Autumn Newsletter 2015

Autumn is in the air and it is time to reflect upon The London Ballet Company’s very successful summer ventures!

The last week of June and early July saw our Director, Sophie Wright, join our Patrons, Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, with the Basement Jaxx “family”, on their American Tour. First stop, Los Angeles to perform at the Hollywood Bowl, followed by a trip to Washington DC and then it was New York, with an appearance on stage in Central Park.

Back at home, company dancers, Fran Mangiacasale, Jo Elisabeth and Rosy Nevard, performed at The Royal Chelsea Hospital, in aid of the N.S.P.C.C., a fund-raising event supported by a host of celebrities. To name-drop just a few, they included Princess Beatrice, Claudia Winkleman, Mariella Frostrup, Emeli Sande and Elizabeth Hurley! We were so impressed!! The London Ballet Company was proud to be amongst those who donated to this worthy cause.

We also found time in our busy summer schedule, and with much organisation by our core dancers, to have a photo-shoot with Samantha Williams and Alexander Yip. The results of this will shortly be online with the launch of our brand new website, constructed and designed by our Director Sophie, and with the kind assistance of Mr. Howard Weller.

Fran Mangiacasale, our Creative Coordinator, along with Alice Oakley-Jones (Education Management), and Jo Elisabeth (Costumes) found time to preen, primp, concoct and sew some wonderfully flamboyant costumes for our forthcoming shows and bespoke events. A hint of what they have managed to achieve will also be seen on our website shortly.

All of this was going on between rehearsals for our James Bond show, which was performed on the Orbit Stage at Canary Wharf. Although the ground was a little soggy, plastic sheets were handed out to the audience for this annual outdoor event (our 3rd year running), and sunshine prevailed during an entertaining performance in readiness for the build up for the release of the new Bond film “SPECTRE”!

Some of us at TLBC were lucky enough to go as audience members to see our talented Patron, Thomas Sangster, perform in the St.James Theatre in the show “Summer of Love”. It was particularly exciting to watch and support him in return, as he has so often done this for us! We look forward to seeing more of the wonderful variety of stage and film roles in which he is continually involved.

We are also very excited to announce that we have been asked to take part in a film documentary, which showcases our very talented Creative Coordinator, Francesco Mangiacasale. It will present extracts from Fran’s varied and very hectic schedule of performance, teaching, choreographing, music selecting, costume designing….And the list goes on! We look forward to the results of this collaboration with the film production company, Gorilla Face. The release of this documentary will be announced shortly.

In August we held our annual Summer Young Dancers Intensive. It has proved to be a most successful occasion. The feedback received from the group of young ballet dancers who showed promise and great enthusiasm, was extremely rewarding. The teachers, Miss Alice, Miss Rosy Nevard, Miss Emily Hughes-Lewis and Mr. Fran Mangiacasale, were impressed by the high standards shown, and encouraged by the dedication of the students, some of whom received a little extra recognition for particular achievement. The final day, with all the students taking part in the end of week performance, was very special and much enjoyed by all. Well done to all who took part, and a big thank you to all the teachers whose work made the week a very special one.

I was particularly distressed to have missed it all, but an unexpected engagement in hospital, undergoing an emergency operation for appendicitis, was one performance I could not avoid!! (I do hope that this is not contagious, as Miss Alice had the same operation some weeks earlier – oh dear!) Fortunately, we are both now well recovered and back to dance fitness!

TLBC continued the season with a further Basement Jaxx tour to Liverpool, Portsmouth and finally London with dancers Bethany Wright, Rosy Nevard and Emily Hughes-Lewis. This was followed by another performance with Basement Jaxx, at a fund-raising event for World Peace Day. The Company performed with a host of stars, each donating their time for this worthy cause, creating a most spectacular event at Koko’s in Camden, which was completely sold out.

The London Ballet Company would like to take this opportunity to thank Basement Jaxx for their continued support and patronage. We were quite overwhelmed by the audience enthusiasm. Although TLBC has been with Basement Jaxx for a relatively short time in their sustained and successful career, we were welcomed and embraced as part of the Basement Jaxx family. We have all found it inspirational to have gained insight into other facets of the entertainment industry, and we aspire to gain audiences such as these!

The autumn leaves (pardon the pun) us in the midst of delivering workshops to vocational students at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, which has been a most invigorating and stimulating opportunity. It is a privilege to be part of the education of aspiring dancers and to share and inspire with our company vision.

We are also once again, busy with rehearsals for our much loved “Poppy” production (Thank you to Jenny Morrison who is updating our flyers). Back by popular demand - the tickets are now on sale. The popular lunchtime performance (please feel free to bring your lunch should you wish) starts at 1pm – 1.45pm at our home theatre, The Bridewell Theatre, Bride Lane, Fleet St. EC4Y 8EQ from the 3rd-13th November, Tuesday-Friday.

Poppy will also be performed on Saturday 21st November, 7.30pm at Theatro Technis(26, Crowndale Rd., London NW1 1TT ) for an evening double bill with our new production “Ghost” – tickets are already on sale for this performance.

We would like to give a very warm welcome to three new apprentice dancers with The London Ballet Company. Abigail Bulfin who trained at Central School of Ballet, Hanah Fjelddahl from Hong Kong, and Tamra Burke from Melbourne, Australia. We wish them the very best in their journey with us and they are already an important part of the team.

We would also like to extend a very big thank you to Ms. Tasha Bertram. Tasha, who was formerly a dancer with London City Ballet, teaches class for us upon occasion and you might recognise her as she appears as guest artist in our production Poppy!

We very much look forward to seeing you at one (or two) of our upcoming performances, and to sharing further exciting developments in the pipeline, in our Winter newsletter.



Best wishes

Sophie Wright