Ballet in Brisbane

Touring is always an exciting time for a dancer and performing in Brisbane is no exception. This is the shortest and furthest tour I've ever been on with The Royal Ballet.

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Stretching on the plane.  

Stretching on the plane.  

I'm here for 8 days and doing 2 shows of 'Becomings' in 'Woolf Works'. It's a hard and very strenuous role I do, so the flight and inevitable jet lag was playing on my mind. A long haul flight (13 hrs to Singapore & another 8 hrs from Singapore to Brisbane) is not desired for anyone especially not a dancer. If you are a Principle with the company then you get to fly Business Class, other dancers are not so lucky. But that's ok, we've got it all under control. You will see a lot of dancers at the back of the plane,( by the toilets !) stretching, doing some pilates, reviewing what films they've just seen, to keep inflammation and tightness at bay. A lot of us also wear recovery socks or tights or both, and suck on zinc tabs to keep our immune systems up.

Couldn't believe it when I saw my face on one the posters promoting the company's tour... First time ever !  

Couldn't believe it when I saw my face on one the posters promoting the company's tour... First time ever !  

Feeling a bit rough round the edges. 

Feeling a bit rough round the edges. 

We had 2 days off to recover from this flight ( we usually have 1 ) but I did the optional class on the 2nd day as I needed to keep my stamina and strength up for my shows at the end of the week. My body didn't feel too bad but the jetlag was on a whole other level ! 

  Qpac's stage door. 

  Qpac's stage door. 

It's really exciting to visit your new theatre for the first time- check out the stage, your dressing room , see what's cooking in their 'house' canteen. There is alway a great buzz in the air, apart from when people start to get lost!! Before a full call rehearsal of Woolf Works I have a photoshoot and interview with Brisbane's 'Courier Mail' newspaper. I felt incredibly lucky to be part of promoting the company in this way.

Behined the scenes pic for photoshoot with Alexander Campbell. 

Behined the scenes pic for photoshoot with Alexander Campbell. 

It's really tempting to go out in your free time and explore the city, but sadly my achilles tedonitis has really stirred up after the flight so it's physiotherapy for me everyday and rest when I can.

Physiotherapy with Caryl

Physiotherapy with Caryl

It can be frustrating at times to travel somewhere and only see the theatre, your hotel and local restaurants but it's a sacrifice you make to get the best shows you possibly can achieve when you're there. It's not every tour that this is the case. But for me, this tour is short with an intense workload.

The hair and make-up!

The hair and make-up!

Jetlag hasn't been kind and it's incredible how it can effect your dancing. Woolf Works 2 is incredibly exhausting at the best of times but after my stage call it felt 4x harder. I felt like I had been hit by a bus, I vomited after - I think through sheer exertion.

I found out the day before my first show that one of my dance partners has fallen ill and won't do either show. Edward Watson steps in ( he does first cast ), we have a swift rehearsal working out lifts and details ( every cast has slightly different ways of doing what looks like the same choreography. It's group coordination more than anything else. ) 

Shot from my second solo. Photo by Alice Pennefather  

Shot from my second solo. Photo by Alice Pennefather  

David Donnelly looking sharp! 

David Donnelly looking sharp! 

After the opening night of 'Woolf Works' the theatre, QPAC, held a lavish black tie party for the whole company! Champagne, sushi, DJ, it was a truly wonderful event. My first show was the next morning so I felt like it wasn't my time to celebrate, I didn't want to jinx my show. I decided to be the 'photographer' for the evening and created a blog instead of joining the fun ( 'The QPAC party' blog ). Usually I love nothing more than a pint of champagne but I don't like to drink the night before a hard show.

Season complete.  

Season complete.  

I finished my last show this afternoon and I'm at the airport about to fly home tonight. I was happy (and relieved!) that both my shows went well, it was electric out there on stage, a fantastic energy from everyone. The audiences were incredibly warm - we even got a standing ovation! Brisbane you have been a blast. Till next time....

Opening scene. Photo by Alice Pennefather

Opening scene. Photo by Alice Pennefather

A QPAC Party

After the opening night of 'Woolf Works' QPAC theatre held the company a fabulous black tie party! 

Champagne, cheer and style was in abundance! 

Steven

Steven

Ben & Akane

Ben & Akane

Paul & Tristan

Paul & Tristan

Grace

Grace

Ro & Yuhui

Ro & Yuhui

James, Lukas & Tomas

James, Lukas & Tomas

Yasmin, Mica, Gina, Camille & Anna

Yasmin, Mica, Gina, Camille & Anna

Ashley

Ashley

Kevin, Isabella & James  

Kevin, Isabella & James  

Mara

Mara

Marcelino

Marcelino

Itzi

Itzi

Federico

Federico

Francisco & Chi

Francisco & Chi

Josepeh  

Josepeh  

Frankie & Tom

Frankie & Tom

Leo, Leticia, Mariko & Julia

Leo, Leticia, Mariko & Julia

Bea

Bea

Claire

Claire

Gary

Gary

Giacomo, Maria, Charlotte, Harry & Teo

Giacomo, Maria, Charlotte, Harry & Teo

David

David

The superb physio team- Rob, Caryl & Greg  

The superb physio team- Rob, Caryl & Greg  

 For the evening I was the photographer so no champers for me! I had to be on my game as I knew you would like this insight! Xx

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Bikram Ballet

You may have noticed it's been pretty hot in London recently! Everyone loves a hot day, but not necessarily a hot studio ! Studios can get quite muggy at the best of times, from dancing and sweating in there all day. When the day is hot as well, I like to call it Bikram Ballet, ( Bikram Yoga is a hot yoga style, and it's practiced in a room heated to 35–42 °C)! A hot day has its pros and cons for a dancer  

The pros

• Warming-up takes less time in the morning

• You are less likely to strain muscles

•  Dancers are generally happier !!! We tend to have a deficiency in vitamin D from being cooped up on stage or in the studio, so more sunshine is good.

The cons   

• Heat can exacerbate any existing injuries by increasing inflammation

• Can make dehydration quicker

• Can bring on fatigue  

 However, hot temperatures or not it doesn't stop these dancers looking ever so stylish ! 

Eric looking effortlessly cool and retro with tiny boxer shorts. Love them.  

Eric looking effortlessly cool and retro with tiny boxer shorts. Love them.  

Some splashes of colour with this skirt and a halter neck leo and keeps me cool.  Skirt - www.lovelilydanceandleisurewear.com

Some splashes of colour with this skirt and a halter neck leo and keeps me cool. 

Skirt - www.lovelilydanceandleisurewear.com

A fun mishmash of sunnies, shorts and thick leg warmers for Marcy. 

A fun mishmash of sunnies, shorts and thick leg warmers for Marcy. 

Double short shorts for Annette.   shop.lululemon.com

Double short shorts for Annette.  

shop.lululemon.com

Fumi's wearing soft pale colours, with a floaty skirt.  

Fumi's wearing soft pale colours, with a floaty skirt.  

Going for a strawberries and cream look but still not handling the heat well! Skirt - www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

Going for a strawberries and cream look but still not handling the heat well!

Skirt - www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

Adoring Julia's flamingo leotard. Bringing some Miami Vibes to class. Leotard - m2.hm.com

Adoring Julia's flamingo leotard. Bringing some Miami Vibes to class.

Leotard - m2.hm.com

Why wear a top in 30 degree heat while interval training ? Nicol's thoughts ! 

Why wear a top in 30 degree heat while interval training ? Nicol's thoughts ! 

Estelle wearing 'baggy boyfriend' shorts from 'Champion', easy and relaxed.  www.champion.com

Estelle wearing 'baggy boyfriend' shorts from 'Champion', easy and relaxed. 

www.champion.com

Leticia and Chi showing their beautifully toned balletic legs. 

Leticia and Chi showing their beautifully toned balletic legs. 

Claire going tightless with just beautiful arches as an accessory. 

Claire going tightless with just beautiful arches as an accessory. 

High bun, gillet, ballet shorts and flip flops ? Sian makes it work !  

High bun, gillet, ballet shorts and flip flops ? Sian makes it work !  

Chi showing us how to cut your ballet tights to a perfect length to flatter those pins !  

Chi showing us how to cut your ballet tights to a perfect length to flatter those pins !  

Leotard. Ballet skirt. Pointe shoes. That's all I need today. It's too hot. Leotard - dancexclusive.co.uk  Skirt -www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

Leotard. Ballet skirt. Pointe shoes. That's all I need today. It's too hot.

Leotard - dancexclusive.co.uk 

Skirt -www.lespetitesjupesdepatricia.bigcartel.com

No footwear for David, it's how he rolls.  

No footwear for David, it's how he rolls.  

Lara rocking a sporty look in class.  

Lara rocking a sporty look in class.  

Pins are out in 34 degree heat ! 

Pins are out in 34 degree heat ! 

