Cecchetti Choreographic Competition 2015

The annual Cecchetti Choreographic Competition took place on 8th March 2015 at Cecil Sharp House. With a record number of entries and a capacity audience, the day promised to be successful for the young choreographers and performers taking part.  The adjudicators were David Smith, a wonderful musician, whose excellent playing has accompanied so many Cecchetti events and Ruth Brill, First Soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet.  Ruth trained in the Cecchetti method and is now choreographing her own work using BRB Dancers.  The event was superbly organised by the Cecchetti Group under their Chair Liz James and Organisers Claire Hern and Belinda Payne. A willing band of Group members, teachers and helpers kept the event flowing in a seamless and good humoured way and our thanks go to them all.   It was a privilege to be a guest for the day and enjoy the wealth of creative dance work that was on display.  I was joined by Antonia Young whose lovely dance sculpture is awarded to the lucky recipient of the Richard Glasstone Award. Antonia’s thoughts as an audience member on the morning Junior section are below, followed by a snapshot of the afternoon Middle and Senior sections, from Glynis Hall whose students were participating in the competition.

Antonia Young writes -

There were a very large number of entries for the Junior section with 24 Solos, 15 Duets and 13 Trios/Groups, all with a great variety of ideas and use of movement, both classical and contemporary. The choice of music ranged from classical to pop songs and there were some imaginative costume ideas and many of the children made good use of the large space.  With so many very good entries to choose from the Adjudicators found it difficult to select only a small number in each section for Commendations.  However, at last the decisions were made.  David Smith gave the first adjudication for the musical aspect of the entries and then Ruth Brill gave her adjudication for the overall choreographic winners.  Both adjudicators expressed their pleasure at watching all the children who had taken part and congratulated them all.  Each child received a Certificate for participating in the Event, which had been a very enjoyable morning for us all.

Glynis Hall writes -
Wow! What a superb Middle section to start the afternoon off.  We travelled from outer space to the Far East, we visited the beauticians, had tea at a restaurant, played netball and learnt how not to behave in a ballet class. With bakers, fairies, puppets, snakes, bird, dogs and many more wonderful characters we were entertained from start to finish. The adjudicators praised the competitors’ original choreographic ideas and the quality of their musicality.  This is only the second year that our school has entered and the buzz of excited children meeting friends they have not seen since last year made the journey well worth it. Their enjoyment was evident on their faces and they coped with quick changes without fuss.
Following on from the Middle section came the Senior solos, duets and groups. Their subjects were as varied as the Middle section, but showed the maturity of a few more years study. Technique was carefully shown in whatever genre they chose to perform in, whether it was ballet, Greek or contemporary, as a pure dance or themed.  The Senior duets and groups were excellent, covering difficult subjects with sensitivity.  Costumes were simple but effective as were props and makeup.  It was an excellent day and with the opportunities for the younger competitors to watch the senior choreography, I am sure that ideas and enthusiasm for next year have already been ignited.  Long may the competition continue!