I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to the dress rehearsal of the show On Before starring the legendary ballet dancer Carlos Acosta so that I may capture him for my paintings. A mix of contemporary dance that perfectly showed off his dancing prowess, the show was an inspiration and I am looking forward to creating a series of striking paintings capturing him in motion.
Carlos Acosta is principal dancer and choreographer with The Royal Ballet and has been a guest dancer all over the world including with The Bolshoi. He is the true Renaissance Man, ballet dancer, choreographer, actor and best selling writer. His biography, No Way Home is his extraordinary journey growing up in Cuba to becoming an international ballet star. Its a must read.
While watching him in the empty auditorium as he and his partner Royal Ballet Prima Ballerina Zenaida Yanowsky went through their steps I knew there is nothing like see the live performance, the sweat and the work that goes into each dance and also the relaxed moments that the audience does not get to see. This privileged position enables me to capture the ballet dancer in their true essence.
Ballerina painting titled Harmony in White. I used mixed media. I wanted to really get texture into her beautiful tutu. I really had a lot of fun with this!
Iana Salenko, Prima Ballerina in rehearsal. This was just before she started to rehearse for La Grand Pas Classique. Brought the house down on the night! I used pastel and washi paper ( for an extra fluffy tutu!) on midnight blue paper.
Watercolour Portrait of Xander Parish, This is from when I attended dress rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet at The Royal Opera House. I wanted to paint a traditional portrait with a twist. For Xander's cloak I used vintage pages of William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet to symbolise how he superbly encapsulated the role. Xander Parish just received a Britain's National Dance Award for"Outstanding Male Performance". Congratulation Xander!!
Rehearsing for Le Corsaire with Iana Salenko. Iana is a guest Prima Ballerina for Royal Ballet and Principal Ballerina with The Berlin State Ballet. She also starred in The Baileys ballet advert and is married to Principal ballet dancer Marion Walter.
Their official website is Iana Salenko and Marion Walter or follow Iana on twitter on @ianasalenko
Author Zoe James-Williams
Contemporary figurative artist with a love for ballet and theatre.