Winter Newsletter 2016

            WINTER NEWSLETTER 2016

As we head towards the big Easter Egg hunt, and the days are getting longer, it is time to reflect upon all that TLBC has been up to during the Winter months.

The Christmas festivities over, and the TLBC Christmas meal a jolly memory, we headed towards the studio determined to wear off all the festive excesses in which we had indulged. January found us with new zest and after a week or two of regaining our practice regime, we were delighted to welcome into the studio a film production company, who invited us to participate in the making of a video for Libratone (rather nice speakers) joined with famous band Sigma, where our dancers were filmed during rehearsals. Fortunately we were back to peak performance and the stimulus of “being on camera” brought out the best in us. We were keen to see the results although each one of us is a critic, so the cameraman had his work cut out as we each had a viewpoint on which moves were the most aesthetically pleasing!

January also heralded the start of our school educational workshops. Our visits to Singlegate and William Morris Primary Schools in Merton were a highlight and we were touched by the enthusiasm of the children for our morning visits. We explored the life of a ballet dancer, demonstrations were given, and questions were asked, eg. “Why aren’t men allowed to wear pointe shoes? - And most enjoyable of all, the children wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to participate in dance and the telling of a story through movement. To be able to question and find out about the different expectations and qualities both girls and boys are required to have to be able to become a dancer who specialises in ballet, and the continuous work needed to maintain peak physical condition, was something we explored and I believe the children found very interesting, but perhaps not quite as interesting as the “lifts” performed by Fran! Further workshops with ABC Ballet School, The Hannah Spooner School of Dance, The Mulberry School of Dance, and Sophie Gallie School of Dance found us similarly engaged, this helping us also to share and celebrate the joy of dance with aspiring dancers. We are looking forward to our forthcoming trip to Chester in April to continue workshops there and a guest performance at the Hammond School theatre.

 Now there’s a point!  Why shouldn’t men wear Pointe shoes?! What do you think Fran?

We are also very much looking forward to our Easter Young Dancers Intensive. Alice Oakley-Jones (Miss Alice), is very busy finalising all the arrangements necessary to make this a successful, productive and enjoyable course, particularly for those who wish to hone their technique in readiness for exams or audition opportunities. The course runs from the 29th March until the 1st April so please feel free to check if there are any last minute places available! Perhaps some might like a one-off, full day taster session, and then utilise our summer course instead. We will do our utmost to cater for individual requirements!

 At the studio we are working hard to finalise one of our new productions, which is a performance loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson story, Snow Queen. This work is the brainchild of our Creative Coordinator, Francesco Mangiacasale, who is also renowned for his wonderful selection of some beautiful music which often accompanies our performances. Fran revisited the story and with his own personal twist to the tale, has adapted and choreographed a version which might particularly appeal to young audiences. We are very much looking forward to the production – dates to be announced….

We had a very interesting and constructive meeting attended by our patrons, mentors and several other interested parties in January where we discussed the many and exciting ways towards which The London Ballet Company could progress and develop. We are so very grateful to all for their continued interest and support, and truly welcome the input from those with a very diverse understanding of the world of ballet and entertainment. This convergence of ideas gives us confidence and provides a melting pot of creativity on which to build and grow. I would like to take this opportunity to make particular mention and a big thank you to Mr. Peter Defty, Ms. Sarah Durrant, Felix Buxton, Tasha Bertram, Mr. Harold King and Susan Dalgetty Ezra.

TLBC hosted an open day at our Canada Waters Studio towards the end of February where we were joined by our “Friends” and also members of The London Ballet Circle. We visited extracts from our performance portfolio, followed by wine and chat with the company dancers. This opportunity offers all of us involved in TLBC the chance to listen to some feedback and suggestions; sheds light upon the audience perspective and allows us to make friends with our “Friends”.

Our participation in event and bespoke engagements continues. One in particular proved to be very impressive with 4 of our dancers,   spending two consecutive days at a particularly memorable occasion at Kent House, Knightsbridge.

We are all looking forward to the revival of our “Olympic Dream” production as we build towards the start of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Canary Wharf being one of the highlights as we take to the stage at the outdoor event for their summer festival.

I was very privileged to be invited to Elmhurst School once more for Directors Day assessments. It is very inspiring to watch the growth and development of the next generation of ballet dancers and I fondly remember my own time at the school.  I can’t believe that it is now 10 years since I started there. 10 years since this beautiful purpose built school first opened! I remember the intense excitement as we explored all the brand new studios. It is still just as I remembered. To be part of the assessment panel was an honour and to rub shoulders with Chantry Dance Company’s Paul Chantry and Rae Piper, David Bintley of Birmingham Royal Ballet, and one of my own heroes – Matthew Bourne, was also a wonderful experience. Thank you so much to the wonderful Artistic Director Mr. Robert Parker for his kind consideration.

We are all looking forward to our new season, dates and times to be confirmed on our website, and do hope that you will join us in the dance!

Should you wish to make contact with The London Ballet Company about any of the above or have a query then please do not hesitate to contact us at


Best wishes

Sophie Wright