WHAT a difference a year makes, as regular Covent Garden Dance Company audiences at Hatch House discovered with a vengeance on Friday.
The 2012 event was notable not only for spectacular dancing but for torrential rains that cascaded off the stretch marquees and flooded the parking areas.
This year’s performances co-incided with some of the hottest weather recorded in a British summer, so off came the marquee sides and the dance was performed in a setting as perfect as could be imagined.
And as well as the star couple – husband and wife Oleksandr Ryabko and Silvia Azzoni from Hamburg Ballet – the audience was treated to four works by muscular young Spanish dancer and choreographer Jorge Garcia Perez, including two commissions entitled Mad Symphony and Doble Dos, as well as commissions made by Will Tuckett and Jamie Thomson.
This, the fourth annual Hatch Gala, followed the usual format of first course, three dances, main course, three dances, dessert and the two-dance finale.
All but the final dance brought challenging contemporary works to the eager audience, and the evening finished with the familiar Coppelia pas de deux with its Petipa choreography danced to Delibes’ music.
Particularly impressive were Not Without My Head, danced by Azzoni and Ryabko and choreographed by Natalia Horecna, and Perez’s Bipolar Skin. The diners also enjoyed Will Tuckett’s commission Sandpipers Jig, to Mark O’Connor’s music, a particularly joyful dance for a summer evening.
As my table companion commented “You don’t expect this sort of thing in Tisbury!” as he enthused about Pina Bausch and her visible impact on contemporary dance.
Well done all the dancers, thanks to Sir Henry and Lady Rumbold for the use of the beautiful garden … and congratulations Matt Brady. GP-W
The works will also be performed at Ston Easton on 19th and 20th July. Visit the website, www.coventgardendance.com, for more details.