Well I've been holding my breath for the last 3 days, but can finally breathe!
Alex has completed his exams and passed all with flying colours. He even receiving a special commendation from the assessing panel for his Character exam :-)
The students have all worked incredibly hard and I think their relief is shown in this photo. Just the written exams to go now!
A couple of weeks ago Alex had his Acting exam, when amongst other things he performed the final scene from the ballet 'Mayerling', impressing not only the adjudicators, but also ballet critics in the audience....he received the highest mark that could be awarded! :-)
Now here we are about to enter the most important week of Alex's life so far....Graduation Exam week!
The culmination of 3 years of incredibly hard work at the Bolshoi Academy.
Monday is 'Classical'; Tuesday 'Pas de Deux' and Wednesday is 'Character'.
The run-up to the exams was going really well, until Alex's class mate, Lyosha, received an injury which sadly has put him out of his exams.....meaning that Alex has quickly had to learn new choreography and positions (in place of works he was supposed to be doing with Lyosha). Last minute changes are something Alex is now very used to and as usual he arose to the challenge!!
I'm sure you will all join me in wishing Alex and his class mates all the best for their exams.....watch this space.
As promised, here is footage of Alex and his partner Vlada performing his choreography 'Symphony for Two' which was performed in the March gala. Unfortunately the video of the actual performance wasn't very good (too much swapping about of camera angles to actually see the choreography!), so his video is from the rehearsal.
Hope you like it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCHu3nQF48c
(more videos will follow soon)
Goodness how did it get to be March 2015?!
It's been a very hectic and very exciting few months for Alex as he enters the last phase of his training at the Bolshoi.
Since my last posting in October Alex has been on tours to Rome and Astrakhan which gained him wonderful reviews of which the following quote was part of one of them :
"Today when you see how intently Alessandro performs, how selflessly he executes demanding choreography...you understand how this emotionally generous boy has picked the right path, on which he can gain success and move to the heights..." Alexander Maxov (Russian ballet critic).
Over the Christmas and New Year period the audition process began, with Alex taking company classes in various companies in Europe and Russia. He has been offered a number of companies, but at this moment in time I don't want to tempt fate by telling you all, as the one he really wants will not be finalised until May.... Fingers and toes are crossed for the legalities of contracts and visas to go through!!
Two weeks ago Alex received the ultimate accolade when his own choreography "Symphony for Two" was chosen for in the Academy's Spring Galas. Alex and his partner Vlada Zakharova performed beautifully.... Alex was delighted with how it was received and that he was able to show yet another 'string to his bow'.
So now its 'all eyes down' for exams' (with maybe a gala or two in between), comencing with his Acting one on April 1st! He's going a number of pieces, but his main one is the final scene from Mayerling...
challenging to say the least and I hope to be able to post some videos soon.
We can't thank you all enough for your financial help and support over the last 3 years...I could not have got him there without it, so thank you all so much.
If anyone fancies a trip out to Moscow,(Easyjet fly direct from Manchester) his graduation gala performances are on 26th/27th May with the ceremony at the end of June.
I'll keep you all posted on any further updates.
Goodness, how did it get to be October so soon?!
After a great summer, with Alex doing really well in the competition in Vienna (he got into the finals in the 'professional' category ahead of guys who had been working in companies for a number of years), he is now into his second month of his Graduation year.
As usual the start of the year has been hectic. As well as working towards his graduation exams there are many rehearsals for up and coming galas and tours. Alex also has new partner as his partner last year was a 3rd year,
At the end of this month he has 2 performances of 'La Fille Mal Gardee' at the Bolshoi Theatre and 3 days of competition in the 'Moscow Festival of Character and Folk Dancing' (Alex can't actually enter this in his own right as its "Russians only", but his teacher wanted him to take part, so he is partnering some of the other contestants).
November consists of a tour to Rome, performing at Teatro dell' Opera di Roma and another to the Astrakhan State Theatre (on the border of Kazakhstan on the Caspian Sea).
Alex has also finally updated his website, so you can keep updated with his news easier as it includes links to his 'youtube'; instagram; twitter and facebook pages.
Go to www.alessandrocaggegi.co.uk
Once again thank you all for your continued support...we're very nearly there, but just need one last push to cover his final fees and the cost of travelling to auditions (which will start in the new year).
Gosh where does the time go?!
Well, after taking the 'Russian Language' academic exam (passing with flying colours), next week marks the start of Alex's 2nd year dance exams! His classical is on Monday, followed by Pas De Deux on Friday and Character on 7th June. Mind you (in true Academy style) he also has a gala on Tuesday as well as the Graduation Gala at the beginning of June to rehearse for!!
