This year, Classically British; in its 11th year, presents two matinee dress rehearsals and two evening performances featuring classically trained dancers, over two days during Black History Season.
Classically British is unique in celebrating Britain’s rich cultural mix and breaks new ground by showcasing ethnic minority British dancers and choreographers in classical and neo-classical ballet. It creates a platform for choreographers and dancers to express their cultures through the language of dance.
This year’s special performances will feature artists from Rambert Dance, as well as guests from the commercial arena. The event includes a diverse range of dance and music.
Professional dancers / choreographers will include: Jed Perez, Yinka Esi Graves, Remi Laudat, Ash Mukerjee, Namron (celebrating his 50th year in dance) and Layton Williams (previously cast as the first Black Billy Elliot).
During the afternoon dress rehearsal performance, there will be a Q&A session featuring the founding member of Ballet Negre, Marie Kamara. The subsequent evening event will feature two short films, a photographic exhibition and live performance. The dress rehearsal and Q&A is intended to encourage the participation of local schools and the general public, who will find it both educational and inspirational.
The short film, ‘Classically British’ directed by Dennis Alexander, showcases the history of the project and gives an historical account of the rise of Black & Asian Classical ballet dancers in the UK. It is a tribute to the dancers and artists that have been a part of Classically British for the past 10 years.
The show is part of the life-long ambition and creative vision of Mark Elie; Artistic Director of Portobello Dance and Director of Classically British, who has been committed to promoting the careers of British dancers of ethnic origin. He trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem and went on to a have an expansive dance career, which included Ballet Gulbenkian, Arlene Phillips’ Hot Gossip, numerous West End shows, and TV appearances. He was also a rehearsal director and former member of the Carol Straker Dance Company and its ground-breaking contribution to black British dance.
Now in its 19th year, the Mark Elie Dance Foundation continues to give children from all walks of life the opportunity to realise their dreams of becoming professional dancers. Portobello Dance; a registered charity, has no core funding. It has relied solely on the support of friends, private sponsors, professional dance teachers and an encouraging board of directors, who have all contributed financially and in kind.
Over the years, many benefactors have been drawn to Mark’s dynamism, strength of vision and character and have helped Classically British to go beyond its tenth year.
“Congratulations on a decade of inspirational home grown dance talent.” June Sarpong, TV Presenter
Classically British 2013
Wed 23rd and Thurs 24th Oct
1.45pm (dress rehearsal) and 7.30pm
The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 2AY
Main show doors 6.30pm (show 7.30pm) tickets £10 at the door
Dress rehearsal. This is an interactive afternoon event schools welcome.
doors 12.45pm (show 1.45pm), tickets £5 at the door
This is a chance to interact with the dancers themselves. Marie Kamara, a founding member of the Ballet Nègre and Portobello Dance Artistic Director and Choreographer and Mark Elie, will also be present and will take questions from the audience.
Please call Mark Elie – 07947 484 021 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org