Debuts and premieres at 15th Ballet Under the Stars

COVENT Garden Dance Company celebrates 15 years of Ballet Under the Stars in the beautiful historic walled garden at Hatch House near Tisbury. This year’s four night festival, from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th July, will include the first live music, the first time Balanchine’s Diamonds has been performed and a debut for the Somerset-based Project Dance.

The company has been granted permission by The Balanchine Trust to perform the sublime pas de deux from Balanchine’s Diamonds as part of the 15th anniversary programme. It will be performed by Xander Parish and Ukrainian principal dancer Katrina Chebykina. The pair have performed the work together previously during their time at the Mariinsky theatre in St Petersburg.

Xander trained at the Royal Ballet lower and upper schools and then rose through the ranks of the Royal Ballet. He was the first British dancer to be employed by the Mariinsky Ballet. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Xander has joined the Norwegian Ballet, where he is a principal dancer.

Another classical ballet first for this year’s “Glyndebourne of dance” will be a showcase performance of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody pas de deux. It will be danced by Birmingham Royal Ballet principals Beatrice Parma and Max Muslin.

For Covent Garden Dance Company founder and artistic director Matt Brady the opportunity to have live music this year is a huge delight. The distinguished cellist Arne-Christian Pelz, the first principal cellist of Deutsche Opera Berlin and a leading soloist in his own right, will be accompanying performances throughout the weekend.

Achieving this important milestone – in this anniversary year – has been helped by the close working relationship, between Arne-Christian Pelz and Hatch favourite, Ksenia Ovsyanick, who is a Staatsballett Berlin principal. Together they have created a new work which will be performed at Hatch. “To have the live music element woven into the programme in this way is a dream realised,” says Matt.

This year’s Dicky Buckle Fund recipient, James Bamford of Somerset-based Project Dance will be presenting new choreography by Grace Noelle and Andrew Parfitt.

Battet Under the Stars is a showcase of top international dancers, great pieces from the classical and contemporary repertoire and new works. The performances take place before and during the intervals of a gourmet dancer – all under an elegant marquee in a perfect walled garden setting.

For more information visit the website

Pictured: Cellist Arne-Christian Pelz, James Bamford, and Ksenia Ovsyanick, dancing Druck Corona Blues and at the Staatsballett Berlin.