Sunday, February 22, 2015
Young Australian dancer wins top prize!
It was in 2002 when a young Australian ballet dancer who'd won a lot of awards, wiped the board and won the most important prize for dancers in the Grand Prix of Lausanne. He went on to become one of the top soloists at the Royal Ballet and is still at his peak, having, as a result of the large prize money, continued his training at the Royal Ballet School. This weekend I was more than delighted to learn that young Australian Lee Harrison is following in Stephen Rea's footsteps. Their approach and style of dance and presentation couldn't be more different!. Stephen was very much influenced by Nureyev and he admitted to me at the time that, as I suspected, he'd constantly watched Rudi's performances, and the way he took his curtain calls. He was a very audacious young dancer to the point that he decided to make his final variation at the competition, a tap number! Shock horror. But now our stunning young Lee is so different. He is extremely modest, and was pretty much gob smacked when it was announced he was the overall winner! But it isn't in the least surprising his technique is superb, every movement, and indeed every part of every moment is perfection, but with a controlled youthful enthusiasm coming over so well. I think he will do brilliantly at the Royal Ballet School, and if and when he performs the great classics and in particular, the essentially English ballets he will be equally stunning. He's such a contrast to Stephen, but I'm sure that terrific dancer will give him support and encouragement once he arrives in London. I'll be following his progress with interest, and indeed I must also send my admiration and many congratulations to his Australian teacher.