For the past eighteen months Ballet Cymru has given me free rein to come and go at their rehearsal studio near Newport, South Wales – to observe, sketch and film the dancers and choreographers at work as they create new, original pieces, and revive earlier productions for new audiences. Such privileged access has given me some insight into the creative processes, collaborations and extraordinary discipline of everyone in the company, which – together with the beauty and eloquence of the dance itself – has been a great inspiration in my work, and taken it in new directions. I’m very grateful for all their generosity and support.
Over the coming months I’ll continue to work on my Rehearsals series of paintings and drawings, focussing in particular on the company’s preparations for The Light Princess and Shadow Aspect – the latter choreographed by Tim Podesta and featuring guest principle dancer Mara Galeazzi (both of whom also allowed me complete access to their work as it progressed, for which I’m similarly grateful). It was fascinating to see the company dancers respond to an approach to choreography and a style of ballet which, being both darker and more abstract in form, in many ways differed from previous pieces I’d seen them work on.
With many pictures now planned, for the time being I anticipate working mostly on smaller pieces on paper, cardboard and panel, with a view to returning to larger paintings on canvas in the spring.
Ballet Cymru’s tour of The Light Princess and A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues across England and Wales until December 9th. If you have the opportunity, I’d urge you to see them. Details here.