HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY HIGHGATE BALLET SCHOOL!
We celebrated with three Anniversary Performances at the Ark Theatre, Borehamwood on 30th April and 1st May 2016
‘Homage to Enrico Cecchetti’
We celebrated our 20th Birthday with a weekend of performances at the Ark Theatre, Borehamwood on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 2016. Nearly 200 students ages 6 and over from standard 1 up to Advanced 2, the Youth Dance Company and contemporary dancers took part. With Ray and Barbara Massey playing the parts of Maestro and Madame Cecchetti, the show opened with a film tribute to the Maestro created by former pupil now filmmaker, George Massey. After a demonstration of some of the Cecchetti classwork as it is done today, dancers performed excerpts from ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ and original choreographies inspired by the teachings, life and times of Cecchetti. Some of the special moments of the weekend now feature as photos on the home page. Look at our gallery for more photographs taken by Sam Pearce across the weekend!
Thank you so much to all the staff, accompanists and of course the amazing crew of backstage volunteers and technical assistants, also to Frankie Turner, stage manager, Joy Cox, theatre manager, Alexa Hart, backstage manager and James Ramsden, lighting director! Without the help of these fantastic people the performances would not have been able to take place.
OMG in partnership with Jacksons Lane, HBS dancers performed at KEATS HOUSE, HAMPSTEAD ON SUNDAY 31st July 2016
Senior Staff Teacher Maddy Wynne-Jones organised a 3-Day workshop to help dancers Manasa Krishna, Millie Anstice, Sequoia Worghs, Imogen Titmas, Lottie Lunn and Emma Scott produce a piece inspired by the three lines of Keats’ poem ‘If I were a butterfly….’ which was performed at Keats House during a special outdoor family performance inspired by the poet and his writing. The performance took place on the lawn outside Keat’s house in Hampstead and included spoken word artists, including the young poet laureate of London, musicians and actors from local amateur theatre companies.
STUDENT SUCCESS 2015-16
Congratulations to Joe Tidswell, former HBS student who has been at Central School of Ballet for two years and is now starting at Elmhurst Ballet School in September! Joe was one of only 6 boys to gain a place at this school, the official school of Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Congratulations to Phoebe Armstrong who has been dancing with English Youth Ballet and to Abbi Johnson, Lexi Johnson and Etta Stevens who have been touring with London Children’s Ballet this year.
Congratulations to all the students who created and performed choreographies for the second annual choreographic competition held at HBS at 7pm on Saturday 14th May 2016 With 17 pieces and a high standard of work overall that showed how much progress the choreographers have made since last year. We loved seeing the 6 winning pieces onstage again at Jacksons Lane on 5th June, what a fantastic show!
Congratulations to Abbi Johnson and Zack Tidswell who won the overall cup for the best choreography in the annual Cecchetti Choreographic competition held on Sunday 6th March 2016 at the Rambert school in Twickenham. They won also first prize for their section, duets age 14-18 and the Musicality prize. It’s a fantastic achievement and we enjoyed seeing their piece again at the school performance on Saturday 30th April.
Congratulations to Eliona Beck and Zack Tidswell who have completed and passed their Bronze Arts Award! The Arts Award is a way for young people to receive a national qualification through their chosen art form, and is managed by Trinity College London and Arts Council England. Eliona and Zack are the first students at HBS to complete the award, with the guidance of Arts Award qualified advisor Maddy Wynne-Jones. It was a lot of work, but they’ve done a superb job and we’re very proud of them! WELL DONE!
Congratulations to Julia Zlotnick who has gained a place at Northern Contemporary Dance School starting there in September 2016. Julia has been dancing at HBS since she was a toddler and has been attending contemporary dance classes on the CAT scheme at The Place along with studying for her A’levels. It’s a fantastic achievement, well done!
