Archive for March, 2011

Javier De Frutos and The Pet Shop Boys

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The Most Incredible Thing is a modern ballet choreographed by Javier de Frutos with music by the Pet Shop Boys. It opened at Sadler’s Wells 17th March. Based on a fairy story by Hans Christian Anderson the King offers his daughter’s hand in marriage and half his kingdom to the person who can create the most extraordinary object anyone has ever seen. Not surprisingly his spirited daughter is resistant to this rather authoritarian concept. The opening scene is one of my favourites in the ballet, the dancers dressed as Russian workers dance around a huge table, it has echoes of early expressionist dance and is so visual it is as if a painting comes to life. Meanwhile isolated behind transparent screens, Princess (Clemmie Sveaas) dances alone in true teenage anxt to the wonderful pounding beat of the Pet Shop Boys.

The Most Incredible Thing.1

The Most Incredible Thing.3

The two suitors show up, dreamy artist Leo, and ruthless soldier, Karl (Aaron Sillis and Ivan Putrov). Both dance in turn with Princess. The competition to design the most incredible object begins. Leo, creates a little clock which magically comes to life, it is agreed by the panel of judges shown on video that his is the best design and so wins the girl and half the kingdom.

The Most Incredible Thing.4

The Most Incredible Thing.5

Bad loser Karl, fired up with envy crushes the clock and is pronounced the winner for doing The Most Incredible Thing by destroying such an extraordinary work of art (no I don’t follow that line of thought either… but all is not lost). So Baddy and Beauty are to marry while Sad Artist is pining for his lost love. Suddenly, low and behold, the clock rebuilds itself, destroys the evil soldier and dreamy artist is reunited with his true love and they live happily ever after for ever and ever just like in real life.

Except I missed the last act so didn’t see them reunited because my princess texted me to say she wasn’t feeling well so I left for home. I hope one day I’ll have the opportunity to watch and draw the ballet again, the energy was fabulous and the imagery beautiful.

My drawings on Protein Facebook

Friday, March 25th, 2011

March 23rd, Protein Facebook

LOL (Lots of Love). Protein Dance Company

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

LOL (Lots of Love)Protein‘s fabulous new work was at The Place last week. As the title suggests the dance is concerned with how the internet and social networking is transforming relationships, replacing human contact with a series of letters, dots and dashes. The changes in the way we connect, find love and develop relationships.

As well as dancing the performers speak text in rapid, anxious one liners. The dance is fast and funny, but as it progresses the confusion of the online language combined with unrequited human longing results in melancholic solitude.

Andy Pink has created a fascinating soundscore with video animation by Rachel Davies

Protein. LOL Lots of Love. 1


LOL Protein 3

 Protein. LOL Lots of Love. 4  LOL (Lots of Love)

Chris Thompson, Director of Learning & Access at The Place described LOL (Lots of Love) as “A brilliant show, so many layers and textures and knotted wires”. During the devising of the dance the cast visited community groups around the country to speak with ‘real people’, the material they drew upon was verbal, interviews and online.

Artistic Director, Luca Silvestrini says “it’s not about technology it’s about relationships within the technology; about humanity, a celebration of flesh and blood through live performance”.

Protein are Company in Residence at Greenwich Dance. Last year during the devising of LOL they performed an extract of LOL at the Greenwich Dance Cabaret. I drew the duet, To The Bone danced by Protein dancers recently at The Wapping Project. see:

Greenwich Dance. Spring Cabaret

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

The Spring Cabaret at Greenwich Dance last Friday was the chosen venue for Lisa Stubbs to celebrate her birthday. Her friends filled three tables to watch an evening of innovative dance and later surprisingly to participate in. As always I drew a few sketches of the dances as they unfolded before me.

Greenwich DAnce 1

Tamzen Moulding                           Matthew Hawkins 

The first dance of the evening, Tamzen Moulding‘s It Started at The End combined dance and acrobatics. Matthew Hawkins followed with a solo inspired by spending time in a sculptor’s studio in China to an interesting trak sound track of the voices and activity in the studio.

Avant Garde

Avant Garde                                         Barn Dance

Avant Garde danced a preview of their multimedia production, Illegal Dance. During the interval Rosie Davis led some of the audience in a barn dance.

Wendy HoustounWendy Houstoun 

Wendy Houston performed ‘a short monologue for a tongue tied citizen’. I have drawn Wendy’s work before, she choreographed a dance for the Yorke Dance Project called Home on the Range, which I drew last October, see

Accompanied by the fabulous Squirrel Hunters: Steve Blake, Freddie Gottlieb and Peter Gibson. Dance Caller Rosie Davis encouraged the Cabaret audience to grab a partner and take part in a barn dance!

Sketch book abandoned, as friend Gill and I danced the night away. Another very successful and enjoyable Cabaret at Greenwich Dance.

Wire Sculpture

Saturday, March 12th, 2011


I delivered and hung this life size wire sculpture last week, in the lawyers’ office in Chelmsford, Essex, joining IrinaIt is based on Laban dance student, James Pett. Image soon of the two sculptures together in their new abode.

I am still missing Irina‘s calming presence in my studio. Irina was delivered in January see archive January 16th to view image:


In Praise of Teenagers

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Yesterday at midnight I had a message from my friend Camilla “Are you in one piece?”

Why? – because it was my eldest son’s 17th birthday and I had agreed that he could have a party: ‘Hey Mum is it Ok if I have a few friends over?’ ‘Sure – how many?’ ‘about 15 or maybe a few more…’ ‘ Ok’ ‘some will stay the night’ ‘Ok’ ‘I’ll read you the invite I put on facebook…’ ‘OMG Nooo!!!’ ‘Too late it’s gone  – hey trust me it’ll be fine…’

And it was


Max (3rd from left) and friends in the morning

Happy Birthday Max!

The Forsythe Company at Sadler’s Wells

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

I Don’t Believe in Outer Space William Forsythe‘s latest work premiered at Sadler’s Wells, London last week. The dance is an intensely personal work looking at the very nature of fragile existence through Forsythe’s eyes. The dance is both comic and tragic, the stage is strewn with balls of black tape suggestive of meteorites, but it is not about astronomy. Forsythe says ‘the space it is talking about is the one where you look back on your life and you think, where the hell was it? You finally begin to focus on the fragility of the whole experience’.

I don’t believe in outer space. 1

The show opens with a fabulous dark and physical monologue from Dana Caspersen, she plays two neighbours meeting for the first time. One scary and predatory, the other polite, sweet and desperately looking for a way to get rid of him, her body completely changing in shape character and movement as she alternates between the two. (above left)

I don’t believe in outer space. 2

Spoken text as well as music by composer Thom Willems, using lines from Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive and others both as a melody and lines slipped in as spoken word.

I don’t believe in outer space. 3

‘As if by chance things are falling, as if by chance moving’ 

I don’t believe in outer space. 4

‘I can feel it’                                  ‘I put a spell on you. I love you                                                          and I don’t care’ 

I don’t believe in outer space. 6

‘you’d think I’d crumble, you’d think I’d die’ 

I don’t believe in outer space. 8

‘No more… no more stopping, no more going. No more sun. No more taking a walk in the dark’