A New Year's Treat


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Last Saturday I attended KNT's Day of Dance at the Dancehouse together with several other members of Powerhouse Ballet.  I had a great time with classes from Alex Hallas and Jane Tucker,  Both Alex and Jane have agreed to run repertoire workshops for us in the New Year.  Jane will teach us the Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker the first part of which she taught us on Saturday while Alex will teach us part of his own ballet Concerto Jenkins.

Alex created Concerto Jenkins for Ballet Cymru's Pre-Professional Programme earlier this year.  I saw it performed in Cardiff earlier this year and reviewed it in Made in Wales  28 March 2919 Terpsichore.  It was sensational.  This is what I wrote immediately after the show:

"I loved all the works but one that made a particularly deep impression on me was Alex Hallas's Jenkins Concerto. That is partly because I like Carl Jenkins's music and in particular, The Armed Man and Dies Irae which formed the bulk of Hallas's contribution, partly because it was an opportunity for Renan Alvez Manhaes (the only gentleman on the course) to show his potential which is considerable and partly because the ballet enabled all the artists to shine. Not an easy work but, I should imagine, an immensely satisfying one to perform."

This work was so beautiful that I had to fight to restrain my emotions.   The only other modern works that affect me like that are Ernst Meisner's Embers and No Time Before Time.   I am very good at spotting talent having tipped Xander Parish for the top when I saw him at the York Grand Opera House in 2007 and Michaela DePrince when I saw her at the Stadsschouwburg. ib December 2913.  I think we shall be seeing a lot more of Alex's work in the not too distant future.

I met Alex again at the Pontio Centre in Bangor when I saw Ballet Cymru's triple bill on 30 Nov 2019. I renewed my invitation to him to teach us in the New Year and to my great delight, he said yes.  As his timetable is very tight since his company wills tart rehearsing for its new season, we had to move quickly to keep him.  As soon as I left the Dancehouse I started to ring venues and am glad to say that I have booked a studio at Dance Studio Leeds for Alex's Workshop at Dance Studio Leeds from 11:30 to 17:39 on Saturday 15 Feb 2029.

This will be a very special workshop for which demand will be high.   I will keep the fee as low as possible for everybody and I will waive it alogether for dancers who successfully audition and commit to dancing Aria, Morning or any of our other works in progress.

Finally, I wish everyone who has trained, danced or otherwise supported Powerhouse Ballet a very happy Christmas and a good New Yer.

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