Well done to Amaani Ahmed who has been dancing at Highgate Ballet School since she was very little and has accepted into Cambridge university for September 2016
Congratulations to all the students who took part in this year’s Mabel Ryan competition held at the Lilian Bayliss Theatre, Sadlers Wells in London on 21st and 22nd November 2015. This is the most important annual Awards weekend organised by the Cecchetti Group and this year nearly 250 students from across the country took part, from grade 3 to Vocational Levels.
HBS regularly supports this event and 22 students from ages 10-17 took part. Tilda Marriage- Massey won the Lower Junior Award ages 10 and under 13 (for children who have not attained higher than grade 3). Eliona Beck was Commended in the Junior Award (Under 13 with a minimum grade 4 or higher), Etta Stevens was Commended in the Middle Award (Under 15 with a minimum grade 5 or higher), Aoife Walter was runner up in the Middles Joy of Dance Award and Abbi Johnson was runner up in the Middle Award. Sasha Abrahams was Runner up in the Senior Mabel Ryan Award (ages 15-17 with minumum grade 6).
Manasa Krishna, Marlene Bucher, Skye Kemsley and Tallulah England took part in the Cecchetti Children’s Awards which took place at the theatre of Kingsway College, King’s Cross WC1 on Sunday 8th November 2015. Skye won first place and Marlene was awarded the ‘Joy of Dance’ Award
Eliona Beck has been accepted into the London Children’s Ballet for their upcoming production of ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’. Lexi Johnson, Abbi Johnson and Etta Stevens have been accepted into the Touring Company of London Children’s Ballet for their 2016 season
Noga Inspector is dancing with the National Youth Dance Theatre and on The Place’s CAT scheme
Sasha Abrahams is dancing with the English National Ballet School Youth Dance Company and is a senior Associate at the Royal Ballet School.
Yasmin Barry-Djemal is a Senior Associate and Tilda Marriage-Massey is a Junior Associate at the Royal Ballet School
Aoife Walter and Etta Stevens are Cecchetti Scholars in Class 2 and Eliona Beck is a Cecchetti Scholar in Class 1
Maddie Holgate, Abbi Johnson, Phoebe Armstrong, Skye Kemsley and Delphine Angeli are Cecchetti Associates
Abbi Johnson and Zack Tidswell are Central school of Ballet Associates
Julia Zlotnick, Noga Inspector, Olivia Rodgers, Ruby McNamara and Zack Tidswell are dancing at The Place/Laban on their CAT schemes.
Former Pupils from September 2015: Emilia Miller is dancing at Northern Ballet School. and Rin Ishikawa is in year 8 at the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge. Long time HBS pupil Natasha McCabe is studying French and Italian at Oxford University.
Sayaka Nagahiro who attended HBS for several years before going on to train full time at the Royal Ballet School, Elmhurst and English National Ballet School, has gained her first dancing contract with the ballet company of Vanemuine in Estonia to start in August 2016! Well done Sayaka and good luck in your new job!
Eve Wilson, who attended HBS for many years before joining Elmhurst in Year 8, has successfully auditioned for Tring Park School to start there in September 2016.
Director of the Royal Danish Ballet School, THOMAS LUND visits Highgate Ballet School on 8th November 2013
Thomas Lund, former principal dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, took over directorship of the Royal Danish Ballet School in August 2012 and since then he has been on a mission to promote the Danish ‘Bournonville’ ballet style, explore the history and development of this celebrated style for which the Danish dancers are world renowned and to see how ballet training is conducted in world famous ballet institutions. Part of this project includes regular trips to the Paris Opera Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School. He is interested also in the similarities and differences that the Cecchetti Method training have with the Bournonville style.
So, on Friday 8th November 2013 Mr. Lund came to watch a Cecchetti masterclass at Highgate Ballet School taught by Julie Cronshaw with the advanced and Friday night pre-vocational students. By invitation, two former students of HBS, Maddy Squire and Sayaka Nagahiro, now at English National Ballet School, also danced in the class. At the piano Justin Stevens accompanied with his usual flair and sensitivity.
