The Hottest Day of the Year in More Senses than One
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The thermometer on my car touched 30 degrees as David Plumpton, Christine Longester and I entered the Chester Street car park on Saturday. I had received an avalanche of cancellations in the 24 hours before the class. None of the studios in the Dancehouse is airconditioned. I knew we would get a good class because Karen Sant does not do any other kind but I feared that we would be very thin on the ground.
As it happened, we had a very good attendance. We welcomed several new dancers to our class some of whom are classmates from KNT. It was very good to see them. The big draw was, of course, the legendary David. His recordings are played by dance teachers in every corner of the world. His beautiful music drew me back to my second ballet class in Huddersfield after the sixth form college students who formed the bulk of the first had glared at me and another beginner throughout the class as though we were something the cat had dragged in.
We were allocated Studio 2 which is the least uncomfortable on a hot day because the window panes can be removed and there are fans everywhere. It also had a brand new grand piano for David which was even better than last month's upright at Yorkshire Dance. At other venues, our pianists have had to play with keyboards without pedals and one of them has had to bring her own. David touched the keys and a rich full-throated sound resounded in the studio as melodic and as strong as a Cambrian male voice choir.
Those of us who had attended last month's company class in Leeds had experienced something very special because David and Jane Tucker had worked together before and have a very high regard for each other. I knew that Karen liked David's music but Saturday was the first time that they had worked together. I was on tenterhooks as to how they would get on.
They were superb. Though Karen's style is very different from Jane's there was the same joy and magic as there had been in Leeds. They certainly lifted me and I think everyone else. We forgot about the heat and plunged into each exercise. I don't know whether I did dance better than I normally do on in my Tuesday pre-intermediate class but I certainly felt as though I did. After we had marked an adagio in which David played Spartacus's dance with Phrygia, Karen remarked: "you should have seen Jane smile just now." It was not the only time David made me grin and I was certainly not the only one to grin.
Reactions to the class said it all. Sarah, who had driven all the way from Birmingham wrote on Facebook:
"Well I drove up to Manchester in the searing heat on Saturday to take part in Powerhouse Ballet's company class with Karen Sant and David Plumpton; a dream team if ever there was one. Thanks to Jane and all the committee for organising this. Karen is an amazing teacher who really stretched my limited abilities, and David is a superb pianist whose work is used in every class I've been to. Check out his CDs."
Luke Mcdonough Stratford Really Great class! Thank you Jane!! 🤩🤗😊
"The two classes with David have been wonderful. Yesterday was challenging in the heat but so worth it. Seeing some new faces was great and we gained some members for the company. Karen's classes are always a challenge for me but one I enjoy I know I'm improving too.
Thank you everyone I'm hitting the laptop soon to generate the members list"
David has very kindly agreed to come back on 21 September when Yvonne Charlton will give us all a full 90-minute class before rehearsing the cast of Morning Mood. Now that really will be a class and a half. David was introduced to us by Terence Etheridge last year. We are grateful to Terence for that introduction as well as for the beautiful ballet that he created for us.