Archive for April, 2011

Bouldering at Mile End Climbing Wall

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Sometimes my kids and I go climbing. The Reach, is near my studio but our favourite is Mile End Climbing Wall. Eldest stayed home to revise (I hope) for his AS-levels, youngest went to the cinema, so middle son took a friend. I climbed for a while then sat back to draw – sketching anyone who came into view.

Mile End Climbing Wall

Mile End Climbing Wall 

The Place Prize

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The Place Prize runs every 2 years, at The Place, London. 16 works were commissioned for this prestigious choreographic competition, the last stage is of 4 works performed each night for 10 nights. £1000 is awarded each night by the audience voting for their favourite, the overall winner selected by a panel of judges wins £25,000.

The first dance of the evening, Begin to Begin, A Piece About Lose Ends by Eva Recacha reminded me of video artist Bill Viola’s work. My drawings were insubstantial which disappointed me as I was fascinated by the dance, and so not included here. Maybe because I was watching, not concentrating on drawing, thinking of Bill Viola, trying to remember which video the dance particularly links with. (I decided it was The Passions, any comments on this?).

Below are some of my drawings of the 3 other dances.

It Needs Horses. Place Prize.

It Needs Horses   Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer

Cameo.Place Prize.

Cameo   Riccardo Buscarini and Antonio De La Fe Guedes

Fidelity Project.Place Prize.

Fidelity Project. Place Prize.

Fidelity Project   Freddie Opoku-Addaie and Frauke Requardt

I first met and drew Frauke Requardt when she was dancing with The Cholmondeleys in 2004, I also drew her strong choreography of Pictures from an Exhibition, at Sadler’s Wells, most recently meeting Frauke again at the opening of the Chris Nash exhibition at the V&A. I drew Freddie Opoku-Addaie when Freddie and me worked on Lucy Neal‘s wonderful project Mary Neal  …  an undertold story. (see my drawings of this event).

Frauke and Freddie move fast creating a delicious sense of danger with the possibility that that at any moment their relationship could become an unhinged, out of control tangle of bodies and broken hearts. They rely on split-second decisions, trust and sensory memory.

It Needs Horses was the winner, congratulations to Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer.


Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The drawings of the Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered, at Greenwich Dance on Friday. Choreographed by Sioned Huws the dance draws on memory and influence of the environment, mutually shared with dance, song and sounds arising from arctic conditions of Northern Japan.

Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered 1

Three Japanese musicians and a singer create bewitching melancholic music, two dancers continuously roll across the floor their bodies twisting in formation creating a sense of the earth constantly in flux.

Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered 2

A third dancer enters seeming to herald the change in seasons. Local performers of all ages spill on to stage stretching and playing ball. The show closes with a serene Japanese dance.

Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered 3

Deep within our shared consciousness tectonic plates press and slide against each other.



Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Easter holidays, kids went to stay with their father for a few days, and I escaped London with a friend to Devon.

devon cliff walk

It was perfect. We stayed at Easdon Cottage Bed and Breakfast in Dartmoor.

On the way back we stopped off to see my Father’s grave, he died at Easter 19 years ago.

William Douglas McKay Till the veil be lifted

                                                        Till our faith be sight


Russell Maliphant Company perform AfterLight

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Last week I was at Sadler’s Wells to watch and draw AfterLight, choreographed by Russell Maliphant. My 14 year old son and I saw an exert of this dance, AfterLight Part 1, (the first section of AfterLight) in the theatre at Laban in December 2010, (see December 7th). At the end of the dance I asked Jerome what he thought

“It’s amazing he spins like the floor was turning him but it’s all coming from his body. He’s dressed as a teenager, he’s wearing clothes I wear, a red hoody and a beanie, you could imagine that his skate-board is just out of view. When he starts to spin – it’s the way I feel, I find it hard being still but I have to be still in school, but in my head – my imagination, I’m constantly moving. This is how it feels when you’re a teenager. The ground is full of shadows, they look like leaves so maybe he’s meant to be outside in the park or maybe that’s what he’s imagining – where he’d like to be… skating, constantly in motion.”

AfterlLight 1

Amazing Daniel Proietto 

AfterLight 2

Daniel Proietto joined by Olga Cobos and Silvina Cortes

AfterLight 3b AfterLight 4b

AfterLight 6 Drawings of AfterLight from my sketchbook, which I hope to use as research for painting.

Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered created by Sioned Huws in collaboration with visiting artists from Japan and a cast of non-dancers from London and beyond.

“…a landscape transformed, the heart beat slows down, the body is overwhelmed by a desire to rest, to lay horizontally on this blanket of white. A desire to be resisted, to move and be moved…”

Greenwich Dance, Greenwich

Aomori Project: Friday 15 April 7.45pm and Saturday 16 April 3.30pm

tickets: “pay what you can afford”

I will be at Greenwich Dance tonight to draw the performance and publish the drawings on my blog, why not come too? Watch and enjoy this magical dance with generosity and curiosity, introduce yourself to me at the end of the show and see my drawings.

A Flash of Light

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Dance photographer Chris Nash has a retrospective of 20 years of his work at The V&A until 29th August. A Flash of Light. The Dance Photography of Chris NashOn my bedroom wall, I have an early black and white Chris Nash photograph, often the last image I see before I drift towards sleep and the first when I wake. I love this photograph but it is Chris’s colour work that is so striking and memorable.

Chris Nash has collaborated with choreographer Lea Anderson photographing many of the productions of her companies The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs (to see my drawings see August 23), Javier De Frutos (see March 30), Michael Clark, (see August 22), Matthew Bourne (July 26), Rosemary Butcher (February 17), Wendy Houston (March 16)and many other highly respected choreographers and dance companies. An exhibition that must be seen.

Hypochondriac Bird  Chris Nash

Hypochondriac Bird. Javier De Frutos. 



Lewisham College dance at Trinity Laban

Monday, April 4th, 2011

On 22nd March Lewisham College Access to Dance course performed their strong annual show of six dances including contemporary, jazz and hip hop at Trinity Laban. Here are some of my drawings of the really enjoyable event.

lewisham college 2

lewisham college 3

lewisham college 4

For drawings of their rehearsals see, see