Mr. Lund, whose original background in early dance training included ballroom and recreational ballet in his native Denmark before joining the prestigious Royal Danish Ballet School and later becoming one of the greatest Bournonville dancers of all time, was gracious and kind to all the students and showed great interest in the Cecchetti Method with its rigorous technique, effortless grace and brilliant virtuosity.
Look at the Gallery for more photos of the dancers in action at this special class
MORE OLD NEWS!
Highgate Ballet School’s first ever Choreographic Competition took place during watch week 2015 with 30 dancers creating their own pieces and taking part in 16 choreographies. The winners were chosen by the staff to dance at the end of season performance of the Youth Dance Company at Jacksons Lane on Sunday 28th June 2015. In the under 11’s, the solo winner was Amena Ireland and Manasa Krishna won the musicality prize. Mili Finkletaub-Ageh and Rosa Clare won the duet/group section. In the over 11’s, Julia Zlotnick won for her solo with runner up Olivia Rodgers. Zack Tidswell and Abbi Johnson won the over 11’s duet/group prize and Edie and Tilda Marriage Massey, Eve Alexander and Lily Walker won the group musicality prize.
8th March 2015 Cecchetti Choreographic Competition Success!
On Sunday 8th March 2015 at Cecil Sharp House in NW1 more than 200 children ages 7-18 took part in the annual Cecchetti Choreographic competition. Categories were for choreographic pieces in any dance genre (except tap) for solo, duet, trio or groups. Congratulations to the choreographers from Highgate Ballet School who took part creating their own works with costuming to be performed in front of a large and very enthusiastic audience:
Georgina Bradley, Tilly Green, Lydia Anoniou, Elsa Pountney, Freya Wilson, Abbi Johnson and Zack Tidswell.
Elsa and Freya’s piece ‘Finding our Smile’ was runner up in the under 11 duet section and Abbi and Zack’s duet ‘Spring’ was runner up for Musicality in the under 14’s duet section
LAUNCHED! A NEW CECCHETTI WEBSITE AND TEACHING FILM ON ITS WAY FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT EVERYTHING CECCHETTI!
online now! www.TheCecchettiConnection.com. All about Cecchetti, his life and famous Method of teaching. With tips on technique and how to do those infamous combinations plus essays on aspects on teaching and principles of classical ballet
Coming very soon… the new classical ballet revolution documentary ‘How to Dance Classical Ballet the Cecchetti Way:
‘The Physical Principles behind the Days of the Week’ is a film in the works from summer 2014, produced by Julie Cronshaw with Muriel Valtat, former Royal Ballet soloist and Salvo Nicolosi, Cecchetti trained Italian dancer, filmed and edited by George Massey, former pupil at Highgate Ballet School now a film director and playwright.
The 6 Physical Principles behind the Days of the Week, is a revolution in ballet training! When understood and applied to classical ballet technique, these principles easily become realised as fundamental elements in how dancers think and train. It’s a blueprint for the future of classical ballet!
Working with not against natural laws, a dancer can develop a breathtaking and highly refined classical ballet technique with less strain, artificiality and potential for injury than has ever been thought possible. Showing just how those great dancers of Cecchetti’s Day were able to do the seemingly impossible combinations he left to posterity and how simple and natural they can look using basic physical principles is the aim of the film. It is the way forward for classical ballet training in the 21st century! Julie and George are editing the film now and completed the filming of the men’s work and the background to the documentary, in Florence, Italy, in August 2015 at the beautiful studios of the Hamlyn school with Salvo Nicolosi, a former pupil of the Hamlyn school now dancing in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
A trailer introducing the film can be viewed on www.TheCecchettiConnection.com
Please contribute to this project!
MABEL RYAN 2014 COMPETITION WINNERS!
On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd November 2014, 16 dancers from Highgate Ballet School took part in the annual Cecchetti Children’s Classical Ballet Awards held at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadlers Wells Theatre, London EC1.These prestigious Awards are open to children who have gained high Merits or Distinctions in their recent Cecchetti ballet exams. This year over 200 children took part in 5 age groups.
