charters part two
1970-1989 Page 11
To add to an increasingly important list of recruitments was Sue Passmore. She had been asked, with her husband, Ray Bishop, to produce the school's 60th anniversary production of 'Time-Steps' in 1974. This was followed with 'Mr Aesop's Fable Show', written by Ray and Sue, in the following year, by which time, Sue had become a permanent 'fixture'. She will be discussed further in 'Performance and Choreography.'.
In l977, after retiring from the Royal Ballet Company and graduating from the Professional Dancer's Teaching Course at the RAD, Carole Gable joined Bush Davies as a senior ballet teacher. It was hoped she would be joined by her husband, Christopher. However, after injury forced his retirement from the Royal Ballet, he was in the throes of a burgeoning acting career and had other ambitions for a school for dance in London. Carole joined him after four years at Bush Davies and founded the Central School of Ballet in 1982. Rather like Biddy, their school would espouse a more liberal approach to vocational training without the overriding strictures of syllabuses. They did join forces for Bush Davies when they produced 'Coppelia' in 1981 in which Josephine Jewkes took the role of Swanhilda.
It should be said, despite the core objectives of providing essential all-round qualifications, Bush Davies itself was already easing-in a more liberal philosophy by inviting a wide range of experienced teachers on a regular basis to meet the needs of a demanding profession.
In 1984, Alfreda Thorogood was recruited, like Carole, from the PDTC. Mary Clarke, former editor of Dancing Times had said to Paul that she had been one of her favourite ballerinas; further, Dame Ninette had said to Paul, "Watch this lady, she has very special teaching gifts. I love her style." A verbal agreement was in place for her husband, David Wall, to join Alfreda in directing the artistic policy of the school had it not closed. In addition, Pat Whittock had agreed to leave her post at Bedford College of Dance to take charge of student courses. This would have involved setting up a degree course in the Student Academy. The forward-looking and innovative spirit of the school, as inspired by Noreen, was there right up until the end.
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