Agony and Ecstasy: English National Ballet….and Am Dram

I have recently been watching and enjoying Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet on BBC 4 and find it so interesting seeing how a professional dance company operates. I am so inspired by how the professionals put together such a high-standard show in a matter of weeks. This was particularly fascinating to see in the latest episode where the male dancers in Romeo and Juliet each had to learn several parts from scratch! I do a lot of amateur dramatics shows, so I know what it takes to put even a half decent show together, and it is amazing to know that their rehearsal period is a matter of weeks! I am always so impressed at the standard of professional productions.

I did have to laugh at the similarities between the English National Ballet and Am Dram. Particularly amusing was the choreographer Derek Deane from episode 1, who was so much like a certain (amateur) director I have worked with on a couple of (amateur) shows. Dancer Daria said on her opening night performance that it Derek is very hard to please, but when you do it, is worth it. I know this feeling. It was a very familiar scene when Derek was watching the final rehearsals of Swan Lake and cursing out loud in the audience. Also familiar was when he was congratulating Daria on her performance, but at the same asking for a better one on the next night. I had to chuckle at that.

Ah well, we all do it for the love of it.

Just for fun I have included below some of the posters I have designed for amateur shows I have been involved with.


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