My Top 6 costumes 16/17

Here is a countdown of my favourite costumes this season 16/17! This season has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I was very ill with a nasty sinusitis infection which led to me missing a triple bill, and to be honest I'm still not fully back. I've been told that the virus I have, can last for a few months. Also, on top of that I'm still fighting the pain in my achilles ! But it wasn't all doom and gloom, I had some exciting debuts this year, (Countess Larisch/ Carabosse)  and have had a great time going back to some old roles in 'Carbon life' and Helena in 'The Dream'. With these roles came working with incredible coaches to put me on that stage. Dame Monica Mason, Leanne Benjamin and Johnny Cope to name a few.

So here's the countdown..

 

 Number 6... 

 My first costume is Florestan in 'The Sleeping Beauty'. It's an adorable little tutu, with bows and pink puffy sleeves. I personally loved the choker as well, gave that 90s throwback edge!

   Number 5...

My next costume is Olga's in 'Anastasia' Act 1. A light and breathable costume to sweat in, I also felt very true to the period the ballet was set in. The sleeves and collar with the fine lace sewn in made this a very feminine number. . 

 Number 4... 

Who can forget Carabosse in 'The  Sleeping Beauty'? Before I did this role I didn't realise how this costume is quite a raunchy little number !! Layers and layers of dense lace on the bottom half and fine delicate lace on top, with a serpent intwined around the bust area.  It was a very special role for me, and to work with Dame Monica Mason was a real highlight of the season. 

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Number 3... 

Number three is Demi Diamonds in Balanchine's ballet 'Jewels'. The dropped tulle tutu, encrusted sparkles, and lace gloves, it screams 'BALLERINA'.  It reminded me of one of Degas paintings 'Dancers, Pink and green', however there was one flaw to this costume.... it showed serious sweat marks !!

Number 2... 

And at number two is Countess Larisch in 'Mayerling' act 1. I love this costume but I think it's more what this costume represents for me than the costume itself. A costume I never thought I would put on in my career, I couldn't quite believe i was doing it, and to also get an extra show with Edward Watson was a slight dream-come-true moment. 

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  And Number 1 Is...

Orlando - 'Woolf Works II' !!

A gold suit with an Elizabethan collar, a peplum waist, and detachable arms.... What more could you want?! It does weigh a ton but it's absolutely worth it. I feel so strong and powerful with this costume on, it fires me up, and this is before I start dancing, hear the music and see the set. It's an absolute genius of a costume!

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In action with my number one costume. Photo by Alice Pennefather.  

In action with my number one costume. Photo by Alice Pennefather.  

The Art Of Zen


Tonight is the final show at the Royal Opera House for Zenaida Yanowsky.


Putting aside Zen's dancing for a moment, she is one of the most unique ballerinas I know. She exudes an inner confidence and it shows in her style - wearing a unitard with a luminous yellow t-shirt underneath, throwing her hair up with a couple of pins and not a dash of make-up.

There's a sense of 'don't give a damn' in Zen, she's just incredibly cool, unbelievably hard working and an absolute laugh to work with. I've never met such a humble person. I remember once going to the laundry room and Zen was quietly folding my clean  washing into a pile. That sums her up perfectly - she didn't know who's it was, she just wanted to help.

She's got the body and height of a supermodel and legs that go on for days. Whatever she wears looks uber-stylish, not many people can get away with a babygrow!


Zen, I'm going to miss your dancing, your unitards, the legs and your wicked sense of humour!

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Get Shorty

A good pair of shorts can really put you in the mood to work hard - they're more sporty and athletic than a skirt and there's no hiding, you've really got to work your legs. That's why you'll see a lot of us wear them for class at the beginning of the day.

Dependant on repertoire, us ladies go through phases with our choice of shorts. What length? Baggy and grungy or an incy wincy 70's gym hot pant. You decide...

Chi www.gap.co.uk

Chi

www.gap.co.uk

Julia  m.nike.com  Leticia  m2.hm.com

Julia

 m.nike.com

 Leticia

 m2.hm.com

Melzie   www.blochworld.com 

Melzie 

 www.blochworld.com 

Ro  www.freedoflondon.com

Ro 

www.freedoflondon.com

Olivia I'm wearing - www.capezioeurope.com

Olivia

I'm wearing - www.capezioeurope.com

Lizzie www.capezioeurope.com

Lizzie

www.capezioeurope.com

Sian   www.gap.co.uk

Sian  

www.gap.co.uk

Lauren  

Lauren  

blochworld.com

Claire   primark.com

Claire  

primark.com

Charlotte   m.nike.com

Charlotte  

m.nike.com

Tierney uk.blochworld.com

Tierney

uk.blochworld.com

Gem m2.hm.com

Gem

m2.hm.com