Amici Dance Theatre Company celebrates 40th anniversary with YouTube series.
With the planned anniversary show, Amici’s One World, cancelled after almost a year of rehearsal, Amici Dance Theatre Company still managed to celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. The world’s first integrated professional dance company featuring disabled and non-disabled performers came together to take A Look Back at Amici, one of their most renowned performances on YouTube.
With the anniversary show being rescheduled for 2021, six pioneering productions (Rückblick – 1982, 2020 – 2000, Timestep – 2003, Stars Are Out Tonight – 2005, Tightrope – 2010 and 35 Amici Drive – 2015) are now available on YouTube. Just search: ‘Amici Dance Theatre Company.’
By Paul Johnson
In Feb 1970, residents of the picturesque village of Ingatestone, Peggy Gadsdon and Alan Braun had the idea of forming a local musical society.
Peggy wrote out cards and placed them all around Ingatestone. A week later nine people were gathered in her house; Peggy and Dennis Gadsdon, Beverley Gadsdon, Alan and Nesta Braun, Richard Enever, Alison Prior, David Ridgeway, Norma Quarterman.
They formed the first committee, calling the group ‘Ingatestone Opera Company’.
The first few years were dominated by Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, like many amateur companies of that time.
In the early years members organised many parties for themselves and the local community. This included; the annual dinner dances, grand summer balls, Parisienne evenings, 1920s soirées. Later, Christmas and garden parties were held in the beautiful grounds of Hutton Hall, owned by member Derick Sanders.
The multi-talented actors made stirling efforts as they had to build sets from scratch including the whole carousel for that R&H show. One of the groups most creative prop-makers made life-sized cut-outs of Annie Oakley and Wild Bill Hickock… and all the sewing machines in The Pajama Game.
IMOG has performed all three of Cole Porter’s most famous shows: Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes and High Society, plus his compilation show A Voyage Around Cole Porter. Some of the latest productions have included 9 to 5 and Little Shop of Horrors plus they have also started producing pantomimes.
Some of the society’s big success stories to date have been Sister Act (2018) and Aladdin (2019), the latter of which won the Best Pantomime award for the district at the regional NODA awards in March 2020.
Forthcoming shows are Fabulous at Fifty and Spamalot (next October).