|Students at Northern Ballet Academy Source Northern Ballet|
Returning home just before midnight from a very long day that began with a breakfast meeting at Daresbury and continued with a meeting in the Wirral, telephone conferences with new clients and a dash to Hereford and back I returned home to the a pile of bills and other unwelcome correspondence. But there was one item of mail than I did enjoy reading and that was a letter from David Nixon welcoming me as a Friend of the Northern Ballet Academy. I was already a Friend of the Company but I modified my membership by paying a very modest £25 to support the Academy. I decided to do that at the first opportunity after seeing the wonderful teachers and students at Northern Ballet's open day on 15 Feb 2014.
In his letter Mr Nixon wrote about investing in the future of the students who are of course the future of the company and, indeed, ballet in this country. Mr, Nixon did not need to thank me because such investment is in my interests as it is in the interests of every theatre goer. If and in so far as I was acting altruistically I would add that I achieved my ambition of qualifying for the English Bar thanks to the generosity of other much more substantial benefactors to my school, universities and Inn. I am glad of an opportunity to do the same albeit on a very modest scale for some of today's kids.
I have another opportunity to support ballet education this evening in Pitlochry when I see Ballet West in their last performance of Swan Lake this season. This is the company that is attached to what is clearly a very good ballet school set on the shores of Loch Etive which I explored in August ("Taynuilt - where better to create ballet?" 31 Aug 2013). Shortly after I wrote that article one of Ballet West's students won a medal in The Genée (see "Yet More Good News from Ballet West - Natasha Watson's Medal in the Genée" 30 Sept 2013) and was recruited by Scottish Ballet. The company danced The Nutcracker very well last year and I am relishing the chance of seeing them again.
Finally, today is St David's Day. Ballet Cymru who danced a beautiful Romeo a Juliet in Kendal is another company that does great educational work. I should like to wish them and all dancers, performers, musicians, teachers and theatre goers in Wales well on their national day.
9 March 2014 "Teacher who watched her step with Nureyev" Yorkshire Post