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  • The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky

    When I was eighteen I signed on to an evening course on Contemporary Dance in my local college and found to my joy that my teacher was a professional choreographer, who was a member of Ballet Rambert Company.

    Gradually over three terms my group learned how to fill the space around us creatively, develop physical strength and the skill of ballet moves; that would lead us to an end of year performance of Fertilisation in a Beehive, to the music of The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky.

    Half of the class were caste as soldier bees who acted like slave drivers to the rest of the class, who performing as worker bees.

    As a slave driver in the ballet I had to carry out demi-pliés when the legs are well turned out from the hips, the knees open and well over the toes, and the weight of the body evenly distributed on both feet, with the whole foot grasping the floor. Going round the workers in a circle cracking a whip
    The ballet was very well received by the audience.

    Looking back I am very amused about the ballet. I knew nothing about sado masochism in those days and I was very embarrassed when a photo was published in the local paper in a very ungainly pose with my back to the camera. Luckily only I could recognise myself in the worker bee costume.

    After a remarkable year the Ballet Rambert choreographer left the college to return to London. I still am confident moving to music but can no longer leap into the air onto my feet from a reclining stance.
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