On top of all of that, he is also rehearsing for a competition in Vienna in July....makes me tired just thinking about it all!! :-)
Here are a few of the most recent photos from Moscow
So I've just got back from visiting Alex and had the wonderful privileged of not only seeing him perform in the Academy's March Gala, but also spending a day in the Academy watching his classes!!
I really can't express how wonderful it was to see him so at home and really excelling.
The classes were amazing and as an ex-dancer (all be it an extremely mediocre one in comparison!!), it was fascinating to see the teaching methods and combinations (all incredibly difficult....although Alex said they were the easy ones as it was a Monday!!)
The next few months will continue to be extremely busy, with Alex's own exams as well as the 3rd year ones he will be partnering some of the girls in. There will no doubt also be another Gala or two!
Once again, thank you for all your support and I hope you like the attached footage of his performance on Friday.
Happy New Year everybody!
Well what a lovely two weeks with Alex home for his Christmas break..he flew back to Moscow today, so the house has suddenly gone quiet again.
Well, what a great start he's had to his 2nd year...he performed a couple of pieces in the Academy's 240yr Anniversary Gala (held at the Kremlin) and gained top marks in his Contemporary exam!
He also had the honour to be chosen to perform the whole of the male variation, pas de deux and the coda (13mins long!!) from the 1st act of 'La Corsaire'. The rehearsal schedule for all of that, on top of a full day of classes was exhausting, with little time to eat or sleep, but as usual Alex took it all in his stride and his hard work definitely paid off.
The schedule for the rest of his 2nd year looks to be just as manic, starting with a trip to Milan at the beginning of February to perform at 'La Scala', followed by more galas and exams.
We must thank you all once again for your continued support and best wishes....hope you like the photos (the rehearsal video is to follow)
Well Alex has been back at the Academy for nearly 3 weeks now and is well and truly back into the swing of things with a charity gala already rehearsed and planned for this weekend! There is a lot on the schedule already for the coming year and Alex is rehearsing solos and duet pieces for performances and also his acting exams which are in November.
May I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support and a big thank-you also to the 'West Lancashire Freemasons Charity' for coming on board this year too. Alex and I are always greatly humbled by the generosity of not only friends and family, but also by those who do not know Alex...and without whom Alex would not be living the dream.
Alex has been in New York for 3 weeks now and is having a wonderful time.
On Saturday he did a great time on a photo shoot with photographer Liz McEachern-Hall. Here are just a few of her amazing 'Urban Ballet' shots....
No sooner does Alex get home then he's off again....only 3 days until he goes to New York with the Academy for 6 weeks!!
Here's some footage of the Academy performing in Kazan at the 'Rudolf Nureyev Festival' in May. Glimpses of Alex are at :34 (helping a friend to turn better) 1:24 / 1:42/2:15 and 4:26
Alessandro would like to thank everyone who has supported him over the last year, as would I!! We will be forever indebted to all of you. Alex is soon off to New York for 6 weeks to represent the Academy.
Well Alex's first amazing year in Moscow is completed. Here is a short film of his achievements so far. Please share this clip as we still need to raise funds for his next two years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi7CSUW17rY
Hello again....well Alex has had an unbelievable time since his return to the Academy after the NewYear hols. This week has seen the culmination of a lot of hard work and many, many hours rehearsing with the 3rd yr graduating students.
Last Friday Alex partnered two 3rd yrs girls for their final 'pas de deux' exam. It went really well and both his girls got the highest grading possible!! Alex was so pleased that he hadnt let them down.
Also, (due to one of the 3rd yr boys fracturing a leg 3 weeks ago) on Wednesday he did their character exam too! Good job he's a fast learner! :-)
The exams are very different at the Bolshoi as they are done on stage as a full performance in front of an audience, with many artistic directors going to watch. Accidently, Alex also got marked alongside the 3rd yrs and incredibly he was given the top grading!! Wow.
Its all been such good experience for him and has given him a real confidence boost for his own exams in May.
Hopefully I'll get copies of the exam DVDs soon, so I'll post them asap.
Thank you once again for all your support. Alex is certainly grabbing every opportunity and is doing us all proud.
Well time is flying by and Alex has been back at the Academy for 3 weeks after his New Year break back in Blighty. He continues to have an amazing time and since I went to see him in La Fille Mal Garde he performed in 2 galas for the Prime Minister and various ministers.
The last 3 weeks have been full of rehearsals for further performances and he has had the honour of being asked to partner some 3rd yr girls for their graduation exams which take place around Easter! Amazing!!
