Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ann Maguire Gala

Ann Maguire Gala, Royal Ballet dancers and guests, Sadler's Wells - reviewed on 22nd March

Emma Maguire in
Monotones I in 2013
Photo: Bill Cooper / ROH
In memory of her mother, who was murdered last year, Royal Ballet soloist Emma Maguire put together an impressive gala with company colleagues and a few guests at Sadler's Wells on Sunday. Featuring a diverse array of high-quality music and dance that Ann Maguire loved and raising money for an arts education fund in her name, the gala showed that positive things can come from even the most tragic circumstances.
     
The evening’s highlight was undoubtedly Steven McRae’s tap solo, Czardas, which featured lightning-speed footwork and spins in perfect sync with Vasko Vassilev’s live violin accompaniment. Another new work which sparkled was Musance, Jonathan Watkin’s virtuosic and exuberant choreography for Claire Calvert, Yuhui Choe, Kristen McNally, Luca Acri and Marcelino SambĂ© to music by the Hackney Colliery Band.
      
From the Royal Ballet’s existing repertoire, Melissa Hamilton and Gary Avis excelled in Alistair Marriot’s intricate, limb-entwining Lieder pas de deux, whilst Maguire and Bennet Gartside gave a beautiful performance of the second movement of Liam Scarlett’s Asphodel Meadows. Former company dancers Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg also shone in a heart-breaking extract from Scarlett’s war-inspired No Man’s Land.
       
The gala finished with a video in which Royal Ballet dancers spoke about the importance of funding to help the next generation enjoy and participate in the arts. The Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund has already raised more than £78,000 and will provide much-needed grants to help talented young people train in drama, music and dance.

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