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Subject: "Celebration Gala - Gable 12/3/2000" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #580
Reading Topic #580

14-03-00, 02:19 PM (GMT)
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"Celebration Gala - Gable 12/3/2000"
   Sadlerís Wells was packed and buzzing for the Gala on Sunday 12th, a celebration of the life and work of Christopher Gable, in aid of a Dance Drama Trust to support performers early in their careers. It wasnít at all the typical ballet gala performance with the usual favourites: it was an eclectic mixture, including both song, music, dance, film clips, and reminiscence from many who knew him. Introductions and chat came from, among others, Jayne Regan (NBTís leading dancer for the Gable years), Sir Anthony Dowell, Lady MacMillan, Bryan Forbes, Tom Courtenay, Glenda Jackson and Sir Peter Wright. It was all very warm and affectionate (and all very luvvie at times), and certainly brought home the extraordinary breadth of Gableís career.

Film clips included some of his TV and film work, but only one ballet item - a black and white film with some excerpts from House of Birds, partnering Marion Lane. This wasnít brilliant quality, but it was very evocative - he looked amazingly strong and fast. The ballet items on the programme included some roles closely associated with him - of course, there had to be the balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet. This was performed by Mara Galeazzi from the Royal, partnered by Alessandro Grillo from La Scala. This didnít make the impact it might have done (itís a difficult scene to do from cold), but they didnít look as if they were used to partnering each other. Far more successful was the pas de deux from The Two Pigeons, danced by Rachel Peppin and Michael OíHare of BRB. Again the partnering wasnít entirely secure, but it was deeply felt, and totally involving (and the doves, we were informed, are the descendants of those used in the original production).

Other items included dancers from the Central School of Ballet, which Gable founded, and performances from dancers who had been at Northern Ballet Theatre, where he was AD from 1987. These included excerpts from Cinderella, A Christmas Carol, A Simple Man and (most popularly) Dracula. It did seem a little sad that, of those performers, a number had already moved on from NBT to other companies. Didy Veldman, of Rambert, who choreographed Carmen for NBT, appeared with Christopher Powney in an excerpt from Christopher Bruceís Moonshine.

There isnít any obvious link between Mukhamedov or Assylmuratova and Gable, but they were there anyway, in a short, lighthearted item which had featured in Mukhamedovís own companies appearance at Sadlerís last year. It was a fun piece, and she certainly looked in tremendous form. Forgive me if I donít list every contribution, as there were so many. If you had gone expecting a typical dance gala, you might have been disappointed, but as a celebration of Gableís career and interests it certainly brought home the range of his achievements in different fields.

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