Thank you all for your continued support.
Off to Moscow on Thursday. Alex is performing the gypsy dance in La Fille Mal Garde on Friday evening...I cant wait, I never thought I'd be going over again so soon!! Hopefully I'll be able to get some photos to show you all.
A HUGE thank-you for the continued support and donations.
Alex has now been at the Academy for 6 weeks and is doing amazingly well. He's working incredibly hard and has already been chosen as a soloist '2nd cast' in LA FILLE MAL GARDE at the Bolshoi Theatre next month!!
This is usually reserved for 3rd year students, so its a massive acheivement so early on. :-)
D-DAY...Alex entered the Academy on Friday evening and after the opening ceremony on Saturday morning, he started classes on Monday. The Academy has the most wonderful atmosphere and facilities (everything has been refurbished this summer) and thankfully Alex's ballet master seems to like him.
A big thank you once again to everybody that has helped to get Alex there for his first year!
Having major problems with visa which means Alex cant now land in Moscow until 31st August instead of 30th :-s Does anybody know someone who can pull strings with Lufthansa??....they wont allow me to alter any portion of the flights, even though there's a flight that leaves Frankfurt 4 hours later than the original, which lands after midnight!!! Even phoned the airport in Moscow to see if we can hang around in passport control for 4 hours....but no joy!! :-(
Thank you yet again for the continued support and to St Gregory's Catholic High (for all your support of Alex over the years) and to Johnsons Hairdressing for their wonderful response to Alex's story...and the free haircuts when he's home!!
Thank you to all the generous customers at M S Gemini who allowed us to pack their bags today. I hope nothing got squashed!!
Thanks also to Norma, Vicky, Karen, Tudor and Alex from 'Golborne Brass Band' and our friends Colin, Sue, Theressa and Sarah for giving up their Sunday afternoon to man the tills along side myself and Alessandro.
We are so close to the £15,000 goal I'd set for this year (although thanks to the extortionate cost of insurance and legal fees, I've under estimated by about £4,000 per year! :-s)
So I've decided to keep going with the fundraising, rather than waiting till next year to raise the next chunk of fees.
If anyone is local to Warrington and would like a good evening of entertainment, Alex's brass band are having a 'farewell Alex' fundraising show of show/big band tunes.
It will heavily feature Alex, both playing and dancing, as well as singers and other dancers. Its on 21st July...contact me if you're interested.
Amazing...nearly half way to achieving the first year! Thank you so much everybody.
Paypal problems have now been resolved, however if anyone prefers to do a bank transfer instead, I will be happy to send account details (donating that way also means we dont have to pay paypals charges).
Very sorry, but I'm still having paypal issues due to the bank account being in an under 18 yr old's name, it will be sorted by the end of the week! However if anyone prefers to send money a donation directly into Alessandro's bank account you can contact me via email and I will supply the account details. Thanks a lot.
Once again, thank you so much for all the kind donations, the support is incredible.
If anyone is having problems donating via Paypal please wait a couple of days, then try again, as the account is being upgraded. Due to the Bank Holiday, its going to take a day or two to be completed.
Well the Russian language CDs were a great buy! Alex is having fun with it and is learning quickly despite the hinderance of one of the other 'students' on the CD who is far too slow for Alex's liking!! LOL
Thank-you to everyone once again....that's the first month paid for!! :-) There have been 2 lovely write ups published today: a full page on page 3 of 'The Warrington Guardian' and the front cover and page 3 feature in 'Warrington Worldwide', both are available online too if anyone would like to have a look.
In 2012 my 16year old son Alex (now 19), become only the 4th British boy in a 240 year history to be accepted into the world famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. He was also the first Britain ever to be accepted straight into the Russian boys class, without doing a probationary year. This was an amazing opportunity as the training there is very different from in Britain and develops brilliant male dancers. Alex has had a wonderful first year and achieved much more than we could ever have thought possible in such a short period of time. His acceptance to the Academy was only made possible by the amazing generosity shown by family, friends and strangers alike as I needed to raise approximately £18,000 to cover the cost and expenses of his first year. However, for Alex to continue his with his training, I still need to raise the money for his next 18 months (and unfortunately the fees have gone up by £2000 per year!) So please can you help? Even the smallest donations will add up and enable Alex to fulfil his dream and reach his full potential.
Well done Alex and Louise. Extremely proud of you both ...Alex for being the incredible,talented ,hard working boy that he is and Louise for being such a wonderful ,supportive mum who has also worked tirelessly to make her sons dream come true x
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