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performance and Choreography

When we began chronicling this history of the school it was only natural that Paul would contribute interesting and amusing anecdotes: in fact, too many to include in this modest essay. One though, has a somewhat poignant significance. Poignant because his mother, in her determination for the school to succeed - and, in so doing, pass on her love for the Cinderella art form she was so dedicated to - had in part, sacrificed a very real component of her talent: choreography. Some time after his mother's death he was invited auditorium Adeline Genée Theatre for afternoon tea with Dame Ninette, ("Where did you get those delicious cakes from," he asked. "Mr Kipling of course!" Madam replied.) During the conversation she suddenly said, "I don't know why your mother spent all those years running a school, she should have been a choreographer." This, from one of Britain's most celebrated choreographers of the 20th Century was no mean observation.

Most of you reading this will have no memory, let alone experience, of Noreen Bush as she died in 1977. There are others who do and will appreciate that the outstanding level of performance and choreography at Bush Davies was Noreen's legacy: perhaps her most influential achievement which set the standard for the remaining twenty-one years.

It is not for this author to analyse or appraise her skills but, simply to stir memories. Inview from the stage - Adeline Genée Theatre doing so we must recognise the influence she had. 'Miss Bush' could be unswerving in her judgement, often feared and disliked for her forthrightness and seemingly uncompromising actions. Underlying this, however, was a deep sense of insecurity in her creative abilities. In her frustration, like many artists limited in practising their skills, she needed constant reassurance and encouragement. Italians, even half-Italians, are well known for their spontaneous combustion! Noreen was no exception but could recant quickly and generously if wrong: she knew the value of being truthful. Many students will recall her benevolence and encouragement even when things were not going too well for them.


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