Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September Round-up

Melissa Hamilton and Ed Watson
in Romeo and Juliet
Photo: Bill Cooper / ROH
This month there's just one blog, about the Royal Ballet's 'do it yourself' Romeo and Juliet insight evening.

Other writing:
A Review of English National Ballet School's end of term show (p.103) in Dancing Times, October issue

Friday, 25 September 2015

Royal Ballet Do It Yourself

Insights: Do it yourself, Royal Ballet, Clore Studio @ ROH - 22nd September

Federico Bonelli, Alexander Campbell and
Dawid Trzensimiech in Romeo and Juliet
Photo: ROH / Bill Cooper
Earlier this week, I made my Royal Opera House debut, dancing Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet. (Alas, it was in the Clore Studio as part of a 'do it yourself' insight event and not on the main stage alongside Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae who were also dancing that night.)

Former Royal Ballet soloist David Pickering guided a group of around 50 mixed ability adults through a basic warm-up and ballet barre, before teaching the infamous Dance of the Knights. The steps were simple enough but what I found most challenging was trying to walk like a 'normal' person - in other words, not in ballet pointed-toe-first style - whilst still maintaining the held upper body and elegance of the choreography. I've often heard it said that dancers struggle to play peasant and other non-typically classical roles 'naturally' without displaying their dancer nuances, and now I've experienced first-hand how difficult it is.

This aside, I'm sure the Royal Ballet artistic staff were watching and will be offering me a contract any moment... And if not, I had a really fun evening learning some of the Romeo and Juliet choreography that I've admired for many years.