We will Entertain You!
Cecchetti Choreographic Competition 2014

Lisa Hunter

Sunday March 9th, the most glorious day of sunshine in 2014 so far, 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; and what a joy and privilege 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.

Group Chair Elizabeth James began the day by warmly welcoming the audience, guests and the adjudicators.  The Junior Section presented us with budding choreographers 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.  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 and 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, many thanks I’m sure to parents and teachers!  There were several pieces honouring the centenary of the start of World War 1; moving and dramatic work that demonstrated a deep respect and understanding of the sacrifices made and their impact.

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” and both were greatly appreciative of the time, energy, commitment and creativity given by these young dance-makers.  Both were generous with their comments, explaining their choices and encouraging all the competitors to keep choreographing and come again next year!  Faculty Chairman Elisabeth Swan closed the day with much thanks to Group Chair, Elizabeth James and the organisers Claire Hern, Belinda Payne and Alan Mortensen, 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 and 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 wonderful way for them to explore dance-making and be inspired by the ingenuity of their peers.  Roll on 2015!

Result 2014 - Teacher's name in brackets

Junior Awards

Solo 
Choreography Winner:  The Phoenix - Nina Rogers (Jacqui Lewis)
Runner Up: The Witches Potion - Raphaela Frederica Jewell (Alison Dos Santos)
Musicality Winner: The Woodland Painting Fairy - Charlotte Lowles (Mechele Lefkaridi)
Runner Up: The Wave - Lily Jerome (Aurelia Whitfield)

Duet 
Choreography Winner: Somewhere Only We Know - Katie Laing & Evie Pearson (Glynis Hall)
Runner Up: Eye of the Tiger - Holly-Rose Harland-Fairweather (Jacqui Lewis)
Musicality Winner: Somewhere Only We Know - Katie Laing & Evie Pearson (Glynis Hall)
Runner Up: Swans - Oceane Taneus-Miller & Safiye Sahin (Jane Worsley)

Trio/Group
Choreographic Winner: Shopping - Isabella Sullivan (Belinda Payne)
Runner Up: Kaleidoscope - Sophie Alice Gillborn (Vanessa Gardner)
Musicality Winner : Moonlight Pixies - Analise Preston (Silke MacKay)
Runner Up: Tree of Surprises - Grace Haworth (Vanessa Gardner)

Middle Section

Solo
Choreographic Winner: Lost in the City - Darcey Regan (Jane Worsley)
Runner Up: Friday at the Office - Hanna Wright  (Juliet Locks)
Musicality Winner: Weird Science - Lois Regan (Jane Worsley)
Runner Up: Moonlit Dreams - Noemie Gschwendtner (Penny Kay)

Duet
Choreographic Winner: Friend’s Harmony - Abbi Johnson & Zack Tidswell (Maddy Wynne-Jones)
Runner Up: The Snow Queen - Polly Waring & Martha Richardson (Jane Worsley)
Musicality Runner Up: Fight for Freedom - Samantha Penny & Lois Regan (Jane Worsley)
Winner: Fiore (Flowers)- Lily Tidey (Mechele Lefkaridi)

Trio/Group
Choreographic Winner : The Poison Apple & The Porridge - Martha Richardson (Jane Worsley)
Runner Up: Service - Madeline Whithouse (Jane Worsley)  
Musicality Runner Up: Starlings -Samantha Penner  (Jane Worsley)
Winner: Lost at Sea - Hannah Andrews ( Jane Worsley)

Senior Section

Solo 
Choreographic Winner:  Alice - Olivia Langford (Glynis Hall)
Runner Up: The Red Queen - Alex Regan (Jane Worsley)  
Musicality Winner: Rock Hopper - Gena Davies (Jane Worsley)
Runner Up: It’s Time - Tabitha McConnell (Glynis Hall)

Duet 
Choreographic Winner:  Amelie - Saskia Cox-Milne & Kieran Potter (Glynis Hall)
Runner Up: Hypnosis – Gemma Bovill & Gena Davies (Jane Worsley)
Musicality Winner: Inseparable - Alice Smith & Phoebe Pearson-Hall (Susan Handy)
Runner Up: Vultures - Collette Kite & Isobel Jupp (Jane Worsley)

Trio/Group
Choreographic Winner: Vive le Revolution - Hannah Duffy (Jane Worsley)
Runner Up: We Will Remember Them - Jess Bone (Jane Worsley)
Musicality Winner: To This Day - Maria Kypreos (Jane Worsley)
Runner Up: Resurrection - Alex Regan (Jane Worsley)

Overall Cups

Laura Payne Solo Cup: Alice - Olivia Langford (Glynis Hall)
Barbara Geoghegan Duet Cup: Amelie - Saskia Cox-Milne & Keiran Potter (Glynis Hall)
Richard Glasstone Trio/Group Statue:
Though Poppies Grow in Flanders Fields - Saskia Cox-Milne (Glynis Hall)   
Susan Handy Cup for Musicality: To This Day - Maria Kypreos (Jane Worsley)