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Spring is in the Air!

Spring is in the Air!

19 June 2013

Cecchetti Choreographic Competition 2013

The annual Cecchetti Choreographic Competition took place on Sunday 3rd March at Cecil Sharp House, situated on the edge of Regent’s Park, London. The sunny, early spring day was certainly reflected in the buzz of activity and the creative flowering of choreographic ideas inside the hall. The competition adjudicators were Sara Gallie (choreography) and Roland Thompson (musicality), and they both brought great experience, humour and charm to the daunting task of assessing 88 dances by the budding young choreographers.

“The standard of choreography was uniformly high at all levels, as was the actual performance of the pieces by the 120 young dancers”

The competition has three sections – Junior, Middle and Senior with categories in each for solos, duets and groups. The restriction of only using simple, part costume helps to really focus the eye on the choreography and the ear on the choice of musical accompaniment. It was a great pleasure to see how familiar ideas and themes chosen by the younger children, such as fairy tales, animals, toys, dreams and magic, can be freshly interpreted by a new generation of young choreographers. There were also many entries that were genuinely humorous – a difficult thing to achieve well in dance. The senior students’ choice of theme for choreography tended towards the more abstract and serious, exploring moods, feelings, moral dilemmas and other issues; but again it was interesting to see real innovation. All the competitors were congratulated by Sara Gallie on their wealth of original choreographic ideas.

Junior Choreographic & Musicality winner, Raphaela Frederica Jewell, pupil of Penny Kay, ‘Spark of Fire’ Susan Handy Overall Musicality Cup and Laura Payne Overall Solo Cup, Hebe Salmon pupil of Jane Worsley, ‘Dance of the Necromancer’

The choice of music throughout the competition was also hugely varied and Roland Thompson congratulated all the choreographers on the imaginative musical selections made to realise their ideas and give each piece a well structured beginning, middle and end. He highlighted the importance of finding a natural musical ending, rather than an abrupt one, and particularly complimented the younger students on the sympathetic editing of their music.

The standard of choreography was uniformly high at all levels, as was the actual performance of the pieces by the 120 young dancers. The adjudicators gave many commendations in all sections for both choreography and musicality. The runners-up and winners in each section, and the overall competition winners were all very well deserving of their awards.

The event was run by members of the Cecchetti Group who had given generously of their time to organise the day. Their cheerful and efficient teamwork was excellent and while there are too many to mention individually, a very special thanks is due to Wendy Mitchell as she steps down from the role of organiser after 12 years. Her calm leadership will be greatly missed.

Catherine Hutchon


Cecchetti Choreographic Results 2013

Junior Solo
Winner Choreography and Musicality: Spark of Fire by Raphaela Frederica Jewell 
(Penny Kay)

Junior Duet
Winner Choreography and Musicality: The Puppet Show by Lola Walters and Madeleine Whithouse (Jane Worsley)

Junior Trio/Group 
Winner Choreography: Roarneighoink by Abigail Watson (Vanessa Gardner)
Winner Musicality: Wizard’s Waterfall by Rebecca Watson (Vanessa Gardner)

Middle Solo
Winner Choreography and Musicality: The Dance of the Necromancer by Hebe Salmon 
(Jane Worsley)

Middle Duet
Winner Choreography: In Flight by Gena Davies and Gemma Bovill (Jane Worsley)
Winner Musicality: Blood Sisters by Jessica Lee and Maisie Ross (Jenny Hall)

Middle Trio/Group
Winner Choreography: Silly Syncronicity by Joanne Penner (Jane Worsley)
Winner Musicality: The Minotaur in the Maze by Hebe Salmon (Jane Worsley)

Senior Solo
Winner Choreography: Hide and Seek by Emily Slack-Humphrey (Jenny Hall)
Winner Musicality: Ready to be Born by Juliet Martin (Jane Worsley)

Senior Trio/Group
Winner Choreography & Musicality: Bedlam by Joseph Chan (Jane Worsley)

Susan Handy Overall Musicality Cup
The Dance of the Necromancer by Hebe Salmon (Jane Worsley)

Laura Payne Overall Solo Cup
The Dance of the Necromancer by Hebe Salmon (Jane Worsley)

Barbara Geoghegan Overall 
Duet Cup
Blood Sisters by Jessica Lee and Maisie Ross (Jenny Hall)

Richard Glasstone Award Overall Trio Group Award
Land Girls by Jess Bone (Jane Worsley)

A full list of the winners, runners-up and their teachers can be found at www.cecchetti.co.uk/choreographiccompetition/review.php

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