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Northern Ballet’s Swan Lake: a haunting re-telling of a familiar story; a heart-breaking tale of love and loss.  So many images to take away and reflect on but for me the most memorable image was one perhaps the Choreographer was less conscious of and which only the programme notes revealed.

Alongside the British dancers – and all parts of the UK were represented -, were dancers from USA, Cuba, Japan, Italy, Uruguay, Australia,, France, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Portugal and Spain.  Literally dancing in harmony, were gathered, on this small stage, diverse representatives of our global village.  Here was something to truly celebrate; a glimpse of what our world can and should be.

Amidst all the fears being raised by mass migration, refugees, immigrants, EU freedom  of movement, I rejoice in being part of a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-faith society.  When we come together, celebrating our diversity, affirming our shared  humanity, the world is always a richer, more exciting place, where the full potential of humankind begins to be glimpsed.

This planet we call Earth is but a village in the cosmos, too fragile to justify the divisions some try to breed.  In any village there are always those who try to sow hated and mistrust but our village is too small to allow them to succeed.  Being together in our diversity is not always easy but it is always enriching.

I love the fact that with the young woman delivering the parcel to my house, I find myself exchanging gardening notes on the magnolia in our garden with that in her parent’s garden in the Czech Republic.  When we meet with an open heart there is always more that unites us than divides us.

Within this global village there is still much to be done to ensure a more just and equal sharing of resource and opportunity, and peace and justice still need more friends.  But the solution lies in reaching out and not in creating barriers, in welcome and not excluding.

Although this vision for our global village is still very much work in progress, as the dancers took their curtain call, I was applauding not just for the beauty of the performance but also in gratitude for the glimpse of what our village life can and should be.