|Enrico Caruso as Dick Johnson in The Girl of the Golden West Source Wikipedia|
We owe a lot to the West Country. Both Northern Ballet and Scottish Ballet trace their origins to Elizabeth West's Western Theatre Ballet in Bristol. Sadly there is no longer a resident professional ballet company in Bristol but that does not mean that there is no ballet in that city. One of the Golden Guys of the West is Dave Wilson who keeps the best ballet blog that I have come across so far (see "Fantastic New Blog: Dave Tries Ballet" 28 Sep5 2013).
Dave is a member of the the Bristol Russian Youth Ballet Company which danced Cinderella in Stockport last month (see "Good Show - Bristol Russians' Cinderella in Stockport" 19 Feb 2014). The company is dancing the same ballet again at The Playhouse in Weston Super Mare on 4 May 2014 at 16:00 with Elena Glurdjidze and Arionel Vargas as guest principals. I shall be in the audience again on that occasion and I shall review the performance for this blog. Glurdjidze is not only the company's guest artist she is also the Bristol Russian Ballet School's patron and she will take some of the school's master classes. The school is run, incidentally, by Chika Temma who trained with Glurdjidze at the Vaganova Academy in St Petersburg and Yury Denakov who trained at the Boshoi. All of those great dancers and teachers are Golden Guys.
Other Golden Guys are Duchy Ballet whose existence I discovered only yesterday. This evening and yesterday they were performing The Mousehole Cat & Other Ballets at The Hall for Cornwall in Truro. Roberta Marquez of the Royal Ballet appeared as a guest artist. According to the company's website Duchy Ballet was formed to celebrate the opening of The Hall for Cornwall with the aim was of establishing a youth ballet company for Cornwall providing the opportunity to train, rehearse and perform within a professional setting. The company's choreographer is Terry Etheridge who was a guest choreographer of the Chelmsford Ballet Company some years ago and inspired and taught Andrew Potter who danced Drosselmeyer in that company's recent production of The Nutcracker (see "The Nutcracker as it really should be danced - No Gimmmicks but with Love and Joy" 20 March 2014). Potter acknowledged his debt to Etheridge on twetter this morning:
"Mr Etheridge, Found me, taught me and inspired me."Having seen Potter's performance I congratulate Etheridge on a very good job. I really wish I could have been in Truro to support this production. I will be present at their next performance.
That brings me on to the last Golden Guy though of the North rather than the West. Chris Hinton-Lewis, who had the Herculean labour of trying to teach me last year, is running in the London Marathon on the 13 April 2014 to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Please do sponsor him.