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Darcey on “Strictly”

Posted on June 29, 2012

darcey bussell square

darcey-bussell-squareDarcey Bussell joins BBC1’s “Strictly Come Dancing” as a judge this autumn. In a sneak preview from our August edition, she speaks to Dance Today about preparing for the series.


DT: Coming to “Strictly” from a ballet background, what will you bring to the programme?


DB: For me, when you’re a performer, you’re a performer. It’s about the musicality, it’s about the repetition, the rehearsal time, the finesse and the style that you’re trying to create. When you’re a performer, and you’ve done a lot of shows, you understand what it takes to get on, to have that confidence to be able to perform.


I will obviously do a lot of research on the finer details of the technique, because it hasn’t been my past, doing the foxtrot.


DT: How are you going to do that?


DB: Well, through a professional, of course! For me, I always like trying stuff out myself. I’ve always done that in the past. I remember, I’d always wanted to do flamenco, and I got to work with a professional flamenco dancer and choreographer. When you have had a discipline all your life, it’s easier to pick up those other disciplines. So I enjoy that. You never stop learning.


DT: So that’s time in the studio, were you thinking of working on all the ten ballroom and Latin dance styles…


DB: I couldn’t not. I would like to understand each one – not to actually perform myself! But to understand what the judges are looking for, in a foxtrot or a jive. How the posture’s got to be, if you’re leaning back from the upper body, those finer details.


For me, I know when something’s not clean. Straight away. It doesn’t matter what style it is. When something’s unrehearsed, you can see that. It doesn’t matter how good they are, you know at once. If the footwork’s a bit fluffed, you can tell the musicality’s not right. It’s so obvious, when you come from that world, because that’s all you’ve been looking at, the whole time! So I know when someone’s unrehearsed, or they’re unconfident. Things do fluff up, there are foggy bits.


The full interview with Darcey Bussell will be in the August edition of Dance Today.


Photograph © BBC

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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