Cipollino Performances at Sadler's Wells Coming to Turnham Green

Tickets on sale for two performances including Ballet & Song

Cipollino Performances at Sadler's Wells Coming to Turnham Green



Supported by Porsche Centre West London

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Those of us lucky enough to get hold of tickets to one of three premiere performances of Cipollino by presented Masters of Ballet at Sadler's Wells last month, all of which sold out well in advance, were treated to an experience which far exceeded the expectation normally engendered by the phrase “children's ballet”. It was an extraordinary tour-de-force, which was the first venture into choreography for Elena Glurjidze (recently retired as Lead Principal of the ENB) and Olga Semenova who together run Masters of Ballet Academy in Chiswick and Acton, West London.

The story is an adaptation from Gianni Zadari's 1951 book of the same name. All the characters are either fruit or vegetables, and the basic plot is of a happy band of characters whose lives are disrupted by the villains – Prince Lemon (danced by Jamie Cooper) and his agent of evil, General Tomato, (Vincent Fell). General Tomato is accompanied by his band of female bodyguards a la Gadaffi who did a wonderful job of looking as if their characters were trying very hard while managing to be gloriously incompetent.

Cipollino (Ted Harper) manages to step on Prince Lemon's foot and flees for his life… meanwhile his mother is taken hostage by Lemon and Tomato. The rest of the plot is planning how to release her and defeat the villains, which in the end is done by the beautiful Radish (Aiste Stankeviciute) who persuades everyone to work together in a common cause (so like current politics. Not. Sigh...)

The backdrops set the tone for a colourful fantasy country with everything from the village square, a verdant forest to elaborate castle interiors. That they are projected means there is more immediacy to the scene and ensures that the pace is not disrupted by scene changes so can change at the exact moment in the action they are needed. The score is by Khachaturian, and the costumes could grace the stage of the Royal Ballet.

The production was well-paced and provided moments of virtuosic solos and pas de deux as well as set pieces for the whole company and groups such as Onion brothers and sisters and Mice.

In the corps de ballet there were no stragglers and everyone was alert and engaged – down to the 5 and 6 year olds! In fact everyone on stage at all times acted as if they really were a close community and cared for each other – I was impressed with the “reaction” acting in relation to what was going on in front of them. I suppose this is not surprising as they all belong to the same ballet academy but Ted Harper and others made us feel as if they would protect their little village with their lives, and knew everyone in it intimately.

“Colonel Tomato” was an extraordinary performance. Vincent Fell has just turned 15 and until a year ago had no ballet experience, coming from a background in modern dance. After a year with MOBA he has uncanny stage presence - his ability to communicate with his face could rival Rowan Atkinson and he also threw in the odd bit of acrobatics such as a diving forward roll onto the stage in mid pursuit of Cipollino or launching himself into the arms of his female bodyguards – horizontally!

Cipollino and Radish (a couple by the end of the ballet) are, to my mind, good enough to grace any stage you care to mention. Both have the ability to project their characters across the whole stage and out into the audience. Ted Harper is 16 and Aiste Stankeviciute 15 but both are blessed with sunny natures and maturity far beyond that.

Their pas de deux's were assured and considered and gorgeous to look at.

One moment, which brought the house down, was Ted's incredible solo which finished with 14 grandes pirouettes entourment- which was simply spine chilling. Ted is studying for this year with the Harid Conservatoire in Florida for which he was awarded a full scholarship, but he'll be back to dance the role again in the near future....

Masters of Ballet Academy has been operating for just under 2 years with a roll of 70 children and growing. The children find their way to MOBA by word of mouth and advertisements in the Dance Times etc. Once they have passed an audition, no-one is turned away because they can't afford the fees which means the children from all different backgrounds and ethnicities can all blend together in their pursuit of a professional ballet career. MOBA students have received offers from The Royal Ballet, Central School of Ballet, Amsterdam Dance Conservatoire, The Bolshoi Ballet and Sydney Ballet Conservatoire to date. They are preparing to compete in the Dance World Cup in 2019 (think Olympics for Dance) as they did in 2018 (placed 5 th and 6 th) and will also be performing in St Petersburg in May where they have been invited to dance in a special gala at the Hermitage.

And closer to June there will be an open air performance of Cipollino and a further performance of other pieces in collaboration with a live singer on 22 June 2019 on Turnham Green in Chiswick! There will be reasonably priced seating available to purchase in advance as well as ample space to stand and watch while having a coffee or a drink from the bar, or perhaps you might bring a picnic! Tickets are now available from HERE.

Finally, we are delighted to confirm our first sponsors for Masters of Ballet & Song, Turnham Green Park are Porsche Centre West London, The Hogarth Club, Beaumont Cornish Ltd, St James Place Wealth Management, The Hare and Tortoise, Chiswick and Club des Sports, Acton.

If you own a local business are interested in being part of this, or know someone else who may wish to support this event, now is the time to get in touch with us at the contact details below.

This is a chance to be part of the first live ballet-song fusion performance in Chiswick ….an antidote to noisy fairs and fast well as supporting a growing local ballet academy committed to high-quality performance from a diverse group of young people.

Luci De Nordwall Cornish

For sponsorship details contact: Tim Slater: Mobile: 0797 0404965

March 18, 2019


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