CURTAIN up - and it's Class Piece, the punning title borne out on all levels as the stage fills with the year groups who are currently BA Modern Ballet Students. And whether the dancers are Year One, Year Two or the graduating Year Three, they all deliver the same, confident statement through the elegant rigours of classical technique: 'this is who we are, this is what we do - we are the proof that this course was a great addition to the existing faculties.' It's a claim echoed by the orchestral playing throughout the night, with the 'Toire's music students delivering Vivaldi (for Class Piece) and Lovenskjold (for the La Sylphide extract) with a real awareness that playing sensitively for dancers differs from being centre-stage on a concert platform.
Like any end of term performance, the programme is tailored to the learning curve of the students, with an emphasis - in the solos especially - on the graduates preparing for a professional career.
Interestingly enough,as Lewis Normand's potently sinuous Kylian solo showed, it wasn't all pointe-work and classic bon-bons, though Javier Orozco accounted for a whizzingly fleet, focussed and precise morsel from Le Corsaire. The final piece, Fragments (choreographed by Diana Loosemore) saw the graduates engage totally with the shifting textures that set stillness against staccato angularities, lone figure against group synchronicity. The Second Years,meanwhile, impressed twice over with a captivating section from La Sylphide Act II - Emma McBeth a sweetly pert Sylph - and then in Sophie Laplane's edgier, near-robotic Rocket Builder. The First Years kicked up their heels in the Mazurka from Swan Lake Act III, promising well for the future - a happy thought for dance fans everywhere.