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Dance Channel TV ranks the Dutch National Ballet number 6 in its Top Ten Classical Ballet rankings. Personally, I would place them higher but #6 is good. One of the reasons why the company is so strong is that it scours the world for the best 18-year-olds it can find.  It nurtures them in a halfway house between ballet school and the corps de ballet.  When they are ready to fly they soar like eagles.

Right now about 25% of the Dutch National Ballet started their careers in the Junior Company. Its graduates include Michaela DePrince, Martin Ten Kortenaar, Riho Sakamoto, Sho Yamada, Nancy Burer and Timothy van Poucke. Every year they tour the Netherlands with an occasional trip abroad. I first saw the Junior Company in 2013 and I have been back ever since.  Remarkably every cohort seems to be stronger than the last.  There is some objective evidence to back that up.  Timothy van Poucke, who joined the Junior Company in 2016, carried away the Alexandra Radius prize for outstanding achievement just two years later.  That is an award that is usually made to one of the company's principals.

Now the Junior Company are coming to London.  They will perform at The Linbury on 5 and 6 July 2019.  Tickets prices range from £5 (which is less than the average cost of a 90-minute ballet class) to £20 (which is about the same as watching the Royal Ballet or Bolshoi in the Huddersfield Odeon) so don't tell me you can't afford it.  Tickets for Friday are on sale here and tickets for Saturday are on sale here. They are going like hot cakes.

As for getting to London, there are some cheap fares on both days from Manchester on Virgin and Yorkshire on  Grand Central.  If you can't afford the train there is always good old Megabus.

Now the highpoint of the Dutch National Ballet's season is the annual gala which takes place on 10 Sept this year.  Last year Wendy and Sophie joined me in Amsterdam. We saw In the Future by Hans van Manen which is one of the works to be performed in London.  You can see snippets of that piece together with a little bit of Juanjo Arques's Fingers in the Air which will also be performed in London in this clip.

I am going and I'm taking my little grandson manqué and his mum on the 5.  Fiona is starting rehearsals for Morning on the 6 or 7 so I hope to see you all in t'Smoke on Friday and at the barre on Saturday.

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