Draft Works 2013: A chance for dancers to play with movement
First Artist Nathalie Harrison on swapping performing for choreographing.
This April, Royal Ballet dancers have the opportunity to showcase their choreographic skills by presenting new, developmental works as part of Draft Works.
The annual performances, staged since 2007, provide a platform for experimental choreography created around The Royal Ballet’s busy schedule.
‘I’ve just started my draft work for this season,’ explains First Artist Nathalie Harrison, ‘This year is tricky as our schedule is packed, but we snatch rehearsals in lunch breaks and often rehearse late into our free nights. We surprise ourselves by what can be squeezed in!’
‘At the moment, I’m just playing with short sketches and doodles. It takes a moment to switch from corps de ballet conformity to creativity, but it’s liberating to be given the scope to make something. I’m really enjoying the accidental accomplishments that happen when you play with movement.’
Last year, Draft Works included a diverse range of dance, ranging from Kristen McNally’s comical, cowboy-themed Lonesome Gun, to Valentino Zucchetti’s neo-classical Brandenburg Divertissement.
‘I got the inspiration for my own piece when observing crowds in the National Gallery,’ continues Nathalie. ‘I want to explore people’s internalization when observing or reflecting on art. My piece is a short glance at both human interaction and lack of interaction, exploring concentration and contemplation.’
‘The ideas in your head never appear immediately in the studio. It requires patience, but I’m quite impatient and so it is an excellent exercise for me. It also makes me realize the pure talent and professionalism of my colleagues.’
This year, Draft Works will feature work by Royal Ballet Affiliate Choreographers Alexander Whitley and Mayuri Boonham, Royal Ballet Choreographic Apprentice Robert Binet and Associate Artist Sarah Dowling as well as Royal Ballet Soloists Kenta Kura, Kristen McNally and Valentino Zucchetti, and First Artists Nathalie Harrison and Ludovic Ondiviela.
‘I’m also dancing in Ludovic Ondievela’s piece,’ adds Nathalie. ‘I love Ludo’s work: he is an incredibly efficient choreographer with a very clear vision of his piece.’
[This article was corrected on 29/04/13 to change the year referred to from 2014 to 2013]
The Draft Works series runs from 23 – 26 April 2013. View details of booking dates.