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Daniel Pratt considers Conversations on Dance

January is a time for reinvention and renewal. Looking back over more than a year of this blog, I wrote in my first post that I wanted “to reveal something of the voice of the dancer”. Bringing that intention into fresh focus for 2018 is Conversations on Dance, a fantastic podcast I discovered last year. […]

Daniel Pratt celebrates The Nutcracker

Clement Crisp and Peter Brinson wrote pithily of The Nutcracker: “other productions proliferate.” This 1892 ballet is seen across the globe in countless versions and is an obligatory ingredient to the perfect Christmas. Though dancers – and critics – can groan at the annual reappearance of the work, it occupies a special place in our […]

Let’s see what you’ve got

Daniel Pratt watches World Ballet Day, and considers the magic of seeing behind the scenes Thursday, October 5 was the online international celebration of ballet, World Ballet Day. I will admit to you, with no embarrassment, that I set my alarm clock half an hour earlier so I could watch the live feed before I […]

Restless Creature

Daniel Pratt sees a documentary film about Wendy Whelan “You know I’ve sat at this spot for 23 years?” Wendy Whelan opens the film Restless Creature looking into a mirror whilst applying stage make-up. Her frank, wise and intimate tone presages much about this moving documentary that charts the last months of her classical career […]

Reflections on life after dance

Back in July, I found myself in good company at a trendy event space overlooking crepuscular Shoreditch. My job has allowed me to rub shoulders with guests at glamorous occasions, but this evening was significant because it was my first interaction with Dancers’ Career Development (DCD), and I was swapping stories and clinking glasses with […]

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 […]

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