Archive for the ‘Class’ Category

Pavilion Dance. Parkinson’s Awareness Day

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

20 April 2016

Pavilion Dance. Parkinson’s Awareness Day

Parkinson's Dance.Sally McKay

In November 2015 I was asked by Pavilion Dance to visit Bournemouth to draw in a dance class for people with Parkinson’s disease, the artwork was made into a printed limited edition of 10 prints with the title Dance for Parkinson’s and sold at auction to help raise money to develop more of these invaluable classes across the south-west.

17 April I was invited back to Pavilion Dance to take part in their Parkinson Awareness Day and display some of the drawings made during the class. It was a fascinating day of talks, participation in movement, singing and discussion.

Parkinson’s Dance, Pavilion Dance South West

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

December 30 2015

Parkinson’s Dance, Pavilion Dance South West

Last month I was asked if I would like to visit Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth to draw a truly inspirational dance class to help raise money to extend the class to other venues across the South West. The class is for people with the progressive neurological condition, Parkinson’s, this condition affects 1 in every 500 people across the UK. Common symptoms are difficulties with balance, co-ordination, turning around, posture and walking. The class is led by a dance teacher and a physiotherapist.

I created an A2 image in graphite, coloured pencil and watercolour. It has been printed as a signed limited edition giclee print on Hahnemuhle German Etching Paper. All proceeds of sales go to Parkinson’s Dance to raise money for this very worthwhile class. If you would like to buy a print please contact

Parkinson's Dance.Sally McKay

Parkinson’s Dance, 2015

Edward Scissorhands Rehearsal

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

30 October 2014

Edward Scissorhands Rehearsal

Yesterday I spent a wonderful day drawing the cast of New Adventures, rehearsing Edward Scissorhands at Three Mills Studios. The day began with the company class, I was delighted to see my friend and talented musician Ronan Kozokaro was the accompanist for the class, we have collaborated on several projects in the past.

Edward Scissorhands 4 ©

Edward Scissorhands 3 ©

Edward Scissorhands 1 ©

Edward Scissorhands 5 ©

On Monday I will start working on new zinc etching plates in response to the drawings I have done of the day.

Greenwich World Cultural Festival 2014

Monday, July 21st, 2014

21 July 2014

Wonderful day yesterday at the Greenwich World Cultural Festival in the gardens of the beautiful English Heritage site, Eltham Palace, leading family Art Workshops with son Max and daughter Gaby. A Greenwich Dance initiative where I am the Resident (Visual) Artist.

Many pop-up performances during the afternoon from Mattress Circus, Moxie Brawl, Dingolay Caribbean Dance, Folded Feather, Emergency Exit Arts; family creative dance workshops, social dancing with Thomas Michael Voss; A Curious Cakewalk; Music from Gypsy Dread Band and Rhythm of the City. Chinese Ribbon Dance Workshops and many more wonderful activities to watch and take part in.

My son Max (blue tee-shirt middle) led Clay Model Making,




The clay models drying in the sun


Daughter Gaby taught visitors of all ages how to make an origami Crane, (she insisted was a swan) as part of The International Peace Crane Project 2014


WCF 4 WCF 5    WCF10 When the origami was complete, we asked the Crane maker to write a message of Peace on their bird. Some we hung in the trees but most went home with their makers


 I led a drawing activity for all ages


WCF17  WCF19   WCF22


More on Summer Shake-Up!

Thursday, August 15th, 2013
summer shake up drawing

Drawing pathways

summer shake up in the park

Greenwich Park

summer shake up path

A sculptural path

summer shake up drawing 2

We made sketch books and at the close of each session I asked everyone to draw something that was special to them during the day

Summer Shake-Up!

Monday, August 12th, 2013

12th August 2013

This week I am taking workshops at Greenwich Dance for 6-10 year olds with dance company Charlotte Spencer Projects. We are using Charlotte’s latest work Walking Stories as a starting point for play, experimentation and creativity.

