Last Sunday evening we went to see the Ashanti Development A Dream of Africa gala performance at The Britten Theatre. It constantly amazes me how many wonderful venues there are in London for live performances and this one tucked inside the Royal College of Music and ‘next door’ to the Royal Albert Hall is another perfect example.
Introduced by Nicola Tranah and Wayne Sleep the evening’s programme presented music and dance performed by artists giving their support to the Ashanti charity which works to combat extreme poverty in central Ghana. Supporting a worthwhile charity by performing in a gala is one way those of us who have perhaps benefited from funding during our training can in turn give something back to those who live less fortunate lives.
The ballet pieces were performed by dancers from the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet. My favourite choreographies were Into the Woods by Tamara Rojo and Jazzy Time Riff, by Nancy Osbaldeston.
The music was beautiful, the Petit Suite piano duet played by Henry Roche and Oliver Davies in particular. Wayne Sleep brought cheers from the audience with his tap-dance routine, although I’m not sure if it from the excitement of his turns or from our relief that he did not spin off into the orchestra pit.
We travelled home discussing the evening’s highlights and also what had perhaps not reached out to grab us and why, such as a lack of chemistry between dance partners. New to studying pas de deux, this was a valuable experience for me.