was not auditioning.   It must have been particularly memorable for those who were.

At the end of the class, our choreographer selected 8 dancers for his cast and invited the rest to return to the studio at 09:00 the next day to take his class and watch his rehearsal.  Several dancers took up his offer.   I should like to thank everyone who attended for their commitment.  I am particularly grateful to Peter Harrop who battled with the studio's sound system and Gita Mistry for the excellent lunch that she prepared.  I was delighted that he rehearsed not just the dancers whom he had chosen for the show but also those who had come to watch.   He even let me  have a go at one of the enchainements which was great fun for me but probably not for anyone else.   By 15:30 Terry had crafted a beautiful work which the dancers performed impressively. I have just watched a video of their final rehearsal of the day.  It is already quite slick and polished performance and I congratulate each and every dancer.

Bringing Terry to the North of England and commissioning a work from him was the relatively easy bit.  It is now up to us to refine it into a show.   I have already booked studio space for rehearsals in Liverpool on 22 Sept, Leeds on 27 Oct, Manchester on 1 Dec and Leeds on 26 Jan 2018.   It was hard enough to book those slots in May.  We shall try to arrange some more but it will not be easy. Members of our cast are spread between North Wales and the Yorkshire coast and our ballet mistress lives in North Yorkshire. Any meting place for additional rehearsals must be reasonably accessible for all of them.

Even though we have commissioned the work from Terry we can stage it only if we can do it justice.  Terry has his reputation as a choreographer to consider as we have ours as a company.  This production can go ahead only if he and our ballet mistress are entirely happy with it.  Terry has offered to return in November and January to see how we get in.   If he or our ballet mistress decide to make cast changes, postpone or even cancel the performance I shall not object.

Our first rehearsal takes place at Z Studios in Liverpool on 22 Sept immediately after our company class and master class which starts at 14:00.   It is important for as many members of the cast as possible as well as those who attended the rehearsal to attend.   I have reserved some space for you  at Z Studios and you can register here and we can organize lifts for those who need them. Mark Hindle of KNT Danceworks and Yvonne Charlton of Jos Dolstra Institute for Dance and Movement and possibly, Janet McNulty, of BalletcoForum will be in the audience.   Janet, who is a Liverpudlian, recommends a visit to the World Museum to see the terracotta soldiers while you are in her city.

If you have not already registered for the class please do so here.


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