Delphine Angeli Winner, Children’s Award B
Eve Alexander Runner Up, Performance Award, Children’s Award B
Isabella Slater and Artemis Morgan Commended, Children’s Award B
Eliona Shosholli Runner Up, Vacani Performance, Junior Mabel Ryan Award
Abbi Johnson Commended, Junior Mabel Ryan Award
Yasmin Barry-Djemal Runner Up, Middle Mabel Ryan Award
Aoife Walter, Commended, Middle Mabel Ryan Award
Noga Inspector, Winner, Senior Mabel Ryan Award
And congratulations to Myla Taylor – Platt, Isadora France, Louisa Waine, Maddie Holgate, Rosie Inwald, Etta Stevens and Thea Stevens who also took part in the competition. This year the standards were higher than ever and we are all so proud of you for representing the school with poise and professionalism.
To Aoife Walter and Yasmin Barry-Djemal who have gained parts in the London Children’s Ballet production of ‘Snow White’ which will take place at the Peacock Theatre WC2 in April 2015 and to Eliona Shosholli and Phoebe Armstrong who gained parts in the LCB Touring Company.
To Ruby McNamara who has gained a dance place for entry to Marylebone High School for entry in September 2015. Ruby is a Cecchetti Associate and also dances in the West End Musical ‘Matilda’.
Congratulations for School Year 2014 go to:
Noga Inspector and Thea Stevens who have successfully gained places by audition for the Cecchetti Scholars Saturday programme.
Noga and Thea also did well at Cecchetti summer school by winning the choreographic competition.
The Cecchetti scholars programme offers talented students a full scholarship to attend classes on Saturdays organised by the Cecchetti Faculty in ballet, pointe, body conditioning and repertoire over the course of the school year.
To Julia Zlotnick and Ella Vanson who auditioned successfully for The Place CAT (Centre for advanced dancers) scheme and their Youth Performing Company.
To Emilia Miller who has successfully gained a place on London Studio Centre’s Associates Programme and also with the London Senior Ballet Sunday classes programme.
To Isabella Slater who started at Italia Conti stage school in September 2014. Isabella has also gained a place on the Cecchetti Associates Programme
To students Tilda Marriage-Massey, Ruby Macnamara, Eliona Shosholli, Aoife Walter, Maddie Holgate, Abbi Johnson, Etta Stevens and Leyla Zebda who have all gained places on the Cecchetti Associates Programme
To Joe Tidswell, 16, who has gained a place at Central School of Ballet and started there in September 2014 on the full time vocational programme.
Joe has been dancing at HBS for the past 10 years, is a founder member of the school’s dance company and has danced at the Place and at Central on their Associates programme. We are all delighted that he can now pursue his love of dancing full time. Good luck Joe and we will miss you!
TO Abbi Johnson, 12, and Zack Tidswell, 11 who have gained places on Central School of Ballet’s Saturday Associates Programme.
Cover girl Maddy Squire and former HBS student who gained her first full time employment contract with The Scottish Ballet Company in Glasgow aged just 18 and started with them in August 2014!
Maddy trained at HBS from the age of 6 and was a founder member of the HBS youth Dance Company, a Cecchetti Associate and she joined English National Ballet School at 16 having gained her Cecchetti Advanced 1 with Distinction. Maddy was the only British born and trained female finalist in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition held at Salford Quays Manchester in August 2011.
Rin Ishikawa who has been accepted to the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge and started there in September 2014.
Sasha Abrahams who has been accepted as a Senior Associate at the Royal Ballet School from September 2014.
Yasmin Barry-Djemal who has been accepted for another year as a Mid -Associate at the Royal Ballet School from September 2014.
Mia Jones has started at the Young Dancers Academy, a full time vocational dancing school in west London.
