Alexander and Claire had kindly written for the LBC's August 2020 Newsletter about their lives during the first 'lockdown', so it was especially nice to be able to welcome them during what was proving to be a busy 'almost back to normal, but not quite' end to the 2020/21 season.
The entertaining and informative session began with our two guests talking about their most recent performances including, for Claire, appearing in a new work by Kyle Abraham and as Calliope in Apollo and, for Alex, dancing the Brown man in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering and, the previous night, Prince Florimund in Act 3 of The Sleeping Beauty.
Discussion turned to their very different routes into The Royal Ballet [for Claire > White Lodge > Royal Ballet Upper School > Royal Ballet contract and, for Alex > training in Australia > Royal Ballet Upper School > Birmingham Royal Ballet > Royal Ballet] the different ways of working within companies, changes of Director, how it felt within a company at different stages of a career and how expectations of a dancer changed as he/she moved through the ranks.
Both Alex and Claire shared how they approached the characterisation in some favourite dramatic roles and talked about dancing together as Lescaut and his Mistress in Manon. The opportunity for Alex to be The Prodigal Son and for Claire to dance opposite him as the Siren had been cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic but they were able to share something of the rehearsal process and drew much laughter with their demonstrations of some acrobatic moves.
The session ended with brief references to their online activity, including the Dancers Do DIY posts when they moved house, some filming, make-up tutorials and, not least, a range of teaching which, for Alex, was beginning to combine an in-person option with virtual students and observers. Both our guests felt that the pandemic had opened up new opportunities for dancers, including ones which could be beneficial to their future dancing careers and beyond.
A FULL REPORT WILL BE PUT UP ON THIS WEBSITE SHORTLY AND A VIDEO OF THE EVENT WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE MEMBERS ONLY SECTION IN DUE COURSE.