(Monday 17th April 2023) The stars certainly came out in full force from the world of entertainment in support of the Mark Elie Dance Foundation, & Classically British & Co, in association with Portobello Dance School charity auction fundraising event on Monday 10th April 2023 at The J & M Gallery, 230 Portobello Rd, London W11 1LJ.
In attendance for this triumphant sell out event was International, multimillion selling live recording Artist LEEE JOHN of 80’s super group IMAGINATION. British actor, singer and dancer Danny John- Jules, esteemed Stage & Screen Actor Kelvin O’Mard. Author, broadcaster and social commentator Dr Leroy Logan MBE. Gary Crowley, BBC Radio broadcaster, TV presenter and DJ. Singer, songwriter Angie Brown with an exclusive performance from the Rambert Dance Company, renowned classical & contemporary dancer Salome Pressac, who presented a haunting and memorizing visual piece of work capitulating the entire audience.
“What a wonderful evening filled with so many friends, distinguish VIP guests, past & present admirers who came out in full force to graciously support the Dance Foundation’s ongoing work. I feel truly blessed and honoured that evening went so incredibly well and I cannot thank you all enough for kindness and generosity, says Mark Elie Artistic Director CEO, Mark Elie Dance
Foundation & Classically British & Co. This event was in aid of raising crucial funds in support of the continued long standing local community work from the Dance Foundation & Classically British & Co for (Black History Season) across the arts, reflecting the importance of diversity in education across classical & contemporary dance and which am delighted to say has raised a phenomenal total of £4000!!, which is just beyond amazing.”
Mark Elie Dance Foundation would like to thank everyone who kindly contributed and donated their gracious time and support to make this happen, in no running order the awesome Salome Pressac, Kelvin O’Mard, Joanna Iglauer , LEEE JOHN, Danny John-Jules, Dr Leroy Logan MBE. Ray Harris, Gary Crowley, Angie Brown, Ian Towning, Alison Limerick, Deborah Evans – Stickland, Paul Bloomfield, Mikei Hall, Damian Rayne, Teja Lisjak, Cllr Gerard Hargreaves, Angela Spence, Spencer Murray, Kza/PDS, Johnny Doyle – Bertie Blossoms & Ed Sheeran’s Management, Max Modarras, Sam Lord, Michael Bryant, Archie C Michael, Ann O’Toole, all the guest Eventbrite ticket buyers and charity auction winners with the Mayor of RBKC, Councillor David Lindsay and his wife. THANK YOU!
About Mark Elie:
Born and raised in a Westminster children’s home in London Mark Elie has enjoyed an incredible stellar career, working with some of the world’s leading ballet and contemporary dance companies from the Ballet Gulbenkian, Lisbon, and the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem in NYC and with the acclaimed Arlene Phillips from Hot Gossip to a multitude of numerous West End Shows.
In 1995 he went on to set up the Mark Elie Dance Foundation, a registered charity to provide access to affordable education tuition in Dance to low income families which then led onto to
establishing Classically British & Co.
To quote Mark Elie “the reason I set it up Classically British & Co was I still thought there was a lack of Diversity in Classical Ballet in the UK, and felt that there weren’t enough of black/mixed ethnic backgrounds present here in the British Classical dance world. We did have Americans/Cubans but we didn’t have many black/mixed raced Dancers especially ballerinas of English descent.”
The feedback from the voices of the young students at my school, were saying “I went to the ballet and I didn’t see any black ballerina dancers like me,” this made me start thinking. Perhaps we could get something going that could represent role models to aspire and look up too, I knew I had to do something so I took everything I learned from my career and that experience I gained and I brought it over to West London condensing it, so I kept everything small and tight. Starting with the Mark Elie Dance Foundation (a registered charity) and the Portobello Dance School and from the school now produces three phenomenal shows each year, including Classically British& Co, which runs in association Black History Season. The aim, to create a spotlight on the multitude of talent we have here in the UK across this ethnically diverse kaleidoscope landscape we all live in, and to ensure all the students at the school have the opportunity to be inspired and to achieve their own individual goals and aspirations as well as to understand about the pioneering individuals that paved the way for people like me to be able to continue doing the work I am doing.
“Looking back over the last 30 years I am very proud to say The Mark Elie Dance Foundation & Classically British & Co’s has continuously evolved to a point now where thousands of children, adults and university students have enjoyed and participating throughout the years in learning and understanding more about classical & contemporary dance now as well as into the future.”
Website & Social Media Website: https://www.portobellodance.org.uk
TicToc: https://www.tiktok.com/@classicallybritishandco Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClassicallyCo