Archive for the ‘Class’ Category

Russell Maliphant Company. The Rodin Project

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I’m with the Russell Maliphant Company, drawing during rehearsals for The Rodin Project at his studio in north London. When I was last here there were 4 dancers, now all 6 are here (see November 14th).

Standing together, eyes closed, breathing deeply in yogic unison, I am aware of the energy gathering, the dancers softly move to the floor in high arched bridges that seem impossible.

Russell Maliphant Company. The Rodin Project  The pace is quickening and their muscular bodies begin to fly through the air as if they have internal springs that are suddenly and without warning uncoiling at tremendous speed.

The Rodin Project. copyright Sally McKay

The Rodin Project. copyright Sally McKay The Rodin Project. copyright Sally McKayResting dancer.copyright Sally McKay  For the next 2 days I draw movement inspired by breakdance, contemporary dance and popping, and it is just stunning. These are a few of my drawings.

Russell Maliphant Company. The Rodin Project

Wonderful to be drawing the Russell Maliphant Company again. I am loving seeing sculpture that has inspired me over the years come to life in the body of dancer, Dickson. To have the opportunity to capture the choreographed movement in my drawings which in turn will form the resource for my painting, etching and who knows? possibly sculpture too.

Russell Maliphant Company perform The Rodin Project at Sadler’s Wells 5th February as part of British Dance Edition London 2012, and return to Sadler’s Wells with The Rodin Project in October.

The Featherstonehaughs at The Riverside

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Your last opportunity to see The Featherstonehaughs live, they will perform The Featherstonehaughs Draw on the Sketchbooks of Egon Schiele on Wednesday 23 November and Thursday 24th November at The Riverside Studios. On Friday 25th and Saturday 26th  The Featherstonehaughs will dance Edits at The Riverside for the last time. Ever.

copyright Edits


The Featherstonehaughs rehearse Edits


Russell Maliphant Company. Rehearsals

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Last week, I had a wonderful 2 days drawing the Russell Maliphant Company while they rehearsed in North West London. Here are a few of the drawings.

Russell Maliphant Company. Rehearsals

Russell Maliphant Company. RehearsalsMorning class led by Russell 

Russell Maliphant Company. Rehearsals Russell Maliphant Company. RehearsalsRehearsal 

The Featherstonehaughs Farewell Tour

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

13th September. I am with The FeatherstonehaughsLea Anderson‘s all male contemporary dance company, drawing during rehearsals leading up to their farewell tour. They are reworking the 1998 company classic The Featherstonehaughs Draw on the Sketch Books of Egon Schiele.

The day begins with Release class led by Chisato Ohno.

Featherstonehaughs  Featherstonehaughs

Release class led by Chisato Ohno

rehearseRehearsal of The Featherstonehaughs Draw on the Sketch Books of Egon Schiele

It was 10 years ago when Lea Anderson invited me to draw The Featherstonehaughs and her all female company The Cholmondeleys during the rehearsal process of ‘3‘. Since then I have drawn The Featherstonehaughs and The Cholmondeleys many times, but this will be the last time, they are to disband following 100% funding cut from the the Arts Council.

Carmen. Coliseum, London

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

The following drawings are of the English National Ballet rehearsing and performing Roland Petit’s Carmen at The Coliseum, London. Carmen. London 1

Morning class 

Carmen. Coliseum, London       Carmen performance. Coliseum, London  

Rehearsal                         Performance

Carmen. Coliseum, London

Carmen. Coliseum, London


Fusional Fragments at the Clore Studio

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Last week I was invited by choreographer Marc Brew to draw at rehearsals for Fusional Fragments at Greenwich Dance.

Fusional Fragments is a new work by Marc Brew in partnership with Dance East, a collaboration with percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, composer Philip Sheppard and five extraordinary dancers.

ballet class

 ballet class. 2

ballet class.3

Morning ballet class

The day begins with a Ballet class. Sometimes choreographers ask me to take part in the early morning class so that I become a part of the company and am not seen by the dancers as an observer, as Luca Silvestrini did during the rehearsals of Crossroads. I like this not only do I enjoy the  class but it effects the drawings that follow. I was glad Marc didn’t suggest I join this class, it was way beyond my capabilities! The drawings are in charcoal and conte on long sheets of brown packaging paper. 

rehearsal 1. Fusional Fragments  Fusional Fragments 2Fusional Fragments.3  Fusional Fragments.4Rehearsal, Fusional Fragments.