Eliona Beck Shosholli has gained a dance place at Marylebone High School from September 2014
CONGRATULATIONS: Joe Tidswell, Noga Inspector, Rin Ishikawa, Sasha Abrahams and Yasmin Barry-Djemal danced in the London Children’s Ballet new production of ‘Nanny McPhee’ 24th – 27th April at the Peacock Theatre in London, WC2.
WELL DONE TO 20 young dancers from HBS who took part in the nationwide Cecchetti ballet competition, nicknamed ‘Mabel Ryan’, on 23rd and 24th November 2013 at the Lilian Bayliss Theatre, Sadlers Wells, London, EC1. Sasha Abrahams and Noga Inspector scooped up the two top prizes for technique and Joy of Dance in the Middle Award and Isadora France won Joy of Dance in the Lower Junior B section. Minnie Stucke was runner up for Joy of Dance in the Lower Junior A section and Ingrid Biggs, Lydia Antoniou and Naias Morgan were commended in their sections. Photo below shows Noga (kneeling) and Sasha (in red, behind) at the end of the competition with other prize winners in their section.
Congratulations also go to Natasha McCabe who participated in the pre-professional section of the competition along with 44 dancers all from vocational schools in the UK and abroad. She danced in a ballet class taught by David Yow of the Royal Ballet School followed by performing a classical variation alone onstage and was adjudicated by Dame Monica Mason and David Bintley of the Royal Ballet.
Ruby MacNamara is dancing in Matilda in the West End from September 2013.
Natasha McCabe, Sasha Abrahams, Joe Tidswell, Zack Tidswell and Noga Inspector are Central Associates for 2013-2014.
Abbi Johnson, Aoife Walter, Azusa Nagahiro, Mia Jones and Thea Stevens are Cecchetti Associates in 2013-2014.
BALLET SUMMER SCHOOL in HIGHGATE VILLAGE August 2014
The 5th ANNUAL SUMMER SCHOOL in association with Tempered Body Dance, August 26th-30th 2014 took place at the United Reformed Church and Hall in Highgate village
Maddy Wynne-Jones’ packed and wonderfully diverse holiday programme of classes in ballet, boys’ ballet, contemporary, choreography, jazz and GYROKINESIS ® culminated in a presentation to parents on Saturday afternoon.
CECCHETTI GOES TO POLAND!
INTERNATIONAL BALLET SUMMER SCHOOL, GDYNIA, JULY 14TH- AUGUST 10TH 2013
Maestro Cecchetti worked in Warsaw from 1902-1905 and had several famous Polish pupils including Marie Rambert, founder of the Rambert Dance Company. Since then the Method has not been taught in Poland….. until the summer of 2013!
Julie Cronshaw taught Cecchetti Method Ballet at the first International Ballet Summer School organised by Artur and Maria Adamska, former professional dancers and by Izabella Sokolowska, International Polish-born ballerina. Over 65 students from Poland, the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia and from across Europe took classes in Vaganova, Cecchetti, Bournonville and Forsythe ballet styles, Pas de deux, variations, contemporary, jazz and Gyrokinesis. Working 6 days a week from 9am to 5pm each fortnight culminated in a performance at the theatre where the summer school was held. Photos below show Julie with staff (1) and with students (2)
—————————————RICHARD GLASSTONE MASTER CLASS at HBS
June 2nd 2013
Richard Glasstone taught a Cecchetti Masterclass and gave a lecture with film showing at the school on Sunday 2nd June 2013. Attended by over 35 dancers and observers Mr. Glasstone’s unique insights into the Maestro’s work and the development of the ‘Days of the Week’ were greatly enjoyed by a most enthusiastic audience.
Recommended reading: Roger Tully’s Manual on the teaching of classical dancing
For over 60 years, Roger Tully has been actively involved in advancing the classical dance tradition, first as a performer, now as a teacher.
In March 2009, Roger Tully’s manual on the teaching of classical dance “The Song sings the Bird” was published by Gremese at Rome, in French translation.
English copies are now available at amazon.co.uk http://rogertully.co.uk/publications.html