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Talking dance

Old Ways Going Forward

In July 2016’s Dancing Times, Dominic Antonucci wrote about dancers on holiday, so in the spirit of summer, this month my own vacation to Italy is my starting point. It was the first time I had visited the country, but amongst much fun, photo-taking and pasta-eating, my mind didn’t stray too far from ballet. Associated […]

Travelling to see Miami City Ballet           

In the summer, our thoughts turn to the holidays, but I had something of my own busman’s holiday back in March when I went to see Miami City Ballet performing for one night only in a south Florida town called Naples. It was a Tuesday night, the drive took two hours, and I’d had a […]

Daniel Pratt considers how technology can be beneficial to ballet

I’m plundering conversations I’ve had this month to reflect on technology; I want to begin a dialogue about its potential within dance. The application of new technology within dance medicine is increasingly documented, and progress in more sophisticated lighting and stage techniques affords creative teams a broader palette to paint from, but is technology transforming […]

Lost in music

George Balanchine said he didn’t require dancers who wanted to dance. The choreographer instead wanted dancers who needed to dance. That imperative desire to move, as urgent as the necessity for oxygen for our unique breed, comes from music. We dance for different reasons on different days – sometimes it’s to prove something; sometimes it’s […]

Dancing Scènes de ballet

This month is a piece of self-indulgence. I’ve been working on Frederick Ashton’s Scènes de ballet for Sarasota Ballet, and the work has become a bit of a “personal helicon”, to reference Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Dancers are always reminded of the evanescent nature of our job: once a performance is over, you have little […]

A little older?

February is my birthday month, so amongst cards and cake, I’ve been musing on aspects of age within ballet. Although I’m only in my mid-twenties, I have a little anxiety about getting older, and I think most dancers have a similar sensitivity. It’s silly and neurotic when you look at the wider media, where we’re […]

Daniel Pratt has some New Year wishes

January is a strange month. Christmas probably seems like a distant memory now. I’m always disconcerted by how bare my living room looks once all the decorations have been taken down; the red-berry warmth that infused our exchanges as we anticipated the Holiday season is replaced with an altogether more minimalistic, somewhat beige, mood. As […]

All I want for Christmas is… Jewels

Christmas isn’t about presents – though I am preoccupied thinking about them during the festive season. For dance-goers the world over, The Nutcracker embraces all that Christmas represents. For me, though, this much-loved work can instead seem like the balletic equivalent of those utilitarian gifts you always expect to get: socks, ties, underwear. Happily, I […]

Going high when others go low

I always planned my November blog to use the US Presidential Election as a departure point. I started writing this on the morning before the polls opened. I finished it on the day after the election result. My ideas about what I’d write this month changed radically as I went about my ballet business over […]

Don’t do as I say, do as I do

The first month of what’s traditionally the new academic year has come and gone, and teaching has occupied my thoughts. It isn’t for me to discuss here what makes an exceptional teacher or coach – that would warrant a whole PhD thesis in its own right. What I will stridently write is how I marvel […]

Talking dance

“Voices, of all sorts, became central to my life as a dancer.” This thought, held by Patricia Linton, founder of the oral history project Voices of British Ballet, contrasts with perceptions of ballet as an art form without words. It is however true, and it’s in this spirit I’ll be writing what I hope will […]

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