£15 per day, turn up on the day or book in advance. 020 8293 9741

12 – 15 August 2013. Monday – Thursday 10.00am – 1.00pm

Summer Shake Up 3Summer Shake Up 2Summer Shake Up 1

Open Doors, Open Dancing

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

8th June 2013

Today Greenwich Dance (GDA) opened the doors to the local community for a day of free dance classes Open Doors, Open Dancing, as Greenwich Dance Resident Artist I organized easy going art workshops throughout the day. All ages participated, youngsters drawing the dancers on long sheets on the floor while the class was in progress, older children and adults preferring to use individual sheets of paper.

open doors2 open doors 5 open doors6
open doors8 open doors9 open doors11 open doors12





Drawing the dance class while the dancers danced















Some preferred to sit apart and try collage or drawing from memory






Ballet Class






African Dance Class












We made a Greenwich Dance Gallery




Beyond Front@ at Greenwich Dance

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

27th – 30th June and 1st July 2012

Beyond Front@ is a Dance Communication Lab in which dancers from partner organizations from European countries, join together to communicate and connect through dancing, moving and exploring together. A dancer from Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Hungary arrived at Greenwich Dance on Wednesday to join London based dancers to work together for 4 days with UK Dance Artist Robert Clark. Rob is a british contemporary dance performer, choreographer and teacher. None of the dancers seemed to know each other although the European visitors from Beyond Front@ had previously met a few months ago and taken part in a workshop.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday began with a morning class with Theo Clinkard. The daily class at Greenwich Dance is open to all professional dancers, each week led by someone new.

Theo Clinkard class

Theo Clinkard class Theo Clinkard class

Morning class with Tho Clinkard in Greenwich Dance

Each afternoon Rob Clark led a fascinating workshop. Using contact improvisation as a starting point, the movement and energy began to flow between the dancers.

Beyond Front@

Beyond Front@ day 1

Beyond Front@

Day 1 at Greenwich Dance

Spatial awareness seemed a key element, Rob encouraged the dancers to consider the negative space, trying to ignore the surrounding walls. The Breath too, was considered and focussed on, in a way I hadn’t seen before in dance, (reminding me of the cranial osteopathy that my sons have with the incredible Paul Kyte).

Beyond Front@ day 2. Breathe

Beyond Front@ day 2

Day 2 at Greenwich Dance 

Wednesday and Thursday were based in Greenwich Dance and Friday was at Trinity Laban, Deptford, outside on the landscaped grass. It was very beautiful watching the group dance the movements that had developed over the last 2 days in a studio now take place in the open air on the grass. Partly because they were in their 3rd day of working but also because of the space all the movement and transitions seemed to extend accompanied by lots of laughter and a strong sense of unity in the group.

Beyond Front@

Beyond Front@ day 3 Beyond Front@ day 3

Day 3 in the open air outside Laban

On Saturday we went to the old Laban site where the studios are next to Goldsmiths College, New Cross, when I was at Goldsmiths taking my degree this is where Laban was based. The dancers worked independently but together in one studio during the first hour, warming up in their own unique ways, the atmosphere was meditative, calm and focussed. The rest of the day the dancers continued to develop the dances to be performed the following day. Three unique and intricate dance works were developing very fast in front of me, pulling together the movement experiences that had happened over the last three days.

Beyond Front@ day 4

Day 4 at the old Laban site next to Goldsmiths College 

On Sunday the Greenwich World Cultural Festival 2012 at Eltham Palace provided a stunning backdrop for the dancers to give 3 performances.

There are many more drawings that I made of the fabulous creative journey of Beyond Front@ during the 5 days in London. Some will be developed further, as etchings and paintings to be shown publicly at a later stage.

English National Ballet at Tate Britain

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Exhibition Picasso & Modern British Art opened at Tate Britain on 15th February. The exhibition explores Picasso’s connections with Britain, not only do you see work by Picasso but paintings by British artists for example Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney, demonstrating the influence Picasso’s work had on them.

English National Ballet took up residence at Tate Britain for a week. A raised stage was placed in the Duveen gallery, each day began with morning class on the stage followed by rehearsals and discussions, culminating in performances on Friday of 3 new commissions inspired by Picasso’s collaborations with the Ballets Russes.

I joined the dancers to draw them in class and rehearsal.

English National Ballet. class

English National Ballet. class

Morning class

English National Ballet. rehearsal English National Ballet. rehearsal

English National Ballet. rehearsal

English National Ballet. rehearsal


Russell Maliphant rehearse at Lilian Baylis

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

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)