London Branch Dance Devising Competition – RESULTS
On Saturday 11 September 2021 eight dancers, a teacher, a musician, twelve observers drawn from the Branch committee and long standing Branch members, plus a videographer assembled in the upper hall of St Columba’s Church in Knightsbridge, London. All had generously foregone some early morning sleep to be there for doors opening at 9.00am. The Branch is most grateful to them and staff at St Columba’s for making this one-off event possible. We were especially pleased to welcome Branch president, Rachel Wilton and vice-president, Mary Barker. COVID precautions were observed throughout.
The three shortlisted dances, identified by the independent judges, to be trialed were two reels and a jig. A marking sheet allowed all present (except the videographer), to rate each dance from 1 to 10 with the highest total score being the winner. The class took about two hours.
Special thanks must be extended to our wonderful pianist Barbara Manning who kept weary limbs functioning with her uplifting playing and to the trialing dancers Chris and Anna Twinn, Stuart and Rose Kreloff, Peter Loveland, Natalie Maude, Roger Keeling and Maureen Campbell. All had come fully prepared making the teaching of the dances so much easier. London Branch is most grateful to all the dancers for working so very hard to give a successful outcome. Stephen, the competition coordinator, stepped in at the last minute as Mervyn Short, our teacher, was sadly prevented from attending by an unfortunate railway incident. After marking ended and scores were added by tellers, Elaine Davies and Mel Rowland, London Branch chair Joanne Lawrence opened the sealed envelope to reveal and announce the winner.
Many congratulations are given to:
Lizzy Conder of London for coming first with her 8×32 reel.
Tim Eyres of Oxford, runner-up by a narrow margin for his 8×32 reel called Return from Thimphu.
And in third place was Catriona Bennett for her 8×32 jig called London at 90.
The name of the Winning Dance
In addition to the dance trialing, the competition allowed for a dance name to be chosen by the London Branch committee from the many names submitted.
Betty Arrol of Ruislip, England also receives congratulations for her dance name of London Nine-O (note, O is not a zero). This name is therefore assigned to Lizzy’s dance, which was originally, and temporarily called Happy Times.
The dance description, diagram, tune and video are available below. The dance will take pride of place as the ‘extra dance’, at the London Branch Grand Autumn Ball on 16 October 2021.
Music: John Renton (well-known Scottish band leader, now retired) has kindly composed and gifted a 32 bar reel also titled London Nine-O.
Grateful Thanks: London Branch thanks the 23 entrants, all current or past members, for their generous support of the Branch. In its 90th Anniversary Year they submitted 35 dances (some with specially composed music) and 51 dance names. Special thanks are given to the dancers, the judges, to Luigi Sbaffi who gave up his Saturday morning to video, so professionally, the dances being trialed and last, but far from least, to Stephen Webb who coordinated the competition to its successful conclusion.
and watch the video