The New Zealand School of Dance will be 50 years old in 2017, and as part of the fund raising for celebrations, an afternoon tea and a chance to meet Darcey Bussell, the former Royal Ballet principal dancer (and now jury member of the British ‘Only Come Dancing’ competition), was held this Saturday. Now, normally I wouldn’t go to such a thing, but at the last minute I grabbed a ticket and went along and don’t regret my decision.
As you might expect, there were loads of ‘ballet girls’, all eager to meet a famous dancer, along with ballet mums, old ballet teachers, supporters of the arts and dance lovers. There were opportunities to get Bussell’s autograph and get a picture taken with her (oh how I would have loved that when I was child!), a silent auction and a really interesting interview with the special guest.
Tables set for tea
Darcey Bussell signing a book
Garry Trinder on the left, director of the school
We were served a really delicious selection of canapés, endless tea and coffee, a lovely selection of cold soft drinks and for purchase, glasses of sparkling pinot gris.
Sparkling pinot gris
A mini lemon meringue tart
I put in a bid in the silent auction to win two tickets for a performance at the Circa Theatre along with two large glasses of fizz and an antipasto platter for two – and won! The tickets have to be used up before the end of June, so I hope there is something good to go to.
Verdict of the afternoon: much more interesting and fun than I anticipated
Highlight of the afternoon: recognising and talking to two of the contemporary students and chatting to them about Pina Bausch and the upcoming choreography season at the school.
Footnote: for ballet fans only – her comments about Sir Kenneth MacMillan were hilarious – apparently his facial expression never changed, it was set in stone, and it was near impossible to change it when working with him.