Russell Maliphant rehearse at Lilian Baylis

17th – 20th January

The last few days with Russell Maliphant Company rehearsing The Rodin Project before they leave for Paris to perform at Theatre National de Chaillot 31st January – 10 February, rehearsing at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, next door to Sadler’s Wells where the company will perform on 5th February.

Each day begins with a warm up led by Russell. I find it fascinating, he directs the dancers while discussing anatomy with them, which muscles are flexing, which bones are moving what the dancers feel in their core as they get deeper into the movement. Gentle flowing movement growing to a massive crescendo in dynamics, pace and energy.

Russell Maliphant. The Rodin Project. 15

Russell Maliphant Company. The Rodin Project. 18Tommy Franzen, Jenny White, Dickson Mbi, Ella Mesma, Carys Staton and Thom Gulgec warm up before the rehearsal

To describe Michael Hulls as the lighting designer of The Rodin Project feels like it falls short in the description of what he creates on the stage. The dancers bodies shimmer where the molten gold light falls on them, deep shadows are cast by their moving limbs, it all feels very sensual.

Russell Maliphant Company, The Rodin Project. 25 Russell Maliphant Company, The Rodin Project. 35Carys, Ella and Jenny

Russell Maliphant Company, The Rodin Project. 23 Russell Maliphant Company. The Rodin ProjectDickson 

Immersed in darkness, I rapidly work soft pastels on black paper that I can’t see, hoping that I will somehow convey the burning glimmers and flashes of life in front of me.

It is clear being in the same room as Russell Maliphant and Michael Hulls that they have a deep respect for each other’s work and trust each other with an intensity that can only come from sharing a long and creative history. Both remain calm and generous throughout the week.

Russell Maliphant Company, The Rodin Project. 31Thom and Tommy

The dancers too, are calm in the breaks, but when dancing, the energy is so high it feels as if the roof might lift.

Russell Maliphant Company, The Rodin Project. 16

These are just a few of the many drawings I made of Russell Maliphant Company rehearsing The Rodin Project. Such a stunning work on so many levels. Thank you to Russell, Dana, Michael, Tommy, Jenny, Dickson, Ella, Carys and Thom for welcoming me in to your rehearsal space.

In September I am having a London solo exhibition where I will show paintings inspired by The Rodin Project and other dance works, more details will follow shortly.

To see past blog posts of Russell Maliphant rehearsing The Rodin Project see

and Russell Maliphant’s After Light danced by Daniel Proietto. (More drawings of After Light Part 1 coming soon)


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