Real Shame That Our Dance Company Was Not Good Enough To Entertain Mr Mayne From Potton

I M writing on behalf of Lantern Dance Theatre Company, whose dancing in ZIMBE! at the Mayday concert in Ely Cathedral on May 2 attracted the scorn of Nicholas Mayne from Potton. It was a real shame for our 35 dancers to have to read that their performanc

I'M writing on behalf of Lantern Dance Theatre Company, whose dancing in ZIMBE! at the Mayday concert in Ely Cathedral on May 2 attracted the scorn of Nicholas Mayne from Potton. It was a real shame for our 35 dancers to have to read that their performance was not good enough to entertain Mr and Mrs Mayne and so should not have been featured in this Ely Cathedral Trust concert in the Diocese's 900th anniversary year. Mr Mayne wrote that he disliked all the other items in the programme as well: personally, if I had travelled so far to a concert with so little idea of what I was going to hear and had hated it, I wouldn't have written to the local paper to advertise the fact and blame the performers for it.

As for the dancing, and the new music it was set to, it was only the second ever performance of the score, and the first ever with dance, which was made for the occasion by Lantern's artistic director Helen Pettit. It certainly pleased the composer of the piece and the response from the rest of the audience on the night was generous and enthusiastic. It might have helped the Maynes to know that Lantern Dance Theatre is an integrated dance group, and that about half its members have disabilities. On show that evening was a high level of commitment and courage by all our dancers as well as terrific skill in interpreting the fresh new music of ZIMBE! It was the result of many hours of planning and rehearsal, which we willingly donated to the event. At Lantern, we don't emphasise disability: our dancers are all on equal terms and they work very hard to be as good as they can be. This brings them recognition in some quarters. Last month, Lantern was one of just four dance groups invited by the national agency Youth Dance England to perform at the Mermaid Theatre, London, representing youth dance in England to a distinguished and appreciative audience of dance professionals. So someone other than parents and our local supporters thinks our dancers are worth watching. It's a shame these two visitors to Ely did not, and felt it was appropriate to publicly criticise our hard working and courageous young people for disappointing them.


Lantern Dance Theatre Company