Wednesday 1st September

| BY Will Saunders

Meaghan Grace Hinkis and Dancers of the Royal Ballet Present Second Athelhampton Ballet Charity Gala

Before the highly anticipated start of the new ballet season, first soloist Meaghan Grace Hinkis recruits stars of the Royal Ballet to give us a taste of what’s to come now theatres have finally reopened. The setting for the performance is nestled in the heart of Dorset. Athelhampton is an admirable example of a Tudor Manor House in England with over 500 years of history. With its high hammer-beam roof, heraldic stained glass, and linenfold paneling; the Great Hall is at the heart of the manor house. Guests will be able to enjoy the Elizabethan-style gardens and relax in tranquillity enjoying a picnic in the beautiful grounds before the performance starts, which will begin late afternoon. 

During lockdown last year, an extremely strange time for us all, but possibly even more so for the dancers of the Royal Ballet as it would be the longest break, they have ever had in their careers. In the midst of a Zoom ballet class six months into lockdown, for many of the dancers, the thought of being back on stage seemed like a distant memory. So, recently promoted first soloist Meaghan Grace Hinkis decided to take this into her own hands and build a stage herself. “Three and a half weeks later my colleagues and I were back on stage dancing to a live audience!”. Due to it being such a magical event, overwhelmed by the positive feedback, a year later Meaghan couldn’t resist building that stage again. The official announcement for the second gala was made on April 6th, 2021 with the box office opening a few months later on June 15th. Promising to be one of the finest, most elegant dance events of the year, with net proceeds in aid of The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Acting For Others to help raise the importance of getting our theatres to return to their how they were pre-covid.

The event will run on both Saturday 11th September and Sunday 12th September. It features a star-studded cast of dancers from the Royal Ballet including principals Matthew Ball, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Maya Magri, and many more, as well as musicians from the orchestra of the Royal Ballet! Of course, Meaghan will also be performing as well as running the show. See the full list of dancers here. The performances will include exquisitely choreographed excerpts from the Royal Ballet’s repertory of both your favourite classical and more contemporary works.

No need to worry about the typical British weather either as special thanks to their Founding Friends, this year the audience will be rainproof! So come rain or shine, the show will go on. And you won’t want to miss it. 

Photos by Bill Cooper at last year’s event. To view more details on the gala and to purchase your ticket, click here.

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