Building on our successful show at the Marylebone Theatre last November, we continue to spread our wings as a self-managed company. This year began with quite a bang and promises to be full of challenges and opportunities. Here’s what we’ve been up to and what we have planned.
The Posh Club wants us back!
In March we got to perform at one of the brilliant Posh Clubs, an experience we had long wanted to savour. These clubs are dotted around London and the South East and are run by the highly professional Duckie Company. We loved being the cabaret on this occasion and gave them our Swan Lake Cygnets tap number and a burlesque piece to Sugar Rum Cherry from Duke Ellington’s fabulous Nutcracker Suite. We fully embraced the occasion, and felt we might have gone a little over the top, but they really liked our performance and have invited us back in December.
We took part the DanceWest Fest 2023 on June 17th which brings together dancers of all ages and celebrates dance in all its varied forms. We performed the piece choreographed for us by Marie Forbes, Desfado, inspired by the lyrics of Ana Moura’s fado song of the same name.
New pieces, new people, new roles
We continue to have the opportunity to work with a number of other talented dancers and choreographers.
Kim Mendez remains a special friend and source of tremendous inspiration. With her unusual combination of a huge sense of fun and a strict classical ballet background, she continues to lead us into pastures new while keeping a close eye on our classical ballet technique. Our venture into tap and burlesque is all her fault but we are very grateful!
Fionuala Power is working with us on a new piece called “Enigma” which is an extension of her lyrical “I Am” work and will be danced to the same beautiful music, Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata. How many small companies of older dancers like us get the opportunity to work with an ex-Royal Ballet and Merce Cunningham dancer? We are very grateful for the support and encouragement Fionuala gives us and the interest she shows in our growth and development.
We have also started working with London Contemporary Dance based Sarah Miller on a new piece this term. We are enjoying Sarah’s effortless, fluid style and boundless energy and the chance to dance to the beautiful music she has chosen from Andy Munroe’s Joyful Noise album.
Last but not least we are looking forward to a special workshop in May with Ellen Bunting who specialises in tap and musical theatre. We are hoping that we may persuade her to work with us on creating another fun Posh Club number.
We would also like to welcome Maggy Piggott in her new role as Sage Ambassador. Maggy has been dancing with us for a number of years but no longer an active member, so we are delighted she has agreed to use her considerable networking skills on our behalf. She is a well-known champion of the older dancer and has written and presented widely on the benefits of dance for all of us, whatever our age. Her book “How to age joyfully” is the perfect guide to a long and healthy life.
With the Rack Press group of poets, we will be hosting an evening of dance, poetry and live music. We envisage a cabaret style evening in a relaxed setting which is both intimate enough for poetry reading and spacious enough for dance and live music.
Thank you to all our friends and supporters for continuing to encourage us in our quest to demonstrate the benefits of dance for everyone, at every stage of life. Please come and see us or better still come and dance with us.
A new phase for Sage
Simon Rice started Sage in 2010. After more than 11 years as our Artistic Director he decided to leave the company earlier this year to take up a permanent new position in a media company. He left us a very important legacy, not only in the work he created for us, but in his desire that, one day, we would run the company for ourselves. That is what we are now confidently setting out to do and we look forward to this new phase in our development. Our sincere thanks to Simon for all he has done for us.
Simon will be hard to replace. We are not going to rush into appointing a new Artistic Director, but we are taking the opportunity to work with a number of different choreographers and explore different dance styles, while still remaining true to our ballet-based roots. So far this year we have worked with:
- Fionuala Power on a new lyrical piece, I AM
- Marie Forbes on a piece based on the Limon technique
- Kim Mendez on a fun tap piece danced to the Cygnets music in Swan Lake (don’t ask, just come and watch our next performance!)
And here’s your chance. Our next performance “Every Body Dance 2022” is on Sunday November 13th at 6.30 at the newly refurbished Marylebone Theatre. It is a lovely new space and we look forward to performing there with old friends and new, including Magpie, Manifest Nation and Masters of Ballet. So do come and join us.
New members, new opportunities
A warm welcome to two new members this year. Claire Turner joined us in 2021. She is a beautiful dancer with extensive ballet training. Linda Foster joined us this term. She has a wide experience of different dance styles and her enthusiasm and vitality will be a great asset. We also welcome back Barbara Berkeley-Hill who left us during the pandemic but thankfully has returned, having decided that life without Sage wasn’t quite the same.
In these dark days we need to keep celebrating the positive power of dance. We would like to hear from potential new members and from any choreographers out there who would be interested in working with us.