Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards
26 March 2012
The 2011 Awards indicate that the future of dance is bright. Jenny Hall reports
This year I had the privilege of attending the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards incorporating the Mabel Ryan Awards, Cecchetti Children’s Awards, Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship and Barbara Geoghegan Award. This wonderful event was held on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2011 and took place in the Lilian Baylis Theatre at the very prestigious Sadler’s Wells.
It was wonderful to see such a high number of entries to the Awards making for an exciting competition. On the Saturday, adjudicator Tracey Brown, a former dancer with the Royal Ballet and now the Patron of the Cecchetti Associates, adjudicated the Children’s Awards and the Junior Mabel Ryan Award. Abigail Kessel, a former Cecchetti Scholar and ex-professional dancer, adjudicated the Joy of Dance Award in the same three sections.
“Again, it was wonderful to see so many boys bringing a slightly different and exciting dynamic to the stage”
The students’ performances gave the adjudicators a difficult time, as the standard of dancing from these children was excellent. The class work delivered by Linda Young was well executed. This was followed by the students performing their Witch Dance, choreographed by Penny Kay, which allowed them the opportunity to demonstrate their acting ability. It was equally charming to see a number of boys performing this year. Their dance was The Trombonist, choreographed by Sarah Wells and danced with enthusiasm and a sense of fun.
The Junior Section also included a large entry of students who demonstrated an excellent standard of work. Both adjudicators commented on how well the students had danced and how difficult it had proved to make a final decision.
We returned on Sunday to Sadler’s Wells to watch the Middle and Senior Mabel Ryan Awards. Again there was a large entry for both sections, which anticipated an exciting competition. We were very fortunate to have Jonathan Cope, an ex-Royal Ballet Principal dancer who partnered some of the great ballerinas such as Darcey Bussell and Deborah Bull, adjudicating the Awards, which was inspiring for dancers and audience alike! Again, it was wonderful to see so many boys bringing a slightly different and exciting dynamic to the stage. Mary Stassinopoulos, a retired Cecchetti examiner and ex-Principal of the Vacani School in London, adjudicated the Vacani Award for the Joy of Dance and Musicality in these two sections. All the competitors were a pleasure to watch and the senior students did their utmost to make their teachers proud, as they danced and picked up unseen enchaînements, performing them with confidence and style. Of course, their dancing was inspired by the wonderful pianist, Lelanie Smook who accompanied all the Mabel Ryan Awards ensuring every piece of music sounded as fresh and delicate as the first time it was played.
The afternoon saw vocational students arrive to compete for the Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship and the Barbara Geoghegan Award. All students participating had to take the ballet class, whilst those competing for the Barbara Geoghegan Award continued to perform a classical solo.
Their class was taken by Jessica Clarke, an ex-soloist of the Birmingham Royal Ballet and currently on the teaching faculty at White Lodge. Demonstrated and delivered beautifully, Jessica got the very best from these students. Royal Ballet School pianist, Derek Downs accompanied the class encouraging the students to make their dancing reflect his music, ensuring their class produced a true performance and an absolute delight to watch. After watching Jessica’s extremely inspirational class delivered to the 44 students (27 girls and 17 boys) the day came to an end with the classical solos.
Elisabeth Swan, Chairman of the Cecchetti Society, adjudicated the Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship, which provides the winner with funding towards the continuation of their Cecchetti training for a year. This was awarded to Bethany Le Corre who currently studies at Kate Simmons Dance. The Boys’ Award of £100 went to Takeshi Watanabe from Elmhurst School for Dance. Jonathan Cope then awarded the Barbara Geoghegan Award runner-up to Anastasia Rose Sabisky, a student of Mary Stassinopoulos and Bryony Brind, and to Miles Gilliver from Elmhurst School for Dance. The overall Barbara Geoghegan Award was awarded to Takeshi Watanabe from Elmhurst School for Dance, who was a joy to watch and entertained us all with his Blue Boy solo from Les Patineurs.
It is wonderful to see such talented students from so many vocational schools taking part. The future of dance is clearly ready to go from strength to strength.
Our gratitude goes to the Cecchetti Group for hosting the Awards and to Judith Wilson and her team specifically for creating a day to be enjoyed and appreciated by students, parents and teachers alike. We look forward to the next event.
The Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards Results 2011
Children’s Award A
Winner: Kirsty Campbell
Runner-Up: Maya Grant
Runner-Up: Sophie Baumhardt (Susan Handy/Melanie Bull)
Commendations: Daniel Sykes (Tracey Moss); Sophie Webster (Juliet Locks/Emma Jane Padfield); Amelia Dilworth (Sarah Johnson); Charlotte Loucas (Jenny Hall); Harry Ward (Susan Handy/Tanith Waldie)
Cecchetti Associates Performance Award
Winner: Catherine Abela
Runners-Up: Isadora France-Price (Julie Cronshaw); Daniel Sykes (Tracey Moss)
Commendations: Analise Preston (Silke Mackay); Carlotta Hales (Karen Speers/Alison Williams); Eliona Shosholli (Julie Cronshaw); Sophie Baumhardt (Susan Handy/Melanie Bull); Tara Harrington (Vanessa Gardner); Charlotte Loucas (Jenny Hall); Harry Ward (Susan Handy/Tanith Waldie)
Children’s Award B
Winner: Olivia Chang-Clarke (Simone Clarke)
Runners-Up: Georgina Pettit (Simone Clarke); Emily Pohl
(Juliet Locks/Emma Jane Padfield); Beth Martin (Sarah Wells)
Commendations: Jessi Seymour (Julie Cronshaw); Alycia King (Vanessa Gardner); Jasmyne Taylor (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss/Gillian Hurst); Oliver Summerell (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss); Maria Kolyagina (Diana Cremona); Isobel Glen (Diana Thwaites/Linda Pilkington)
Cecchetti Associates Performance Award
Winner: Georgina Pettit
Runners-Up: Lauren Halil (Juliet Locks/Emma Jane Padfield); Cecily Sher (Simone Clarke)
Commendations: Alycia King (Vanessa Gardner); Jennifer Addison-Jones (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss); Molly Paterson (Karen Speers/Alison Williams); Eve Wilson (Julie Cronshaw); Oliver Summerell (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss); Isobel Glen (Diana Thwaites/Linda Pilkington)
Winner: Jasmine Coomber
Runners-Up: Amy Payne
(Carole Goode); Michael Preston (Elisabeth Swan)
Commendations: Jessica Lee (Jenny Hall); Sophie Sykes (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss); Noga Inspector (Julie Cronshaw/Maddy Wynne-Jones); Priya Roberts (Lisa Hunter); Molly Hall (Carolyn Parker); Katie Matfin (Kathryn Lawrence); Emily Walter (Elisabeth Swan); Harriet Royle (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss)
Winner: Maddison Pritchard
(Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss)
Runners-Up: Molly Hall
(Carolyn Parker); Elodie Harbourne (Judith Wilson); Emily Galvin (Juliet Locks/Lucy Pohl)
Commendations: Priya Roberts (Lisa Hunter); Tirion Brown (Sandra Powell); Alice Hobday (Sandra Powell); Amy Payne (Carole Goode); Emily Walter (Elisabeth Swan); Lauren Basra (Susan Handy); Michael Preston (Elisabeth Swan)
Winner: Beatrice Sher
(Simone Clarke/Kate Simmons)
Runner-Up: Angelica Wolanska (Debbie Jellis)
Commendations: Sophie Donnelly (Larraine Heaffey); Rosemary Donald (Judith Wilson); Hannah Petley (Debbie Jellis); Tia Smith (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss)
Winner: Hannah Petley
Runners-Up: Rosemary Donald (Judith Wilson); Natasha McCabe (Julie Cronshaw)
Commendations: Sophie Donnelly (Larraine Heaffey); Alex Regan (Jane Worsley); Tia Smith (Kate Simmons/Tracey Moss); Ashleigh Killin (Renee Cohen/Juliet Locks); Hannah Payne (Carole Goode)
Winner: Jenny Hackwell
Runners-Up: Alessandro Caggegi (Kate Simmons); Nathan Hunt
Commendations: Sarah Bateman (Kate Simmons); Abigail Lawrence (Sarah Wells)
Winner: Bronwen Hanson
Runner-Up: Sarah Bateman
Commendations: Jade Rozario
(Jane Worsley); Abigail Lawrence (Sarah Wells); Jessica Robinson (Juliet Locks/Lucy Pohl)
Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship
Winner: Bethany Le Corre
(KS Dance Limited)
Runner-Up: Lowri Shone (Tring Park School for the Performing Arts)
Boys Award: Takeshi Watanabe (Elmhurst School for Dance)
Barbara Geoghegan Award
Winner: Takeshi Watanabe (Elmhurst School for Dance)
Runners-Up: Anastasia Sabisky (Mary Stassinopoulos/Bryony Brind); Miles Gilliver (Elmhurst School for Dance)
Commendations: Ena Yamaguchi (Tring Park School for the Performing Arts); David Brewer (Tring Park School for the Performing Arts); Joseph Taylor (Elmhurst School for Dance)
Jennifer Morgan Award for Musicality
Winner: Anastasia Sabisky (Mary Stassinopoulos/Bryony Brind)