Monday, July 31, 2006


The final show at the Linbury for the Royal Ballet School was a galore of excitement, joy of dancing, and promising showmanship from every performer.
The size of the stage proved to be one of the challenges for the dancers, especially in the mass pieces. In La Bayadere - Waltz from Act 1, 18 dancers tried their best not to thread on each other's feet, and arabesques. Despite the lack of space, extensions and lines were not compromised. Majority of the dancers are in their 1st year, and they displayed nothing less than their seniors.

Bethany West's Dark Twist showed strong potential. Swan Lake - Pas de Douze from Act 1 seemed to show off more of the boys then the girls. Step by Step by Vanessa Fenton was an interesting piece. The dancers displayed wonderful technique and great personality. It was a delight to watch Ruth Bailey, winner of Phyllis Bedells Bursary 2006 and former Young British Dancer of the Year, perfomed with confidence and assurance. Special mention of Year 7's Anna Rose O'Sullivan, who danced the central role in the 3rd Movement, was professional and at ease with her solo. I enjoyed Step by Step greatly, all the dancers seemed to sparkle and shine on the small stage, with smiles that looked like they are genuinely enjoying their time on stage, sharing their joy of dancing with the audience.

Colour Blind by Leigh Alderson was a captivating piece. Despite the unfortunate wrong cueing of music and late lightings, resulting in an encouraging applause from the audience, and some giggle from both dancers, Leigh Alderson and Jade Hale-Christofi, and the audience; the piece was fascinating. Both dancers excelled in their own strength in Alderson's choreography. Alderson showed off his linearity and expression, whilst Hale-Christofi exhibit expressive dancing and strength. There was deep meaning behind the innovative choreographic movements, which could be perhaps performed by a male and female. But both male dancers were very involved and focused, synchronising each others' line and movement. This was one of the highlight pieces for me that evening.

Don Quixote - Excerpts from Act 3 were dominated by the stars students of the evening, Adeline Kaiser and Sergiy Polunin. Adeline Kaiser, winner of Prix de Lausanne "Scholarship" in 2005, and Sergiy Polunin, winner of Prix de Lausanne 2006 and Youth America Grand Prix 2006. Kaiser's Kitri was performed with wit and maturity. The repertoire work of her solo was adapted to display her breathtaking balances in arabesques (Each balance lasted about 8 counts/ a full phrase of the music). Her 32 fouettes looked like a norm to her. Polunin was simply remarkable. He handled his role as Basil with zest, and boyish cheekiness. One could almost see traces of Baryshinikov's flavor in his dancing. Polunin looked like he was flying across the stage in all his leaps. His leaps and turns were assured and perfomed at ease. Both dancers made the pas de deux looked easy peasy. During their curtain call, Polunin whispered/mouthed thank you as he took his bow after his solo. Both audience and him were appreciative of each other.

Jabula was an amazing piece to conclude the program. It brought out the versatility of the dancers. Captivating dancing from Hale-Christofi, Kaiser and Alderson. I thought the partnership between Hale-Christofi and Kaiser was marvellous. Both dancers seemed highly engrossed into the mood of the piece, and into their characters, they literally owned the stage. Alderson, once again, establishing superb emotions and dancing in his solo. The challenging lifts and partnerwork were handled with outstanding flair. Jabula indeed made the dancers looked a million dollar.

It must have be a meaningful performance for the performers, the teachers, the parents and friends. Bravo to all the dancers. All the hard work certainly paid off. Each and everyone of you are stars that shone ever so brightly, showcasing so much promise and aptitude. Congratulations to all. Thank you for putting up a brilliant show, and to share your joy with us.


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