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Let Us Entertain You!

Let Us Entertain You!

19 June 2014

Lisa Hunter reports from the 2014 Cecchetti Choreographic Competition

Sunday 9th March was the most glorious day of sunshine we had seen so far in 2014. This day saw the long established and perennially popular Cecchetti Choreographic Competition take place once again in the delightful setting of Cecil Sharp House in London. It is at this event more than any other that we see who our young dancers really are. What a joy and privilege it was to witness the creativity and expressiveness on display. Adjudicators Gillian Robinson and Stuart Marsden were hard put to choose winners with such high quality offerings, demonstrating a wide range of approaches. It was immensely pleasing to see the highest number of entries ever this year – 94 in total, and spread evenly across the three age categories. It was lovely to see Wendy Mitchell, who retired from organising the competition last year, back with us announcing all the pieces with her trademark calm. 

Winner, Middle Duets

Group Chair Elizabeth James began the day by warmly welcoming the audience, guests and adjudicators. The Junior Section presented us with budding choreographers who are at the beginning of their creative output and many showed great promise; there were lovely touches of pathos and lots of fun. The Middle Section definitely saw a development in choreographic ability, with some showing a remarkable control of their material and deft humour, which is much harder to do than it looks! As always, the Senior Section gave us drama, passion and originality, with strong choreographic skills often used to express serious themes with genuine sincerity and poignancy.

“The adjudicators were effusive in their praise and were clearly entertained by what they saw”

Throughout the day the group pieces were particularly impressive, with some extremely complex and ambitious works on a variety of themes. Storytelling was very strong throughout. Many choreographers chose appropriate music and used it inventively to enhance atmosphere or create drama. Much effort had clearly gone into the design and manufacture of simple but effective costumes – thanks I’m sure go to parents and teachers. There were several pieces honouring the centenary of the start of the First World War, with moving and dramatic work that demonstrated a deep respect and appreciation of the sacrifices made and their impact. 

Winner, Junior Solos Richard Glasstone Award

The adjudicators were effusive in their praise and were clearly entertained by what they saw. Stuart Marsden observed that the children had shown us, “a little bit of their souls”. Both were greatly appreciative of the time, energy, commitment and creativity given by these young dance makers. The adjudicators were generous with their comments, explaining their choices and encouraging all the competitors to keep choreographing and come again next year. Faculty Chair, Elisabeth Swan closed the day with much thanks to Group Chair, Elizabeth James and the organisers Claire Hern, Alan Mortensen and Belinda Payne, ably assisted by members of the Cecchetti Group and many other volunteers. Thanks were also given to David Marley (music) and Geoff Wheatley (photography) and of course to all the children, their teachers and families for the considerable work and worn carpets that go into making such an entertaining and fascinating day of dancing. 

I strongly urge you to encourage your pupils to enter or come and watch this competition. It is such a wonderful way for them to explore dance making and be inspired by the ingenuity of their peers. Roll on 2015!

Lisa Hunter


 

All photos by Geoff Wheatley


 

Choreographic Competition Winners 2014 

Choreography 

Junior Section
Solo Winner
The Phoenix
Nina Rogers
(Jacqui Lewis)

Duet Winner
Somewhere Only We Know
Katie Laing & Evie Pearson
(Glynis Hall)

Trio/Group Winner
Shopping
Isabella Sullivan
(Belinda Payne)

Middle Section
Solo Winner
Lost in the City
Darcey Regan
(Jane Worsley)

Duet Winner
Friend’s Harmony
Abbi Johnson & Zack Tidswell
(Maddy Wynne-Jones)

Trio/Group Winner 
The Poison Apple & The Porridge
Martha Richardson
(Jane Worsley)

Senior Section
Solo Winner
Alice
Olivia Langford
(Glynis Hall)

Duet Winner
Amelie
Saskia Cox-Milne & Kieran Potter
(Glynis Hall)

Trio/Group Winner
Vive la Révolution
Hannah Duffy
(Jane Worsley)

Overall Cups
Laura Payne Solo Cup
Alice
Olivia Langford
(Glynis Hall)

Barbara Geoghegan Duet Cup
Amelie
Saskia Cox-Milne & Kieran Potter
(Glynis Hall)

R G Trio/Group Statue
Though Poppies Grow in Flanders Fields
Saskia Cox-Milne
(Glynis Hall) 

Musicality

Junior Section
Solo Winner
The Woodland Painting Fairy
Charlotte Lowles
(Mechele Lefkaridi)

Duet Winner
Somewhere Only We Know
Katie Laing & Evie Pearson
(Glynis Hall)

Trio/Group Winner
Moonlight Pixies
Analise Preston
(Silke MacKay)

Middle Section
Solo Winner
Weird Science
Lois Regan
(Jane Worsley)

Duet Winner
Fiore (Flowers)
Lily Tidey
(Mechele Lefkaridi)

Trio/Group Winner
Lost at Sea
Hannah Andrews
(Jane Worsley)

Senior Section
Solo Winner
Rock Hopper
Gena Davies
(Jane Worsley) 

Duet Winner
Inseparable
Alice Smith & Phoebe Pearson-Hall
(Susan Handy) 

Trio/Group Winner
To This Day
Maria Kypreos
(Jane Worsley)

Susan Handy Cup for Musicality (Overall Cup)
To This Day
Maria Kypreos
(Jane Worsley) 

Photos of the event and a full list of all the winners, runners-up and their teachers can be found at: www.cecchetti.co.uk/competitionsawards/choreographiccompetition.

 

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