It's been a weird few months and nobody quite knows what lies ahead of us. What I do know, though, is that after one has been in a pandemic lockdown and it starts to lift, connecting with people and places again feels incredibly good.
It was during lockdown that Harris Bell, a ballet dancer at the Royal Ballet, reached out to collaborate. After complimenting each other on our names, we were both eager to create, be outside and move our bodies further than our doorstep. I wanted to bring Harris as close to home as possible, so we ventured into the woods just beyond London. Growing up in rural Scotland, the woods, for him, represent a sense of freedom. So, this day was a chance to experience the freedom once had and celebrate finally moving freely again - this time with a carpet of green and shadows from leaves as his stage. Submerged in nature, we found a comforting calm. Harris moving between the trees, catching light as it moved between the branches.
Wrapped in clothing styled by Abena Ofei, the classic movement and grace of ballet beautifully merged with the unexpected and new. To watch a dancer move without limits or direction is like art unfolding right in front of your eyes. At the time I write this, it's uncertain when the Royal Opera House will be open again. Only the Pandemic knows. But in these images, we bring the beauty of dance to you, to experience in new ways, till we are able to watch Harris back on the stage again.
For all those of you who love dance, there is some good news: on Friday 9th of October, The Royal Ballet returns for a unique live-streamed celebration, as the whole Company are reunited on their home stage for the first time in seven months. The Company will perform the programme, together with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (click for details of the live-streaming), in what promises to be a dance event not to be missed in a showcase of heritage and modern highlights from The Royal Ballet’s repertory.