Hurrahs and Farewells; and on being candid

I’ve edited the title of my previous post because it used to scare me – you mean I’d already talked about Swan Lake? – no, I have not. I will.

Hurrah for Ines Furuhashi-Huber and Shan del Vecchio, who have been promoted to Artist, with Ruth Austin and Peter Allen (as mentioned in a previous post).

Also, there were Dance Europe interviews with Peter Allen (Feb 2015) and Rosa Park (Mar 2015) – pretty interesting.

And then there are farewells – 5 of them, quite unexpected ūüė¶

1. Chen Ruifeng, who had grown from Toreador in Don Q to more confident and direct lines for Sleeping Beauty. He was an Apprentice and last appeared in the Passages (end Oct – early Nov) booklet.

2.  Jake Burden Рperhaps going to Australia or UK, not sure which (though both he and Emma Hanley Jones performed in Germany previously, I think). Jake Burden spinning round and round in Opus 25 (always think of dervishes); as the main lead role in Schubert Symphony, a solidly-dependable dancer with so much capacity and ability.

3. Emma Hanley Jones – perhaps going to Australia or UK, not sure which (though as mentioned above, she used to perform in Germany). A beautifully capable and entirely watchable dancer. There’s something about her firm step and clean line that’s pleasant to the eye. A grand Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty and a fitting addition to Shimazaki Toru’s Blue Snow (replacing Heidi Zolker).

Along the way, I heard that her Wednesday ballet classes were popular – that she gave individual corrections, and somehow people felt that they were able to accomplish certain steps with her guidance.

4. Lewis Gardner – Smooth fluid form. In my mind I see him creeping along the floor in Max Chen’s Incandescent Dream from Passages, his arched foot so¬†wonderfully flexed that when his leg lay flat on the ground, his heel and toe touched the ground at the same time. Or laughing, dancing with Li Jie in Natalie Weir’s 4Seasons from Passages.

Word in passing said that Lewis’ over-subscribed classes will be missed (new moves, interesting music, tongue-in-cheek comments) and because the bar was set quite high, students pushed themselves and found themselves improving – something along those lines.

5. Stefaan Morrow: Strong dance form and character. One of the mesmerising figures in the fevered dream scene of Lambarena at BUTS; and a quick strong figure in Sticks and Stones, and Bliss,¬†from Passages. There was so much more we’d have liked to have seen from him; one of the wonderfully-coordinated Russians in Sleeping Beauty.

He’d started teaching some classes lately as well, word said:¬†patient, clear explanations and a strong, comforting emphasis on getting the basics right, so that students avoided injury.


How we will miss them.¬†SDT’s line-up won’t be the same without them. But all people have their dreams and hopes. Much happiness and best wishes to them! Someday perhaps we will hear about them again.


On being candid: I’ve often wondered if this blog suffers from not actually being horrifically candid. There are things I think in private that I don’t say here. A friend said, “You can take the chance, when talking about Swan Lake, to be candid.”

I suppose I am very careful because even if I don’t name names, people who watched the same shows would know what I was talking about.

If you google SDT (name in full) and perhaps even names, you will turn up articles from a relatively long time back. If I say something now, I only need to type it out once, but the Internet (while not quite eternal) is almost forever. Of course, all my posts will be buried under the snowdrifts of time and binary numbers and all the opinions in the world.

But I would almost rather feel bad at not writing anything too sharp than feel bad for writing something that had an edge, especially if it pointed to a name.

This blog is more a¬†‘read between the lines’ blog.¬†I try not to pick on almost-slipped feet, subtly-missed fractions of¬†beats and other brief, shaky moments.¬†I can barely bear to¬†remember my own daily issues at work; I would not then want to remind people of things, and publicly, too. I guess I’m not a proper reviewer, so I can’t really comment. Maybe people are thick-skinned anyway, but O, I don’t want to. I will put things between the lines.

In any case, I’ve generally¬†enjoyed watching the performances. ūüôā

Speaking of enjoying performances, in case I don’t get to review Passages soon, I wish to say this: I know that 4Seasons is beloved and will come back often – it’s clearly quite loved – but every single time it shows, I fall ill and can barely make it to a show. It does not love me ūüė¶ So hello there, 4Seasons, please work it out. I would like to see more than 1 show the next time you air.


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