- BBC Proms in the Park – Hyde Park, London, 9th September 2000
I wasn’t sure if I should add this or not, but then if I’m including Proms inside the Albert Hall, why not include Proms in the Park outside the Albert Hall! The perfect alternative to getting those hotly contested last night tickets, we enjoyed a beautiful day in the sunshine with picnic and champers, plus great entertainment from Bjorn Again, The Chieftains, Georgie Fame, Julian Lloyd Webber, Willard White and Angela Gheorghiu. All topped off by the BBC Concert Orchestra, and hosted (of course) by Terry Wogan. Fantastic!
- Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo – Milton Keynes Theatre, 12th September 2000
Every show by the Trocks is different, even if they do the same dances as before! This programme started with Les Sylphides; then after an interval, Cross Currents, Go for Barocco and The Dying Swan, finally ending up with Paquita. All as skilful and stunning as they are hilarious. The terminal fowl was executed, as usual in those days, by Ida Nevasayneva. Nothing more to say!
- Defending the Caveman – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 15th September 2000
Rob Becker’s beautifully written one-man play was toured the world over by Australian Mark Little, at the time best known for his appearances in the TV soap Neighbours. Defending the Caveman is a really clever show that highlights the differences between men and women, presented from a man’s point of view, but always respectful and entertaining. Great stuff!
- Rambert Dance Company Autumn & Winter Tour – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 6th October 2000
Back again for another helping of Rambert, with a slightly unusual programme of two longer dance pieces: Mats Ek’s She was Black and Christopher Bruce’s Sergeant Early’s Dream. Dream was performed to live music from the Sergeant Early Band. The fantastic (slightly smaller than usual) group of dancers included favourites Hope Muir, Glenn Wilkinson, Vincent Redmon, and Simon Cooper.
- Graham Norton – Lively – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 8th October 2000
After seeing Victoria Wood a few years earlier, this was our second foray into the world of stand-up comedy on stage, and Graham Norton’s comedy gig was absolutely excellent. He had the also excellent Jo Caulfield as his support act. At the time he was just gathering success with his So Graham Norton TV show – little did we know how he would grow to dominate the TV and radio for decades!
- Richard Alston Dance Company – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 24th October 2000
Our third trip to see Richard Alston’s annual tour, the programme featured a selection of Alston’s pieces set to classical musical. Waltzes in Disorder, with music by Brahms, was followed by Tremor, with music by Shostakovich, and finally The Signal of a Shake, set to music by Handel. The line up of dancers included Martin Lawrance, David McCormick and Diana Loosmore.
- Mark Baldwin Dance Company – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 14th February 2001
A four month gap till our next show, a Valentine’s night trip to the Wycombe Swan to see the Mark Baldwin Dance Company in a programme of works all choreographed by Baldwin: Danses Concertantes, The Bird Sings with its Fingers, and The State. This show was a collaboration with the full scale orchestra, Sinfonia 21. Among the dancers was Laurent Cavanna, whose work we had admired when he danced with Rambert.
- Jekyll and Hyde – Northern Ballet Theatre at the Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 30th March 2001
Another trip to see strong modern ballet with the contemporary twist of the Northern Ballet, in a dance version of the famous story choreographed by Massimo Moricone. Jekyll was danced by Hironao Takahashi and Hyde by the late Jonathan Ollivier. I confess I don’t have too many memories of this.
- Moscow City Ballet perform Swan Lake – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 1st May 2001
Classical ballet on a grand scale, the Moscow City Ballet’s production of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece had all the little touches you would expect from this company that brings the atmosphere of the true Russian ballet on its regular tours.
- Nederlands Dans Theater 2 – Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 20th May 2001
Another visit to see NDT2 touring, at the time one of favourite dance companies – the youth department of the NDT. The programme started with Dream Play, choreographed by Johan Inger, to music from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring; then Said and Done, a new dance from Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon to the music of Bach; and finally crowd pleaser Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, set to fun 1950s tunes. A brilliant and memorable night’s dance.