Tuesday, 5 December 2017

BRILLIANT ! Completely and utterly BRILLIANT !

It is true that LIFE IS A DISCO and the only way to live it is to dance.

But life is also a BALLET so POINT YOUR TOES.

I  am fortunate, very fortunate, to have wide musical tastes.

I LOVE retro pop all the way from the mid 1950's to the early 1980's but there is far more to music than that.  

I love classical music, perhaps Strauss - all of the family, is my favourite but I enjoy Beethoven when played the way Beethoven wrote it. The Berlin Philharmonic is my favourite orchestra and Sir Simon rattle my fav conductor. It was with Mozart that I first learned to score read.  I am a great fan of opera, particularly Verdi and La Trviata. But of all areas within the art form Ballet will always be top of my musical pops.

Tchaikovsky is, of course, master of the ballet. Last night I went to watch the opening night of The Royal Ballet's NUTCRACKER. I like The Royal Ballet Company but for me The Bolshoi will always be the finest company in the world.

I am going to watch The Bolshoi perform The Nutcracker later in the month. After last night's Royal Ballet performance I tell you The Bolshoi will find it a hard act to follow.

Of all the ballet performances I have seen last night was by a long way the best.  BRILLIANT !  Completely and utterly brilliant.

I find it a bit of a challenge to say who was the best dancer. Alexander Campbell was stunning as Hans-Peter as was Steven Lamb who danced The Prince.  But ballet isn't just about dancing to music, far from it. The way the dancers use their hands and their facial expressions to tell the story is important. Costumes and scenery are vital, all come together in one tableau. You can not listen to ballet, you have to watch it.

Do you remember the film Billy Elliot.  It is to The Royal ballet School that Billy goes. Here is something my grandson, Adam,  and I put together three years ago.

I really like how students from the Royal Ballet School have a major part in The Nutcracker. Their performances last night in Act One were stunning, the best I have ever seen at The Royal Opera House.

The Nutcracker is a Ballet in two acts. It could be said that it is Two Acts in One Ballet. When Clara and Hans-Peter (The Nutcracker) go to The Land Of Sweets that is the end of the children in the ballet. They are not even brought back for the curtain call.  I think this is some silly and out of date rule about the time after which children are not allowed to appear on stage. SHAME.

Last night was terrific.  I will have the music from The Nutcracker with me all day today. More than the music I will have the performance - dancers, costumes, scenery playing in my head.

I'll be back in the West Bletchkey Community Centre's charity shop again today playing music. I have been doing this since Monday as a THANK YOU to the groups who use the centre for their support to OurRebekah's SECRET SANTA project.

I have just opened today's window on the Advent Calendar. Today we play something from 1984 which has become part of British Christmas tradition.

Do have a look and do listen.

I will switch the webcam on again and broadcast into Facebook from 8 am to 12 noon.

Yesterday was a very special day in the shop. A group - RETHINK - was in the centre. Members flocked round me asking for requests and singing along to the music I played. At one point we set aside Christmas music and went into playing party pop - Bubblegum Music as some would call it.  It was fun.

It was so lovely. I have never taken drugs in my life but I left the centre on a big high.

I was deeply touched by the number of Leonites who tuned in. Sam, Headmaster of The Cairo International School. Paul in his bakery - Paul I am going to play something for you and all your staff today. I have put it into the playlist for you all.

For those who do not know what a Leonite is, they are my students from the time when I was head of year at Leon School. That was twenty years ago. I am so proud to have so many, many former students as my friends. How many ex teachers are in contact with more than one hundred of their former students ? I AM.

When I have finished at the community centre today I am taking THE QUEEN OF LEON out for lunch. Daphne Capp, former head of music at the school. A lady who is so loved by so many.

Daphne is eighty-nine years old and just the same as we all knew her, teachers and pupils alike, at school.

If Daphne is the Queen then Rachel is Leon's Princess.

Rachel has been watching and listening to the music from the centre on her phone. Rachel is a trustee of Bletchley Youth Centre and involved me in the centre's 50th birthday celebrations. I will be playing the music at the party.

Life Is A Ballet So Point Your Toes. I was at a meeting in the youth centre yesterday afternoon when Rachel told me how she remembered and how many students used to comment on the shoes I wore.  It would have been impossible to point ones toes in them !

Way back in the 1970's I wore a pair of stacked heel shoes in - WAIT FOR IT - in blue and green leather.   How I wish I still had them.  Rachel I will play a dedication for you again today.  I am also going to play something for your husband David.

I wore my Sheffield Wednesday scarf to the meeting and deliberately kept it on during the discussions as an aid to something I wanted to say. That's another story. David and I shared our interest in football while Rachel made less than flattering comments about my wearing tights to dance.

Now here is the deal.

David I would very much like to take you to Hillsborough as my guest in the New Year.

Rachel put Tuesday 12th June 2018 into your diary. I am taking you to see The Royal Ballet perform Swan Lake. Swan Lake, of course, is the ballet Billy Elliot dances right at the end of the film.

Let me leave all readers of today's blog with a thought.

Last night the dancers put every micro ounce of energy in their bodies into every second of the performance. Should we not, all of us, do that in our own lives ?

After all...............................


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