Fifth Anniversary Class
On the last Saturday of May, Jane Tucker delivers a very special class to celebrate the anniversary of the formation of our company (see We Have a Company 27 May 2018). We have kept this anniversary every year, even during the pandemic. As part of the celebration, we dance Jane's variation of Minkus's Descent into the Kingdom of the Shades which is a lot more complicated than Petipa's. This year numbers were down because the class fell on a bank holiday weekend and several of our members were either on holiday or had work or other commitments. However, we still had a lot of fun.
Our anniversary class was not our only cause for celebration. When I visited the office to pay the studio hire, Holly McLaren invited Powerhouse to contribute to Dance Studio Leeds's gala at the end of November. I passed on the invitation to the class and also to members through our Facebook page and WhatsApp group. I also discussed the invitation with Jane who offered to give us a full-day workshop in September and rehearse us on weekends between the workshop and the performance. Just as she did last year.
We have yet to decide what we want to perform in November and we also want something that we can prepare quickly for Karen Lester-Sant's next show in Manchester. I am rather keen to build up some repertoire, As we have learned the wilis' dance, I favour learning another scene from Giselle, Possibly something from Act 1 such as the Rentrée des Vendageurs or if we find a gentleman who wants to learn a bit of Hilarion or Albrecht's role another scene from Act II. But we do have an alternative in that Beth Meadway has taught us Crystal Fountain and Woodland Glade from the Fairy Variations in the Sleeping Beauty.
I set up Powerhouse Ballet for two reasons. The first is that ballet belongs to the theatre. Unless and until a student experiences what I experienced in The Time of My Life when I stepped onto the stage of the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds for the first time to dance in Northern Ballet Academy's end-of-term show he or she is missing out on something very important. The other reason is that KNT used to present 3-day intensive workshops on full-length ballets at the Dancehouse. They were delivered by Jane Tucker which was where I first made her acquaintance. I had already seen a lot of ballets and read just about everything on dance on which I could lay my hands. But I learned more about Swan Lake, La Bayadȅre, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Coppelia from those sessions than I had or could have learned a lifetime in the stalls.
My next project for the company is a residential intensive workshop on the lines of KNT's classes where we shall study a ballet in detail with a view to performing it at a commercial theatre in Manchester or Leeds for several nights. We shall have to recruit more members and there will probably be a charge for some of the expenses but it should be great fun. As I said in this month's newsletter, we have already received an invitation from a converted ats centre in Bangor. I hope we can run this in the next few months..