Remembering Terence Brady at Ballet Under the Stars

COUNTRY house ballet, glamorous sister of the long-established country house opera season, returns to the perfect setting of Hatch House near Tisbury from 21st to 23rd July.

Founded by Matt Brady, the Covent Garden Dance Company returns to Hatch House for the eighth year with a programme that includes the premiere of Les Colombes, created with the last libretto written by Matt’s father, writer and actor Terence Brady, who sadly died in late 2016.

The Hatch House audience enjoys an evening of outstanding classical and contemporary dance, and a gourmet dinner, under an elegant canopy in the 17th century walled Dutch garden. It is a rare opportunity for dance lovers to see world class ballet close at hand and the dancers themselves love the experience, many returning year after year.

The programme for 2017 is the usual stimulating blend of classical, neo-classical and contemporary ballet. Each work in one of the three sections of dance is performed by international artists including Royal Ballet guest principal, Mara Galeazzi, Jon Axel Fransson and Silvia Selvini of the Royal Danish Ballet and Vitali Safronkine and Iker Murillo.

Ballet Under The Stars, as it is known, has always brought world-class dancers to this Wiltshire gem – in 2015, the guest star was Carlos Acosta. This year the special guests will be husband and wife Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino. Lucia is Spanish and has been a principal with the Bavarian State Opera Ballet since 2002. In 2011 she was named the Dancer of the Decade at the World Ballet Stars Gala in Saint Petersburg. Matt Brady says: “It’s an incredible honour to welcome her to Hatch this summer with her husband Marlon Dino.”

New works this year include a pas de deux by the Royal Ballet’s ballet master Alistair Marriot performed by Mara Galeazzi, who had rave reviews for her performance in the Royal Ballet’s Woolf Works, and Spiral Twist, by Russell Maliphant, danced by Lacarra and Dino.

In 2016 Hatch House, which is known as now the “Glyndebourne of ballet” hosted the premiere of Les Copines, inspired by a Norman Parkinson photograph, with a libretto by Terence Brady.

Shortly before he died, Terence Brady, who lived with his wife, novelist Charlotte Bingham, near Bruton, completed his last libretto, Les Colombes, (The Doves), a story of love, loss, compassion and commitment. The work will be premiered at Hatch House this year, choreographed by the company’s resident choreographer Tim Podesta, and danced to ballade in G minor Chopin Opus 28 and Chopin Etude no 4. The principal roles will be danced by Mara Galeazzi and Gregory Dean.

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Pictured: Zdenek Konvalina and Ksenia Ovsyanick, and Mara Galeazzi and Gregory Dean; photographs by Signe Roderik.