"Morning" and "Aria"

Company Class Leeds 23 March 2019
Author Fiona Noonan
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I wrote about Yvonne Char.lton's visit to Manchester and Leeds between the 23 and 24 Feb 2019 in An Exceptional Weekend  1 March 2019 Terpsichore.  It was a great weekend for me personally because I celebrated my 70th birthday with drinks for my Manchester friends immediately after our company class and more drinks for my Yorkshire friends in Huddersfield in the evening. However, the main reason for bringing Yvonne back to the UK was to learn Morning which she had created for her own students at the Jos Dolstra Dance Institute in IJsselstein to the music of Edvard Grieg's Morning.

As you can see from my article in Terpsichore, Yvonne gave us a great workshop on 24 Feb.  Fiona Noonan agreed to be our ballet mistress.  She attended the workshop taking very copious notes and assisted Yvonne here and there when a dancer needed a correction or some other help. Several of us took photos and videos.  By the end of the workshop, Yvonne had taught us as much as she could about her ballet.  It is a lovely bit of choreography and there is a real enthusiasm to learn it.

Before we had left Dance Studio Leeds, Fiona and I fixed the date, time and venue for our first rehearsal at 15:00 to 17:00 on 23 March 2019.  As I had not yet arranged a company class for February, I invited Fiona to give us a company class immediately before our rehearsal.  Saturday was a very long day for all of us and, particularly for me,  as I had had to drive through the night from Cardiff to arrive in Leeds in time to make all the necessary arrangements.

Fiona gave us a very good class as she always does.  She took a very long time over the barre because she had noticed that we had all picked up a lot of bad habits over the years. She gave us several exercises that we could do at home to straighten our backs, strengthen our core and improve our arabesques and penchés. Very similar exercises in fact to those that I had been taught by Adam Pudney at Pineapple. Adam. like Fiona, trained in Australia where they seem to have very high standards.   Fiona's centre work is always fun too.  She worked hard on our pirouettes and chaînés working up to some glorious grands jetés at the end.

As I was half asleep from driving through the night and still full of caffeine from all the single espressos I took at every service station between South Wales and Yorkshire, I did not take part in the rehearsal. I was, however, delighted to see that several dancers who had missed Yvonne's workshop turned up for it.  They included some of our most talented dancers and I was glad to see that they picked up the steps in no time.  This is not an easy piece and I was very pleased with them all. 

As we are making our debut at KNT's 10th-anniversary gala at the Dancehouse on 4 May 2019 with Terry Etheridge's Aria, we are focusing our efforts on that work.  We have a rehearsal at the Dancehouse at 13:00 tomorrow.  Terry Etheridge will be with us next weekend for intensive rehearsals at the Dancehouse between 10:00 and 16:00 including 2 hours on stage at the Dancehouse on 13 April and between 10:00 and 16:00 at Dance Studios Leeds on 14.  There will be no rehearsal the next weekend because many if not most of us will take part in KNT's Day of Dance.  Our final rehearsal will be at 15:00 on 27 April in the Dancehouse immediately after our April company class.

Tickets for our show are already on sale. Many of our friends will be there.  Annemarie Donoghue has already ordered tickets for herself and her daughter.  Jane Tucker hopes to be there too.  Marion Pettet, immediate past chair of the Chelmsford Ballet company who gave me a lot of help and advice in setting up this company will be one of our guests of honour.   It should be a great evening. 

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