Posted on September 27, 2012
Michael Stylianos and Lorna Lee presented their first Carl Alan Awards at the Copthorne Hotel Effingham Park on September 21, featuring the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. When the doors opened at 6.30pm, all the guests were greeted with champagne before they entered the beautifully decorated ballroom.
After the excellent meal, the main events of the night took place starting with the cabaret, which was introduced by Neil Oliver, the evening’s host. The Performers Theatre Company, a group of young dancers, male and female, were the first to perform in a very good routine to “Bye Bye Blackbird”. They were followed by Alessio Potenziani and Veronika Vlasova (pictured top), who danced a beautiful waltz followed by a dramatic tango, in an excellent demonstration.
We were treated to a Latin show next: Jurij Batagelij walked onto the floor with his cape wrapped around his body then gave a fantastic show with it before his wife, Jagoda, joined him for a brilliant Latin segue. Next was a clever tap dancing show on drums by six young men from the Performers Theatre Company, before Domen Krapez and Monica Nigro danced a beautiful slow foxtrot, interacting with a chair, in a very clever performance. The young dancing group returned with a rock-style dance, full of kicks and lifts.
A very elderly man came onto the floor – very unsteady on his feet, walking with a cane – and a similarly elderly lady joined him. They started to dance a slow jive, then, as the music got faster, they really got into the dance – then gave up exhausted. The dancers were Jurij and Jogoda Bataggelij (pictured above right), who really did look old. It was an outstanding demonstration and they received a well-deserved standing ovation. The excellent cabaret finished with the Performers Theatre Company singing and dancing.
Neil Oliver made the introduction to the Carl Alan Awards and introduced the presenters. The first Carl Alan Award was for an Outstanding Amateur Partnership and the winners were Neil Jones and Ekaterina Sokolova (pictured below with presenter Denise Weavers).
Stephen Hillier announced the winners of the Carl Alan Award for the Outstanding Professional Partnership: Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova. As the Professional ballroom champions were unable to attend, Monica Needham accepted it on their behalf.
The next award was Outstanding Services To Dance, which Alan Fletcher presented to the recipient Bryan Allen. Marcus Hilton announced the winner of the Exceptional Contribution to Dance Award, which went to Len Goodman who, again, was unable to attend; Michael Barr accepted it on his behalf. The Classical Special Sequence Award winner was Pauline Blackham, with prize presenter Julie Earnshaw.
The Lifetime Dedication to Dance Award was presented to Dance Today writer Jack Reavely by Vicky Barr (pictured left) and the last award, for Worldwide Contribution to Dance, went to Wendy Too Man Ying, who was unable to attend,so the award was accepted on her behalf by Marcus Hilton.
Social dancing continued until midnight. It had been a very entertaining evening and everything had run like clockwork. It was Michael and Lorna’s first Carl Alan Awards Night and a great success story for them!
Words: Iris Findlay
Photographs © Morrison Findlay. To buy any, call 01420 487 526.