History at the Hammond

I am currently working as researcher and historian for The Hammond Performing Arts School in Chester, UK. In 2017 the school is set to celebrate 100 years since it's founder Miss Irene Hammond came to Chester. My role is to research the history of the school and  Hoole Bank House (where the school is now housed). I… Continue reading History at the Hammond

Carlotta Edwards – Collecting Vintage Ballet

The 1950s saw an explosion of all things ballet in popular culture. One of the most prominent artists was Carlotta Edwards (1894 - 1977). Edwards was the daughter of the French painter Ferdinand Pourrier. Her ballet scenes once graced the bedrooms of little girls (and big) all over England but were very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Edwards appears to have… Continue reading Carlotta Edwards – Collecting Vintage Ballet

Two treasures of The Russian Ballet at ABT

  American Ballet Theatre this season is presenting two ballets from the bright and colourful canon of the Ballets Russes and Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. On the 6th of June ABT opened The Golden Cockerel, a reworked version of the popular 1937 production created for the Royal Danish Ballet in 2012. Please see my… Continue reading Two treasures of The Russian Ballet at ABT

The Golden Cockerel Flies Again

In 2011 I had the great opportunity to work with designer Richard Hudson on a reinterpretation of The Golden Cockerel for The Royal Danish Ballet. My role was to research the original productions from 1914 and 1937, produced by the Ballets Russes and Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Hudson and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky then used… Continue reading The Golden Cockerel Flies Again

Costume Society

Here is my latest blog for The Costume Society. This is the first part of an article looking at the techniques that survive in the Theatre, Opera and Ballet industry. http://costumesociety.org.uk/blog/post/techniques-kept-alive-in-the-theatre-opera-and-ballet-industries-part-one Enjoy!

The Age of the Balletomane

In the wake of The Red Shoes film the 1950s saw all things to do with ballet become the height of vogue. Wallpaper and curtains, to clocks, scarves and compacts were all embellished with ballet motifs! In 1956 Beswick pottery launched a range of ballet themed china . At first named Ballet the range was later renamed Pavlova and was… Continue reading The Age of the Balletomane

Sono Osato

Sono Osato, b.1919, was not only the first dancer of Japanese descent to join the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, but was also the first American. She joined the company at just fourteen and would go to become a widely acclaimed dancer, dancing with ABT and on Broadway. Last month, in Sono's native Chicago, the… Continue reading Sono Osato

A New Firebird

Last Friday I saw the Danish Dance Theatre's new production of The Firebird at the Republique in Copenhagen. Choreographed by the company's director Tim Rushton the production was performed live to the seventy piece strong Copenhagen Philharmonic orchestra. The multidisciplinary performance created an amazing new version of the ballet, with innovative costume designs by Åsa Gjersted and set by Johan Kølkjær and Martin… Continue reading A New Firebird

Behind the scenes at ‘Silent Partners’

For the last few weeks I have been working on the costume exhibition Silent Partners. The exhibition displayed 35 costumes from Evelyn Hart's career with a particular focus on how the costumes were made and designed. Working out how to display the costumes was quite a challenge. Here are some pictures from the installation.

Evelyn Hart Costume Exhibition

Yesterday I got back from Canada where I was working on the exhibition Silent Partners, Prima Ballerina Evelyn Hart's Signature Costumes from an Extraordinary Career. The exhibition opened on Friday night at the Woodstock Art  Gallery, Ontario, Canada. My role was to research the pieces, write the labels and didactic panels and, perhaps most challengingly, work out how to mount and… Continue reading Evelyn Hart Costume Exhibition