Drawn in charcoal on large sheets of fabriano.

The performance of Fusional Fragments was at the Clore Studio at The Royal Opera House on 14th and 15th July as part of Exposure: Dance Snapshots of New Work. If you saw the performance weren’t you knocked out by it? The dance vocabulary beautifully combines Marc’s background as a classical ballet dancer with his more recent work in contemporary dance, investigating the links and differences in the two styles.

Rehearsing Crossroads

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Listening to Luca Silvestrini  Listening to Luca Silvestrini

crossroads 12 Crossroads 14c

Waves were created by passing cases and dancers overhead

crossroads 16

Children and adults practicing together  

Crossroads 2

Rehearsing on site at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Crossroads 3 Crossroads 20

The musicians, led by Andy Pink created evocative music

Crossroads final  The end  

Candoco Rehearsal

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Stine Nilson and Pedro Machado, Co-Artistic Directors of Candoco Dance Company have invited me to draw during rehearsals for Candoco’s new work by choreographer Marc Brew. 7 years ago I had a residency with Candoco culminating in a joint exhibition and performance at Waterside Arts Centre, Manchester. Since that happy collaboration I have drawn them many times, painted (Don’t Look Back. 2009) using the drawings as inspiration and based 3 sculptures on inspirational Candoco dancer and personal friend Bettina Carpi.

I arrive in time to draw the class, led by Candoco dancer Darren Anderson. The cast of 12 warm up to Prince – what a fabulous way to start the day.

Candoco image 1  Class led by Darren

Marc Brew arrives during class, we quickly catch up on the last 2 years when I last worked with him, drawing during rehearsals of his beautiful dance Nocturnes, (scroll to Nocturnes 1 and 2, see the dance at Greenwich Festival this June), we talk of his recent post of Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre and he asks me to draw at his forthcoming Fusional Fragments. He gives me a speedy account of Parallel lines, the work we are here for. The cast of 12 includes 2 dancers of Chinese origin and 2 Brazilian dancers as well as the core dance company. China, the UK and Brazil: the past, present and future hosting cites of the Olympic Games.

Candoco image 3

A fascinating but complex linear structure crosses the studio. The dancers shift from class to rehearsal, the taught lines are lowered and raised, dancers move between, in and out, over and under them, giving the effect of a giant cats-cradle

Candoco image 2

Marc Brew rehearsing

Candoco image 5

Candoco Bettina Carpi

Bettina Carpi (above)

Candoco image 9a

Candoco image 10

Sadly I could only spare 1 day to work with Candoco because of a very special family birthday last weekend and the Open Studio this weekend but I will soon return to draw.

Lewisham College

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

On Wednesday I was in the dance studios at Lewisham College, south London, to draw during a Dance BTEC Diploma class and rehearsal of Access to Dance. I was warmly welcomed by the students and their teacher, Amy Thornhill. I am looking forward to returning for more drawing soon.

Lewisham College class Lewisham College class

BTEC Class

Lewisham Access

Lewisham Access

Access to Dance during rehearsal

Access to Dance will be performing at Trinity Laban on 22nd March.

Friday, drawing Rosemary Butcher’s class

Friday, February 25th, 2011

My last opportunity to draw at Rosemary Butcher‘s amazing class. Friday’s sketch book:

1 friday drawing.jpg

‘Separation of the paths’ 

2 friday drawing.jpg

‘Keep the connections you found in your body’ 

3 friday drawing.jpg

‘Your space is entirely personal’ 

1 friday charcoal drawing.jpg

2 friday charcoal drawing.jpg

I drew slowly during the second hour of the class, the studio felt charged with emotion which I wanted to transfer to paper.