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Hello from Braintree, UK


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Recently re-discovered my love of ballet by accident via Youtube clips. Now absolutely hooked again. Used to see live performances in London in 70's & 80's, but not since 1987. 'Ballet Mum' 1991 - 2003 with my two daughters, lots of backstage work making costumes, doing make-up etc. Apart from local ballet school annual performances in early 60's, my only 'proper' ballet performance was aged 5 at the Dome Theatre at Brighton Pavilion, Sussex UK, playing an orphan in a ballet of 'Daddy Long Legs' ( More familiar to most when re-made as the musical 'Annie'). Saw the live broadcast of Carlos Acosta's 'Don Quixote' a few weeks ago at the local cinema, and looking forward to seeing 'Le Corsaire' live in London in January.

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There is an old Fred Astaire-Leslie Caron film, "Daddy Long Legs" about an orphan on the cusp of womanhood. Is this perhaps the source of the ballet in which you (as the Leslie Caron character?) danced?

Here is the extended trailer.

And here is Part 1 (of 15) of the film.

While searching YouTube, I see that the 1955 film was based on a 1919 silent starring Mary Pickford! If you're so inclined (I'm not, at least not right now), you can find it here.

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Yes, I think Carbro is right about the Fred Astaire/Leslie Caron film. I'd forgotten all about it - it's years since I've seen it. Our orphan's costumes were blue/white gingham dresses, the same as the film!

As far as I know, Braintree MA is named after Braintree, Essex. It's roughly 50 miles N.E. of London - about an hour by train. It's just that bit too far to make it easy to attend performances in London in the evening, as it is always a mad dash back to the station to get the last train. That's why the introduction of live relay broadcasts has been very welcome. It will never have the same buzz as seeing a live performance in the theatre, but it's certainly better than not seeing it at all.

In any case, because 'Don Quixote' is a new production and Carlos Acosta was performing, the tickets were sold out ages ago for that particular performance. Marianela Nunez was wonderful as Kitri. She has such energy, and as well as being so good technically, she looked as though she was really enjoying it. The London critics suggested she was not very confident in the first few performances, but If she had been, it didn't show by the time I saw her.

And thank you for the information about the novel by Jean Webster.

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