I was brought up to believe that we are all better off if we support one another. I've performed at many charity gigs over the years and it feels like the right thing to do. Why wouldn't you want to use the talents you have to support a worthy cause?'
“Both Angela [co-patron Angela Rippon] and I are really proud to be patrons of The Hunger Project. Although The Hunger Project is a relatively small charity compared with the big players, it is very smart in it's approach to tackling poverty. The charity has 350 staff around the world who mobilise volunteer leaders, with a particular focus on women, to work within their own communities. So far there are almost 400,000 volunteer leaders working in 24,000 villages worldwide.''
The best talent Avis has to offer is his dancing, and thus the ‘The Gary Avis and Friends' ballet gala was born. For the fund-raiser Avis has roped in pals from the Royal and English National ballet companies.
I'm so pleased that my friends Steven McRae and Jumoke Fashola, both of whom gave such incredible performances in January, will be performing. I'm also delighted that The Royal Ballet's Roberta Marquez, Nehemiah Kish, Melissa Hamilton, Paul Kay, Leanne Cope, David Pickering, Yuhui Choe and Bennet Gartside will be joining me with very special guest English National Ballet's Principal Ballerina Begona Cao”
Royal Ballet wunderkind Liam Scarlett has recently been added to the line-up.
As a Suffolk boy he was keen to host the gala on home territory, and it will be held at The Regent Theatre, Ipswich. There will be two showings on September 11, at 1.30 and 6.30pm.
Tickets are available now by phoning 01473 433100. Further information is on The Hunger Project site.
Photo: from the top, Gary Avis, Melissa Hamilton, Yuhui Choe, Roberta Marquez & Steven McRae, Bennet Gartside and Nehemiah Kish
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.