The programme included performances by some of the best dancers in the world, integrating ballet, contemporary and hip hop styles and some truly wonderful singers. Alongside these successful artists at the top of their professions, there was also a performance by students at the Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, representing young people at the beginning of the journey towards their dreams. They train in a wonderful prize-winning building, which helps to further cement the link between the professions represented by CIC and the performing arts.
As well as celebrating CIC’s 25th Anniversary, proceeds from the gala supported two charities: the Construction Youth Trust and the Dance UK healthy dancer initiative, We thank Norman Smith, the BBC News Channel’s Chief Political Correspondent, who hosted the event and the performers for giving their time so graciously to support our charities; we thank the choreographers for allowing their work to be performed and Tamara Rojo and the staff at the English National Ballet for giving their consent to the performances by Daria Klimentová, Vadim Muntagirov and Elena Glurdjidze.
The performers, in performance order:
- West End Mamas: songs from smash hit musicals
- Laban BA 2nd Year Students: “We are at the end of our string”
- Tommy Franzèn: “Solo”
- Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov: “White Swan pas de deux”
- Noelle Vaughn : classic songs from the 40s,50s and 60s
- Jonathan Goddard: ‘’Dracula’’
- Slanjayvah Danza : Extract from “Minor Tears”
- Elena Glurdjidze: “The Dying Swan”
Here are some of the many wonderful messages of thanks received after the event and some photographs from the night:
When I think back on my time in construction (wouldn't have missed it for the world), last night's event will stick out in my memory as one of the high points.
When the show started, I was completely bowled over. So light on their feet! I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Many many thanks - what a great event.
Denis Walker Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
A Graham Watts’ tour de force.
Managing Director, Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will
Robin Nicholson CBE, Cullinan Studio
Thank you so much for a brilliant evening! I loved it! I enjoyed your speeches – thought it was all fab, the venue, the food, the entertainment, the company!
Congratulations on your prodigious feat of organising such a cultural feast as we had yesterday. It was markedly different to the tone of most industry occasions and all the better for that. I hope the CIC’s image benefits.
Thank you for the 22 years of effort you have put into CIC, the value of which is clear to all.
Richard Saxon CBE
Just a brief note to thank you and your team for laying on such a splendid evening yesterday – one of the most enjoyable I have spent in many a long year. The food and company were excellent, and of course the entertainment you laid on was of the highest class. I felt privileged to have been present, as I know did Mick Henman and David Darlington.
Paul Everall CBE
I just wanted to say a very big thank you for the amazing time I had last night at the CIC Gala Dinner. What a very special gift you gave us. The performances were sensational.
Many thanks for inviting me to join your splendid 25 year Gala Dinner last night. Helen and I enjoyed the event very much. It was a uniquely imaginative evening and we felt privileged to attend.
Congratulations to all involved in the planning and organisation.
Chris & Helen Haddon
I just wanted to drop you a line, on behalf of Chloe and Deb as well, to say thanks again for inviting us to the gala dinner last night. It was a really entertaining, enjoyable evening, and the dancers and singers were fantastic. I hope you’re pleased with how it went – we thought it was a lovely occasion.
Myself and my three guests attended the CIC Gala Dinner last night, thank you for the wonderful evening, which we most thoroughly enjoyed, and would just like to send our appreciation to all those involved in putting on such a fantastic event.
Chief Executive, Constructing Better Health
A fantastic evening.
I thought some of the dancing was utterly breath-taking, particularly Minor Tears. Utterly fantastic. One of the best things I have seen in a long time.
Chief Political Correspondent
BBC News Channel
What a brilliant evening. Thank you so much for asking me. I enjoyed it enormously and it was wonderful to see Daria and Vadim – and all the dancers – so close.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for last night – it was a fabulous evening with great performances and was wonderfully well put together by you. Thank you so much for inviting me to come along.
Communications and Membership Officer, Dance UK
Thank you so much for inviting me to the CIC Anniversary Dinner on Thursday evening. It was a truly magnificent occasion with spectacular performers from the ballet world and the musicals. As you know I am not an expert on ballet but we were truly mesmerised by the performers and to be so close to them whilst they were performing. After that we will certainly be going to the ballet again.
The singers were also excellent and Norman Smith was a first class compere throughout. I am sure he is a first class dinner speaker in his own right.
Well done to CIC for its first 25 years and congratulations on the well deserved tributes that were paid to you personally.
Thanks again Graham for the invitation and all the best to CIC for the next 25 years.
Michael Ankers OBE
Hello. Just wanted to say a really big thank you for inviting me along to be part of the big celebration so fantastically organised by you all. it must have been such a lot of work, but very well worth it.
Very well done to you all. A great bash for a great institution.
Writer, Editor and Researcher
Firstly to say what a splendid evening we all had last week. My wife and I were delighted to be able to attend with the ABE crowd. The performances were outstanding. We found the Globe exhibition very interesting; we’d never been before so it was a real treat to be able to mill about, chat and see the exhibits.
Thank you and the CIC top brass in person.
Earl John Lyntton
A really big thank you for such a wonderful evening last Thursday. Roger and I had a fantastic evening.
Christine Inman & Roger Steadman
Boy have I been dining out on stories for the CIC Gala dinner! Wow! That was possibly the best construction industry dinner in 20 years! Well done Mr Watts!
I feel so privileged to have witnessed such incredible talent at such close quarters – I have literally never seen anything like it. Thank you so much. I have my Daria pointe shoe pride of place at home – amazing!
Graham, that was a really special evening and a real credit to you and your standing across the worlds of ballet and construction – brilliant stuff.
Thanks so much again
Editor, New Civil Engineer magazine
*Photographs from the night are available to view and purchase via the CIC Flickr account.