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RB School Linbury Season/Opera House Matinee

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I wondered if any of our readers have been able to attend this week's performances of the Royal Ballet School and what their impressions were. Also are they doing Valentino Zucchetti's ballet that won the Ursula Moreton student choreographic competition?

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I am also wondering whether any members attended any of the Royal Ballet School performances this week or the matinee at the Opera House yesterday. My DD has a number of friends in the upper school.

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I went to the matinee, which I thought was *fabulous* - loads of energy and joy. I don't have my programme with me, but remember a bit.... anything in particular you want to know???

One of the highlights for me was Monotones II with Heather Chin (who's going to Stuttgart Ballet) - and I don' t remember the guys. There was one or two hiccups, but overall a really really superb performance.

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Hi ami1436!

Thanks for posting. I was just wondering about which pieces were performed, which dancers you enjoyed the most, and whether they had done Zucchetti's piece (it won the Ursula Moreton choreography competition).

If you think of anything else, I would love to hear about it.


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Will report back tomorrow (am madly working on a chapter deadline at the moment) and bring my programme into the office w/ me for accuracy! :wink:

What I remember:

First Half:

Choreography by graduating student of upper school, for lower school

Monotones II

La Valse

Second Half:

Uneven Ground (I think originally for RNZB? With 8 boys, one girl - Jade Payette)

Raymonda, Act III


A lot of graduating students going to BRB, and then elsewhere (Stuttgart, Royal Dutch.... mainly European companies), while RB is gaining some second years from the Upper School...

Sorry for the lack of information at hand today!


*edit*: and there's a review on ballet.co: RBS Annual Matinee Performance - ballet.co review

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Dear Ami,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I also appreciated the link to the ballet.co.uk page. For some reason my search on ballet.co.uk did not turn up anything.


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I've had loads of questions/requests about this performance - so here's a bunch of info from the programme as well as my very cursory thoughts. Sorry for the long post.

The Royal Ballet School Contracts 2005-2005 (with years in upper school in parantheses and A = Former Associate)

Royal Ballet:

Xander Parish (3A)

Liam Scarlett (3A)

Demelza Parish (2A)

Gemma Pritchley-Gale (2A)

Sabina Westcombe (2A)

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Joseph Caley (3A)

Alexander Campbell (3)

Feargus Campbell (3A)

Kristen Mcgarrity (3)

English National Ballet

Shevelle Dynott (3A)

James Forbat (3A)

ABT Studio Company

Tom Forster (3)

Colorado Ballet

Kaori Higashiyama (3)

Dresden Ballet

George Hill (3A)

Pattra Sarikaputra (3)

Briony Viele (3A)

Stuttgart Ballet

Alexander Jones (3A)

William Moore (3A)

Heather Chin (3)

Zurich Ballet

Laurence Rigg (3A)

K Ballet

Ayano Tsuchiya (3)

National Ballet of Marseilles

James Pickup (3A)

The Vanemuine Theatre Ballet Company, Estonia

Hayley Blackburn (3)

Dutch National Ballet

Milena Sidorova (3)

Scottish Ballet

Emma Rigby (3)

Asier Edeso Eguia (3)

Other 3rd year students: Amy Hadley (A), Amanda McGuigan, Marie-Claire Newton (A), Jade Payette, Rodrigo Barras, Gregory Mauree


Allegro de Jeunesse

Choreography: Liam Scarlett

I arrived a little bit late and had the chance to glance at the cast sheet, but not to peruse the programme before the show began. While slightly repetative at times, this piece shows a talent waiting to happen in Scarlett, especially as he managed dealing with a large cast and large formation really well - something that doesn't often happen in current choreography. Scarlett was also combining a variety of levels, and both pointe and non-pointe work, and he did so very well. It was also surprising (to me!) to see the already decent partnering skills of some of these very young men.

At first I thought this piece included both upper and lower school students, and only when looking at the programme in the interval did I realise that it was all lower school ('years' 7-11 - this is not ages, but rather level). The lead girl was impressively dance by Ruth Bailey (10A), who had oodles of stage presence for her young age. Two couples danced around her and mirrored each other, with the older couple (Yvette Knight (11A) and William Bracewell (9A)) dancing more complicated versions of steps performed by the younger duo (Zoe Arshamian (8A) and Sean Bates (8A)).

Monotones II

Choreography: Ashton

Cast: Heather Chin, Thomas Forster, George Hill

La Valse

Choreography: Ashton

Cast: Adeline Kaiser, Amanda Mcguigan, Demelza Parish

Joseph Caley, Alexander Campbell, Gregory Mauree

Pas de Quatre: Mark Aitchison, Leigh Alderson, ,Russell Clarke, David Moore

Corps: Comprised from Upper School students

Part of the school performance is to show both accomplishment and potential, which these two pieces did. While La Valse will also be in RB's rep next season, I wonder if this was also a point to say yes, we can dance Ashton, in all his diversity!?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I thought that Monotones II was superbly performed. Yes, there were a few hiccups, but overall this was a smooth, introspective performance, and has me sitting up expecting Great Things from these dancers in the future. Heather Chin has the cool grace and necessary flexiblity for this piece, and the boys had nice clean lines and good partnering skills.

The curtains then went up on La Valse, seeming to surprise a few dancers who were not already in position. Unfortunately, from the back of the Amphi I was unable to discern which dancer was which (!). The overall performance could have used some more mysterious glamour, but was nonetheless well-danced again.

Uneven Ground

Choreography: Paul Boyd

Cast: Leigh Alderson, Feargus Campbell, Shevelle Dynott, Jade Hale-Dhristofi, Gregory Mauree, Jade Payette, James Pickup, Liam Scarlett

As a correction to my previous post - this was orginally created in 2001 for the Queensland Ballet. The curtain rises on a late summer, beachy afternoon, with the guys lounging about on hammocks and on the ground. They dance together, they dance individually. At first it seems that the individual stories might take root, that there might be some exploration of what seems to be the disgruntled nature of their youth... but no. After a while, one of the 'guys' takes off his hat, letting her long hair tumble down. Some saw the following interactions between her and the rest of the guys as flirtation, I rather saw it as a challenge - her asserting her right to be there and demonstrating 'I can do what you can do'. Overall this is a fun piece, but repetative at times. It did succeed in demonstrating that these are versatile young dancers as well. Payette is also dynamic to watch, although her stage presence could have been a little 'higher' at the begin of her solo (it was there at the end).

Raymonda - Act III, Grand Pas

Choreography: Petipa


Principals: Milena Sidorova, Alexander Jones

Girl's Solo: Amy Hadley

Pas de Quatre: Joseph Caley, Alexander Campbell, Asier Edeso Eguia, Laurence Rigg

Pas de Trois: Kristen McGarrity, Pattra Sarikaputra, Ayano Tsuchiya

Corps: Hayley Blackburn, Amy Hadley, Kaori Higashiyama, Kristen McGarrity, Emma Rigby, Pattra Sarikaputra, Ayano Tsuchiya, Briony Viele, Joseph Caley, Alexander Campbell, Asier Edeso Eguia, Thomas Forster, George Hill, William Moore, Xander Parish, Laurence Rigg

Sidorova and Jones seemed well-suited to each other, with easy partnering. She could have danced with more authority in her 'clapping' solo, but overall had a well-placed extension and charming musicality. I was most impressed by the solo by Hadley and whoever was the middle girl in the pas de trois. Nice footwork, good control, and great stage presence.

The performance came to a close with the usual Grand Defile involving all the students and allowing a few of the boys of the Upper School to wow the audience with their jumps and multiple pirouettes (whomever Mr. Pirouette was, he was really impressive, although I wish he would start his turn with a little less skater-like openness).

Overall, the afternoon probably saw one of the highest rates of ice cream sales (hot day, loads of kids), and a bubbly and appreciative audience. Of the dancers, it appeared that a lot of attention was being given to good, attentive partnering and line/placement. I think that the BRB has really gobbled up the great and the good in regards to the students its gaining, particularly the boys. The most impressive girls are going elsewhere in Europe, and it appears that is why (combined with nationality issues?) the RB is taking up some of its second years.

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